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Greg Ward Jr. named Earl Campbell award winner

(Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was named the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award winner Wednesday night in Tyler, Texas.

With Ward behind center, Houston won the American Athletic Conference Championship and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl over No. 9 Florida State. The Cougars finished with a 13-1 record.

The junior became the first Houston quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, finishing the year with 1,108 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns to go with 2,828 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air. Ward ranked ninth nationally in completion percentage, completing 232 of 345 passes on the year, while throwing just six interceptions, seventh-best nationally among quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts.

The single-season quarterback rushing record was one of 14 Houston or American Athletic Conference records Ward broke this season. He also tied three others.

Ward ranked in the top 25 in five of the NCAA’s final recognized stat categories: completion percentage (ninth), points responsible for (12th), points responsible for per game (15th), rushing touchdowns (fifth) and scoring (25th).  He finished seventh nationally in scoring among non-kickers with 126 points.

Ward was a three-time American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, four-time American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll member, a Manning Award finalist, the American Championship MVP and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Offensive MVP.

Over the last two seasons, Ward is 19-2 as Houston's starting quarterback and ranks fifth in school history with 19 wins. He has won his last 14 starts.

Ward was one of five finalists for the award, joined by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Baylor’s Corey Coleman and TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.

In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas high school and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year D1 Texas college.