2019 Preseason Award Projections: Jet Award

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 college football season, WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the next fall’s stars could be the headline players next April for the 2020 NFL Draft. We also will project the winners of the postseason awards that are given out to the best of college football.

The Jet Award is given to the best returner in college football. Last year’s winner was Utah State’s Savon Scarver.

Jet Award Winner:

Avery Williams, Boise State

Williams broke out for the Broncos in 2017. Defensively, the redshirt freshman had a very solid season, notching 45 tackles, eight passes broken up and two interceptions. On special teams, he was one of the top returners in the nation and led the Mountain West conference with 11.2 yards per punt return average and two touchdowns. He also averaged 25 yards per kick return. As a sophomore in 2018, he only returned two kickoffs, but one of them, he brought back for a touchdown. He averaged seven yards per punt return, but teams punted away from him. I think Williams could be a dynamic returner again this fall, and if he can add some kick-return touchdowns to go along with his punt-return touchdowns, I think he could end up winning the Jet Award.

Jet Award Runner-Up:

Savon Scarver, Utah State

Scarver was a phenomenal returner in 2018, averaging a ridiculous 33.7 yards per kick return. He had two kicks returned for touchdowns and consistently put his team in good field position with long returns. I think Scarver will have a hard time winning the Jet Award again as teams will be kicking away from him, but the talented kick returner is a dangerous weapon who should be in contention for the award even with fewer opportunities.

Jet Award Dark Horse:

Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma

If I had any confidence that Lamb would be a primary returner, I would probably pick him to be the Jet Award winner, but with Marquise Brown moving on to the NFL, I could see Lamb being the Sooners’ No. 1 receiver, which would likely result in the Oklahoma coaching staff deciding to protect him from injury by not having him return kicks. Lamb is a talented returner who averaged 12.8 yards per punt return last season. If Lamb does return punts or kicks, I could definitely see him winning this season’s Jet Award.

Honorable Mentions: New Mexico DB Marcus Hayes, Syracuse WR Sean Riley, Louisville DB Rodjay Burns, North Carolina WR Dazz Newsome, Florida State WR D.J. Matthews, Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Arkansas WR De’Vion Warren, Tulane RB Amare Jones and Washington State WR Travell Harris.

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