Dec. 13, 2013
All-American Chris Davis waits to return a punt in warmups befor the SEC title game (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
NEW YORK -- Auburn's comeback season has caught the fancy of football fans most everywhere, and now has helped tailback Tre Mason and punt returner/defensive back Chris Davis win All-American honors from The Sporting News, which named Gus Malzahn its national coach of the year Friday.
Those three helped Auburn to a 12-1 record and a spot in the BCS Championship Game against Florida State on Jan. 6.
Malzahn picked up a different national coach of the year honor Thursday night in Orlando after being named the Home Depot's top coach nationally. He's in line for others. He shared the Sporting News honor with Duke's David Cutcliffe.
Mason, who is in New York this weekend as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, has rushed for 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns, He was named the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year by the league coaches and the Associated Press.
Davis leads the SEC in punt returns, but will be best remembered as the player who returned a missed field goal 109 yards to beat Alabama on the final play of the game. That return was named the play of the year during the college awards show on ESPN.
"That one play kind of changed my life. They say I'll always be remembered here in Auburn, and I think that's an honor," Davis said last Sunday.
Davis won All-American honors from The Sporting News as a punt returner since there is no award for field goal returns for a touchdown that beats your biggest rival.
Also, Athlon named Mason second-team All-American and center Reese Dismukes third-team All-American.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine