Fans Vote Hurts The 2022 Premier Player of Pro Football

The Philadelphia Eagles finished the regular season with a 14-3 record that tied them for the best in the NFL. That alone would be good enough to see Jalen Hurts considered for the Premier Player of Pro Football Award, but digging a little deeper shows how truly pivotal Hurts has been to the success of his franchise in 2022.

The Eagles lost three games this season. Hurts didn’t play in two of those. In his 15 games as the starter, the Eagles went a stunning 14-1. Hurts posted the best numbers of his young NFL career – remember, this is his third season in the league – passing for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Even more impressive was that Hurts completed his passes this season at a 66.5% clip, beating defenses with both the explosiveness and efficiency of his arm.

A dual threat in its truest sense, the former Alabama (by way of Oklahoma) quarterback was also a menace with his legs this fall. Hurts rushed for a career-high 13 touchdowns at 4,6 yards per carry. His rushing threat is a huge aspect of what makes Hurts uniquely talented. The Eagles love to call Run Play Options for Hurts, trusting their quarterback to make the correct decisions to gain essential yards and protect his body. It is something that the durable Hurts has done exceptionally well to date in his career.

A two-game stretch in late November and early December showcased Hurts at his very best. In a 40-33 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field, Hurts had to do it with his legs. The Packers did what they could to take away Hurts’ passing game – though he still had two touchdowns and zero picks with 153 yards through the air – so he responded by rushing 17 times for 157 yards at 9.2 yards per carry. The following week against the Tennessee Titans, Hurts rushed for just 12 yards but passed for 380 yards with three touchdowns. Two games, two wins, two completely different methods of getting there.

This dedication to winning, to doing anything it takes with his own game to propel the Eagles to a victory, has made Hurts a dominant player in 2022. He picked up instant chemistry with wide receiver AJ Brown after he joined the team from the Titans, as Brown produced a career-best year with almost 1,500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Hurts is just 24 years old. He is one of the premier players spearheading the youth movement in the NFL at quarterback. If he continues to play at his current level, the Philadelphia Eagles will be an NFC East – and Super Bowl – contender for the next decade.

Fans Vote Coach Prime The 2022 Premier Coach of College Football

The 2022 Premier Coach of College Football Award Winner is the incomparable Deion Sanders for his work with the Jackson State Tigers.

When Deion Sanders took the job at Jackson State, the college football world didn’t know how to react. Deion Sanders was a massive name that spanned generations thanks to his play in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Baltimore Ravens, but also his media career on ESPN and the NFL Network. Add in his appearances on shows such as The League, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, and Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love, and it is hard to argue that Deion Sanders was the biggest name ever to take a job at the FCS level.

Deion Sanders not only took over an FCS gig but also a program in Jackson State that is part of the historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) system. Deion Sanders did have previous coaching experience, first as head coach of his own Prime Prep Academy and then at Triple A Academy, but his move from there showed that Prime wanted to learn more about the coaching game. He stepped back from the head coach role, taking a job as offensive coordinator of Trinity Christian Academy, which allowed him to coach his sons Shilo and Shedeur.

Deion Sanders’ first season at Jackson State was maybe what people expected. He went 4-3 in a season moved from Fall to Spring by the Covid-19 pandemic, setting foundations for Jackson State but not setting the world on fire.

In 2021, Deion Sanders lit up the college football world.  His Jackson State Tigers won 11 games, setting a program record and earning Sanders the Eddie Robinson Award as the top FCS coach in the country. He went 8-0 in SWAC play and the Tigers finished the season with an 11-2 record. As good as his 2021 was, Deion Sanders was just getting started.

Deion Sanders has relationships with players that other coaches can only dream of. His massive personality and drive to be the best at everything he does resonate with recruits and their families. That is how Deion Sanders pulled off the biggest recruiting coup of all time when he flipped defensive back Travis Hunter from Florida State to Jackson State before the 2022 season. Hunter was the No. 1 player in the entire class, the type of player that HBCUs have zero chance of signing. With Sanders at the helm, the Tigers were able to sign Hunter, a player who had 15 tackles, nine pass breakups, two picks, and a fumble recovery in seven games played as a true freshman this fall.

Deion Sanders not only recruits but also develops players, too. That is how his Jackson State team took another leap forward in 2022, rolling to the Celebration Bowl on the back of a 12-1 record and another undefeated season in SWAC play. For his Jackson State career, Deion Sanders was 27-6 as a head coach and 23-3 if you discount the Covid mess of the 2020 season. It is an astonishing record for a first-time college head coach and one that Sanders should always be proud of as he moves on to new challenges – enormous challenges – with the Colorado State Buffaloes in the Pac-12 starting in 2023.

Your 2022 Premier Coach of College Football Award Winner is the legendary Deion Sanders.

Auburn Derick Hall’s Greatness Off The Field Earns Solomon Award

The winner of the 2022 Freddie Solomon Community Sports Award Winner is Auburn University edge rusher Derick Hall.

Derick Hall has been terrorizing SEC fields since he stepped through the door at Auburn. He ended his brilliant college career with a dominant senior season, being the only Auburn player to be voted onto the All-SEC First Team. His senior season consisted of seven sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and 60 tackles, with his game-changing plays also including two forced fumbles and an interception. For his career, Hall totaled an astonishing 147 tackles, 19.5 sacks, and 29.5 TFLs.

Hall will go down as an Auburn legend on the field. However, that is only half his story as for everything Hall was on the field as a disruptor and defensive star, he was kind, generous, and compassionate about community service behind closed doors.

Jeffrey Hulum III, the CEO of Extend a Hand Help a Friend, describes Hall as “A humble, intelligent, talented, and outstanding young man.” Hall has been a constant contributor to the organization and has volunteered there for several years. This was felt most during the water crisis in Jackson, MS when Hall used his money and influence to send pallets of clean water to families in the Jackson area,

Hall grew up in Mississippi, so the urge to give back to his home state during a crisis was massive. Hall saw the effects of need at a young age when his hometown of Gulfport, MS, was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. This, plus the influence of his mother, who works at the Salvation Army in Gulfport to this day, instilled a sense of giving back in Hall that he has never forgotten.

Hall is an excellent example of a player using the NIL and using his stature in college football to give back. He had one foot out of the door to the NFL as an underclassman, but his love for college football and the Auburn Tigers brought him back. Hall is a competitor, a player driven to win and driven to play his best football on every down. He is going to make an NFL team better immediately with his presence as an edge rusher and an NFL city better just by having him as a resident.

That mixture of skill on the field and giving off of it is why Derick Hall was named the Freddie Solomon Community Sports Award Winner for 2022 by the Solomon Family through the Premier Players Community Sports Foundation.

TCU Steve Avila Voted Premier Player of College Football

After a dominant season anchoring the offensive line for the TCU Horned Frogs, Steve Avila has been named the 2022 Premier Player of College Football Award winner.

The Horned Frogs were 5-7 in 2021, and while most thought that the team would improve in 2022, no one was predicting an undefeated run to the Big XII Championship game and the school’s first College Football Playoff berth. Even fewer thought the team would take down the Michigan Wolverines – winners of the vaunted Big Ten – and make it to the National Championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Steve Avila is a fifth-year senior, a player that has seen and done it all with the Horned Frogs. A player who could easily have entered the transfer portal before this season started and found his way to a school “expected” to be more competitive, Avila doubled down and stayed at TCU through a coaching change that could have taken the team in any direction.

It was the right move! That coaching change has seen TCU reach unprecedented heights in the CFP era, and Steve Avila has been a significant part of that run. Already a much coveted offensive lineman thanks to his play in Dallas, Avila has worked tirelessly with new offensive line coach A.J. Ricker to improve and refine his formidable play.

Steve Avila spent the bulk of his TCU career playing at center, but this season has seen him bedded in at left guard. It might not seem like a massive change to those not used to playing in the trenches, but it is a move that could have backfired. Instead, it has been a major success. Avila went the entire regular season – a massive 477 pass-blocking snaps – without allowing a single sack. His presence is why the TCU offense has been so balanced, able to pass or run the ball on any defense, depending on the game situation and what the Horned Frogs need to do to win.

The Michigan game was a great example of this. The Wolverines’ defense came into the matchup allowing just over 85 yards rushing per game, and was 10th in the entire country in total yards allowed. Behind the blocking of Steve Avila and his linemates, TCU rolled for 263 yards on the ground and 488 total yards in their monumental and program-defining 51-45 win.

An offensive lineman rarely captures a trophy that every player in college football is eligible to win. Steve Avila breaks that mold at the end of the 2022 season to be named the 2022 Premier Player of College Football award winner, thanks to his selfless, physical, and dominant style of play.