LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — It was a good night for Louisiana kicking specialists.
Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen won the Ray Guy Award on Thursday for the second consecutive year, while Tulane’s Cairo Santos grabbed the Lou Groza Award.
Allen was presented with the award for the nation’s most outstanding collegiate punter at the College Football Awards show at Disney World. The senior beat out fellow finalists Kyle Christy from Florida and Ball State’s Scott Kovanda.
Allen recorded the highest punting average in the country at 48 yards per punt, totaling 2,162 yards for the season.
Santos, originally from Brazil, beat out fellow finalists Dustin Hopkins from Florida State and Caleb Sturgis from Florida.
The junior is the second kicker from Tulane to win the honor, joining Seth Marler in 2001.
Santos converted all 21 of his field goal attempts this year, including 12 kicks of 40 yards or longer.
But Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was the big winner of Thursday’s awards show.
Te’o grabbed the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player, beating out finalists and quarterbacks Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M and Collin Klein from Kansas State.
He is the first defensive player to win the award since 1980, ending a string of nine straight quarterbacks.
It’s the sixth national award that Te’o has won since the end of the regular season. The Fighting Irish senior has also has won the Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award and Walter Camp national player of the year award.
Te’o is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented on Saturday.
Te’o’s coach, Brian Kelly, was named coach of the year Thursday night. He became the first two-time winner, having previously received the honor in 2009 while he was at Cincinnati.
Kelly led the 12-0 Fighting Irish to the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1988 and only the second overall. Kelly also joins Lou Holtz as the only Notre Dame coaches to post winning seasons in each of their first three seasons at the school.
Notre Dame will take on Alabama in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 7.
Texas A&M junior Luke Joeckel won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman. He beat out fellow finalists Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina and Alabama’s Barrett Jones.
Joeckel helped the Aggies average 235.1 yards rushing per game. The Aggies also had the third-ranked scoring offense in the country at 44.8 points per game.
He is the third straight offensive player to win the award and first from Texas A&M.
The Aggies went 10-2 in its first Southeastern Conference season, earning a Cotton Bowl berth against Oklahoma.
Southern California sophomore Marqise Lee won the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s outstanding wide receiver.
Lee beat out fellow finalists West Virginia junior Stedman Bailey and Baylor senior Terrance Williams.
He is the fifth sophomore since 2000 to win the honor.
Lee was Pac-12 offensive player of the year after posting 112 receptions for 1,680 yards, both conference records.
He had 15 touchdowns and averaged 215.7 all-purpose yards a game.
He also had 2,588 all-purpose yards — the third-highest total in the Football Bowl Subdivision.