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Rogers grad Davis wins Mackey Award

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USC senior tight end Fred Davis, center, was named the Mackey Award winner. The Rogers alum has the most career receptions for a USC tight end.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Toledo's Fred Davis is college football's top tight end.

Davis, a three-year starter at Southern California, earned such recognition last night when he was named the John Mackey Award recipient at the annual college football awards show held at Walt Disney World Resort.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound

senior who graduated from

Rogers High, wasn't in attendance at the awards show held to honor the year's top college players because he is taking final exams this week and is also practicing for USC's upcoming Rose Bowl game with Illinois.

"I'm just happy for him," said Margo Davis, Fred's mother, reached by telephone after the announcement was made. "I don't even know how to explain it. As a mother, I'm proud."

His mother said she spoke with him by telephone after the award winner was named and Fred watched the show with his older brother, Kedron, who is visiting Fred in Los Angeles.

Davis, who made a team-high 55 receptions (USC record for tight ends) for 794 yards and seven touchdowns, became the first tight end in team history to win the award.

"This is a dream come true," Margo said. "The hard work is finally paying off. It's come to fruition that hard work pays off. Everything is coming to light."

Davis averaged 14.4 yards per catch, which ranked second best among the nation's tight ends. His 110 career receptions are the most all-time for a USC tight end, and he ranks 13th on USC's career receptions list.

Georgia Tech's Durrant Brooks won the Ray Guy Award as the best punter. Toledo's Brett Kern was also a finalist for the award but he was far from disappointed.

"It's always been one of my goals to be here," said Kern, whose average of 46.1 yards per punt ranked second in the country. "I've worked hard to get here. Part of me is surprised I'm here and part of me isn't because I worked so hard for it.

"It was an honor to be down here regardless of who won. It's been a great time and something I'll never forget."

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow picked up the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien awards.

Tebow beat out fellow Heisman finalist Darren McFadden of Arkansas and Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's best all-round player.

"I just want to thank my teammates and all the seniors back in Gainesville," Tebow said. "I'm just glad to be a Gator."

Tebow, the first player in major college football to run for at least 20 touchdowns and throw for at least 20, is considered the favorite for the Heisman and is trying to become the first sophomore to win the award.

The Maxwell used to be considered a good barometer for predicting who would win the Heisman, but none of the last seven Maxwell winners have gone on to win the Heisman.

Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn won the Maxwell last season and finished third in the Heisman voting behind Ohio State's Troy Smith and

McFadden.

The other Heisman finalists are Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan.

Tebow beat out Daniel and Dixon for the O'Brien award, given to the nation's top quarterback.

McFadden won the Doak Walker Award for best running back for the second consecutive season. Ricky Williams of Texas was the last player to win back-to-back Walker awards in 1997-98. McFadden ran for 1,725 yards and had 2,172 all-purpose yards.

Penn State linebacker Dan Connor won the Bednarik Trophy as the nation's best defensive player, making it three straight and four overall for the Nittany Lions. Linebacker Paul Posluszny won the Bednarik the past two seasons and linebacker LaVar Arrington won it in 1999.

Connor beat out LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis.

Dorsey won the Outland Trophy as best interior lineman. The senior had already won the Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman) and Bronko Nagurski Trophy (outstanding defensive player).

Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree became the first freshman to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top receiver. Crabtree leads the nation with 125 catches and 1,861 yards receiving.

Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back and Thomas Weber of Arizona State took the Lou Groza Award for best kicker.

The coach of the year was Kansas' Mark Mangino, who led the Jayhawks to a school-record 11 victories.

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