Campbell Named Coaches' Player Of The Year

Auburn senior quarterback Jason Campbell earned another major award on Wednesday.

Auburn, Ala.—-It has been a year of full enjoyment for Auburn senior quarterback Jason Campbell and Wednesday it got even better when he was named the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches, capping a run of awards for him in the postseason.

Joining in the awards were Coach Tommy Tuberville and running back Carnell Williams. Tuberville was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the coaches, giving him both awards after earning the AP award on Tuesday. Tuberville led the Tigers to a perfect 12-0 regular season and the SEC Championship.

Williams was voted the SEC's top special teams player after leading the league in punt returns with an average of 11.7 yards per attempt. He also returned eight kickoffs for 150 yards in 2004. The Attalla, Ala. native led the league with 13 total touchdowns.

A full-time starter the last two seasons for the Tigers after starting a handful of games as a redshirt freshman and a sophomore, Campbell had a season most quarterbacks only dream about in the SEC. Leading Auburn to a perfect 12-0 record and the SEC Championship, Campbell threw for 2,511 yards and 19 touchdowns this season with only six interceptions. His quarterback rating of 172.7 was the highest in Auburn history and was third in the country.

Campbell capped his outstanding regular season with an awesome performance in the SEC Championship game last weekend in Atlanta. Throwing for a game record 374 yards and three touchdowns, the Taylorsville, Miss. native made play after play as the Tigers struggled to put away a feisty Tennessee team until the final moments.

Campbell takes control in the victory over Tennessee.

"That just goes to show the character of our team," Campbell says. "We've got some young leadership also. The guys just kept their heads about them. When Tennessee tied the game up you never saw anyone getting nervous or shaky or out of control of the game. We still felt like we could move the ball and score points because we have a lot of upperclassmen on offense. We just needed to make some plays and take the momentum away from them because right then they had the momentum going their way."

He also did a masterful job all season of running Auburn's complex offense under the tutelage of Al Borges. The first year in Borges' system, Campbell executed almost flawless football in 2004 and his progression as a passer has him poised to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in next spring's NFL Draft.

Before that happens Campbell and his teammates get one more shot to play as Tigers when they face the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. A tough opponent, Campbell says that the team is still hoping for a share of the national title, but that won't be possible without a win in his final career game.

"For the seniors it's going to be our last game," Campbell says. "To go 13-0, you don't want to get to this point and lose one because you were worried about not getting the opportunity to play in the Orange Bowl. We also want to finish the season out strong to go into off-season training as the team gets ready for next year. It's still a game we're going to be motivated by because we feel we can still get a share of it, it just all depends on how we go out and perform on January 3rd."

Carnell Williams led the SEC in all-purpose yards with 137.2 per game.

In his five years at Auburn, the Tigers have won 45 games and have again established themselves as one of the teams to watch in the powerful Southeastern Conference. A player with a tremendous amount of school pride, Campbell says that he wants to make sure Auburn's run at the title doesn't stop when this year's senior class walks out the door.

"I feel like we've built something for them to build on and learn from," Campbell says. "They (young players) understand it takes a lot of hard work to get to where we're at. It's not going to happen overnight. It's something you have to work at. There's going to be tough times and it's all about how you handle yourself in tough situations. They're going to have a young team coming back next year, but it's all about just being focused. I think with them having a lot of guys getting experience playing in games and in the SEC, I think it's going to help them out a lot next year."

Georgia defensive end David Pollack was named as the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year. Teammate David Greene was named as the SEC's top scholar athlete. Florida linebacker Brandon Siler was voted the SEC's top freshman. Rounding out the awards from the league are Wesley Britt, who was given the Jacob's Award for the league's top blocker.


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