BATON ROUGE - LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been named as one of five finalists for the prestigious Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award, the organization announced on Wednesday.
Mathieu is the only defensive player on the list of finalists. He's joined by three quarterbacks - Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Case Keenum (Houston) and Andrew Luck (Stanford) - along with Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
In addition to being the only defensive player on the list of finalists, Mathieu is also the only sophomore in the group.
Mathieu, who has been named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week twice this year, currently leads the top-ranked Tigers in tackles with 66. He leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation in both forced fumbles (6) and fumble recoveries (4). Mathieu has also intercepted two passes, recorded seven pass breakups and a pair of quarterback hurries. He has 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to his credit for an LSU defense that is allowing just 10 points and 248 total yards per game.
Mathieu has scored three touchdowns this year, most recently returning a punt 92 yards for a touchdown in LSU's comeback win over Arkansas. Mathieu scored on a 3-yard fumble return against Oregon in the season-opener and he followed that with a 23-yard fumble return for a score against Kentucky.
In 24 career games, Mathieu has forced 11 fumbles, which ranks second among all active players in college football, and is just three shy of tying the NCAA career mark.
The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be presented live on Thursday, December 8 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
Former Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, now playing in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers, won the award last year.
The winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
The finalists for the 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year award:
ROBERT GRIFFIN III - BAYLOR - Junior - Quarterback - Griffin III ranks second nationally in total offense (390.0 yards per game) and points responsible for (22.5)..... He has passed for 3,678 yards and 34 touchdowns... Griffin III has eight 300-yard passing efforts, including four with 400 or more.... He has thrown for three or more touchdowns in a game eight times... He has earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors twice, most recently after a 479-yard and four-touchdown effort in a win over Oklahoma on November 19.
CASE KEENUM - HOUSTON - Senior - Quarterback - Keenum has led the Cougars to a 12-0 record and a berth in Saturday's Conference USA title game... He leads the nation in total offense (397.4 yards per game) and passing yards per game (393.8)... Keenum has passed for 4,726 yards and 43 touchdowns, completing 342-of-467 passes... He has thrown for 300 or more yards in all 12 games, including six 400-yard efforts... His best game came in a win over Rice on October 27 when he threw for a season-high 534 yards and nine touchdowns and earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.
ANDREW LUCK - STANFORD - Redshirt Junior - Quarterback - Luck has led the Cardinal to an 11-1 record and #4 ranking in the latest BCS standings... Has passed for 3,170 yards (261-of-373) and 35 touchdowns... Luck leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency (167.5)... Has also rushed for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns... He has thrown for two or more touchdowns in all 12 games and has four 300-yard passing efforts, including a season-high 370 in a win over Colorado on October 8.
TYRANN MATHIEU - LSU - Sophomore - Defensive Back - Mathieu leads the top-ranked and undefeated LSU defensive unit with 66 tackles and six forced fumbles.... He has recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes for a Tiger defensive that ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (10.58 points allowed per game)... Mathieu also averages 13.7 yards a punt return and has one returned for a touchdown... Mathieu has earned Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors twice this season (Sept. 25 and Nov. 27).
TRENT RICHARDSON - ALABAMA - Junior - Running Back - Richardson has led the second-ranked Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record... Has rushed for 1,263 yards and 20 touchdowns... Richardson has nine 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-high 203 in a win over Auburn on November 26 which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors... He has scored at least two rushing touchdowns in seven games this season, including a season-high four in a victory over Ole Miss on October 15.