The 2014 football season has been one for the ages, and with each passing week narrowing down the pool of candidates for the Hall of Fame Performer of the Week has been a challenge. Our fans have spoken, and the list of winners has been impressive. As the season comes to a conclusion, the time has come to vote for the Hall of Fame Performer of the Year.
Oregon quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota completed the season with 254 of 372 passes for 3,783 yards, 38 touchdowns and just two interceptions. If that weren’t enough, he piled on 117 carries for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns. He leads the nation in passer rating (186.2), is fifth in total offense (342.5 yards per game) and led the Ducks to a Pac-12 title with a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Mariota and the No. 2 Ducks will face No. 3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl.
Heisman runner-up and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had an NCAA-best 2,336 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns on 309 carries this season. He also hauled in 17 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Gordon’s then FBS record of 408 yards against Nebraska on Nov. 15 was without a doubt one of the most impressive individual performances of the season. He led all rushers in yards, touchdowns and yards per game and second in attempts. Gordon is the first Heisman runner-up in Wisconsin history and is the highest Badger finisher since Hall of Famer Ron Dayne won the award in 1999. Gordon will look to add on to those impressive stats when the Badgers play the Auburn Tigers in the Outback Bowl.
With potentially two games yet to play, Alabama junior wide receiver Amari Cooper has already secured an SEC-record of 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns. Against archrival Auburn Cooper caught 13 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to breaking almost every single-game and single-season receiving record at Alabama, Cooper’s 25 catches in the last two games pushed him past Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews for the SEC’s single-season receptions record. He was the first receiver invited to the Heisman ceremony since 2003 and recently took home the prestigious Biletnikoff Award. Cooper and the Crimson Tide will face Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl as they try to regain National Championship honors.
Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott broke 10 single-season MSU records in 2014: total offense (3,935), total offense per game (327.9), touchdowns responsible for (37), completion percentage (.612), passing yards (2,996), passing yards per game (249.7), 200-yard passing games (11), passing touchdowns (24), passing efficiency (151.3), and rushing yards by a quarterback (939). Prescott was named the first-team quarterback on the Associated Press and SEC coaches’ All-SEC teams, becoming the first MSU signal caller since 1986 to earn first-team all-conference honors. Prescott and the Bulldogs will play Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31, their first Orange Bowl appearance since 1941.
To cast your vote for the Hall of Fame Performer of the Year, leave a comment at our Facebook page or Tweet at us with the hashtag #HOFPerformer.