Whittaker named CFPA 2011 Kickoff Returner Trophy winner
Jan. 12, 2012
Senior Texas Longhorns running back Foswhitt “Fozzy” Whittaker has been selected as the College Football Performance Awards Division I FBS 2011 Kickoff Returner Trophy winner, the CFPA has announced.
Whittaker becomes the third Longhorn in three consecutive seasons to earn national CFPA honors as Sam Acho was selected as the 2010 CFPA Defensive Lineman Trophy winner and Earl Thomas was selected as the CFPA Defensive Back Trophy winner in 2009.
Whittaker, from Pearland, Texas, was humbled and honored by his selection.
“It feels great,” Whittaker said. “Just knowing that I was able to contribute to my team and not necessarily let this award be based solely upon my performance or anything that I did, but basically giving credit to the other team guys that were out there blocking on the kickoffs and helping our team do whatever we needed to do to try to get a win in the game.
Whittaker set single game records for kickoff return yards (252) and kickoff return average (42.0) against Oklahoma State. He also had a career-high 286 all-purpose yards which ranks as the 10th most in a single game at Texas.
For the 2011 season, Whittaker was named to the All-Big 12 first team as a kick returner and was honorable mention for Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. He led the team with nine total touchdowns scored. He has 386 rushing yards and a team-high six rushing touchdowns on 66 carries, an average of 5.8 yards per rush. He caught 16 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown and returned 10 kickoffs for 424 yards and two touchdowns. He became just the fifth player in school history to score a rushing, receiving and kickoff/punt return for a touchdown in the same season.
Whittaker was a fifth-year running back who appeared in 38 games, starting 20, during his career. He carried the ball 263 times for 1,233 yards (4.7 ypc) and 12 TDs and added 73 receptions for 464 yards and was 2-for-3 passing for 40 yards for his career.
Whittaker earned his bachelor's degree in corporate communications in May '10 and is working towards a master's in general kinesiology. He is a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection (2009-11) and a six-time member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll.
In a letter to Whittaker, CFPA Executive Director Bradley C. Smith explained the criteria for the award.
“The goal of the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. CFPA recognizes weekly, annual, and multi-season (career) award recipients – selected based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams,” Smith wrote.
“After an extensive review of the existing data, literature, and evidence, it was determined that you finished the 2011 season with the strongest kickoff return performance in D-I FBS college football. As a result, your performance satisfies the strict criteria CFPA established for recognition.