NEW HAVEN, Conn. – University of Connecticut junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.) has been named to Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Award — the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. Smallwood has now been named to preseason watch lists for four different awards.
The Walter Camp watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 125 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 12. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on January 11, 2014 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week.
Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs.
Smallwood has also been named to the watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and the Bednarik Award Watch List — both are given to the top defensive player in the country. He was also named to the lists for the Butkus Award that honors the nation’s best linebacker.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.