FINALISTS - Gale Sayers Award

In the highlight reel age, we figured we should have an award for the most elusive skill player. Ironically it is named for a player who made his living quite some time before the highlight reel age. The award goes to the most elusive skill player in America - a guy that defenders just can't seem to wrap up. Obviously, having a strong highlight package will play into the voting.
2008 Winner - Jahvid Best (RB, California)

Last year's winner was dropped from consideration when he added one of the most gruesome injuries I have ever seen to his highlight reel. Best is a great player, but now I can't think about him without remembering that awful concussion he suffered after leaping into the end zone against Oregon State.

I have whittled the list of finalists down to the final five. Here is the pertinent info for each of them, in alphabetical order.

2009 Finalists:

A relative unknown on this list, Briscoe has been one of the best go-to receivers in the nation for the past couple seasons. He can make the big catch AND has the speed to take it the distance.
2009 Stats:
84 receptions for 1,337 yards (15.4 avg) and 9 touchdowns;
1 kickoff return touchdown;
1 rushing touchdown

MARDY GILYARD (Sr. WR, Cincinnati)
Gilyard has the knack for making his biggest plays when the team needs it most. See the 99-yard kickoff return for touchdown late in the first half when trailing by 21 against Pittsburgh on the last day of the regular season for evidence.
2009 Stats:
80 receptions for 1,150 yards (14.4 avg) and 11 touchdowns;
34 kickoff returns for 1,074 yards (31.6 avg) and 2 touchdowns;
16 punt returns for 202 yards (12.6 avg) and 1 touchdown

Sure, Kerley might not get nearly as many touches as the other guys on this list, but that only means he has a higher percentage of highlights per touch. The chances of Kerley winning the Sayers isn't high, but his punt return for touchdown against Colorado State this year is enough by itself to make him a finalist.
2009 Stats:
38 receptions for 467 yards (12.3 avg) and 2 touchdowns;
34 punt returns for 487 yards (14.3 avg) and 2 touchdowns;
17 kickoff returns for 457 yards (26.9 avg);
50 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns

JACQUIZZ RODGERS (Soph. RB, Oregon State)
You should probably get used to seeing Rodgers' name on the list of Finalists for the Sayers Award. Only a sophomore, Rodgers is already putting together quite a string of impressive plays and drawing comparisons to the one and only Barry Sanders.
2009 Stats:
255 carries for 1,377 yards (5.4 avg) and 20 touchdowns;
74 receptions for 509 yards (6.9 avg) and 1 touchdown;
1 passing touchdown

C.J. SPILLER (Sr. RB, Clemson)
I'm not the biggest Spiller fan in the world, but there is no way you can ignore his sheer athleticism. He practically defines what this award is about. When Spiller gets his hands on the ball in the open field, there isn't a defender alive (other than maybe Fred Smoot) who thinks he has a good chance at taking him down.
2009 Stats:
201 carries for 1,145 yards (5.7 avg) and 11 touchdowns;
21 kickoff returns for 708 yards (33.7 avg) and 4 touchdowns;
33 receptions for 445 yards (13.5 avg) and 4 touchdowns;
8 punt returns for 210 yards (26.3 avg) and 1 touchdown;
1 passing touchdown

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