Davey O’ Brien will finally have a TCU teammate at the Fort Worth Club.
The trophy created to honor the legacy one of the greatest players in the history of TCU will finally go to a TCU player.
TCU senior quarterback Max Duggan is the winner of the Davey O’ Brien Award, the honor named after the former TCU quarterback.
On Thursday evening, ESPN made the announcement during its annual College Football Awards Show that Duggan won the award given annually to the nation’s top college quarterback.
According to a few people familiar with the voting, apparently it wasn’t that close as Duggan beat out fellow finalists Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and USC’s Caleb Williams.
This could potentially be a sign for the upcoming Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Saturday in New York City.
Duggan is a Heisman finalist along with Stroud, Williams, and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett.
Much like with the Heisman Trophy, the voting for the O’ Brien Award was concluded after the conference title games over the weekend.
While both TCU and USC lost their respective conference title games, how the games played out likely had an affect on the voting.
Duggan looked dead after he carried TCU back from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit against Kansas State in the Big 12 title game.
He was about two inches from scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the first possession of overtime before his head coach inexplicably took the ball out of his hands on consecutive plays inside the one to score.
Kansas State kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession to win, and in the post game press conference Duggan cried his eyes out, a moment that went viral. The whole package became Duggan’s “Heisman” moment.
Williams, meanwhile, played despite a popped hamstring in the Pac 12 title game against Utah, but the Trojans lost by 23 points.
After Duggan’s post game press conference went viral, Williams appeared to mock Duggan on Twitter.
Not a good look for a Heisman candidate.
Williams took to Twitter again to state that he wasn’t making fun of Duggan, but the damage was done.
There is no way to know how that 24 hour stretch on Friday/Saturday impacted the respective voters of the O’ Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy, but it only helped Duggan.
Duggan has already been named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
For years members of the organization privately hoped one day a quarterback from the local team would join O’ Brien, and the Hall of Fame would feature a TCU uniform and TCU helmet.
The trophy is named in honor of the TCU quarterback who led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season in 1938 that ended with a national title, and a Heisman Trophy for O’ Brien.
The Davey O’ Brien Trophy was created in 1977, not long after he died that year. It originally was designated to be awarded to the best player in the Southwest.
In 1981, the name was changed to the Davey O’ Brien National Quarterback Award, and given to the nation’s top college quarterback.
Previous winners include Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, Vince Young, Robert Griffin, Johnny Manziel and Joe Burrow.
With the exceptions of Andy Dalton and Trevone Boykin, no TCU quarterback ever had much of a chance to win this award.
Dalton was a semifinalist in 2010.
The award ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 at the Fort Worth Club in downtown Fort Worth.
On the 11th floor of the Fort Worth Club is the Davey O’ Brien Hall of Fame, which is next to the Davey O’Brien Sports Lounge.
The Hall of Fame features the respective uniforms and helmets of the previous winners. In the sports lounge is O’ Brien’s TCU jersey, in a frame; the jersey looks about the size for a middle schooler these days.
Duggan winning this award is just the continuation of what may be the best season in the history of the team.
TCU is in the college football playoffs, and will play Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve in Arizona.
TCU head coach Sonny Dykes was named the Walter Camp Coach of the Year. TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley won the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach.
And now TCU legend Davey O’ Brien finally has a teammate in a trophy room that bears his name.