TREADWELL EARNS SEC HONOR: Mississippi freshman wide receiver and Crete-Monee graduate Laquon Treadwell became the first Ole Miss football player in program history to be named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year when the league announced its individual award winners Wednesday, as voted on by the SEC coaches.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Treadwell ranked third among SEC players with 5.6 receptions per game. Treadwell broke the Ole Miss freshman records for receptions (67), receiving yards (557) and touchdown catches (5) in a season. He leads all SEC freshmen in catches, receiving yards and TD receptions. He ranks fourth among freshmen nationally in receptions per game.
Treadwell's 67 catches entering the Rebels' Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl appearance are 10 shy of the school single-season record. He established a school freshman record with nine catches in his Rebel debut at Vanderbilt and matched that total again in the regular-season finale at Mississippi State.
T.F. SOUTH GRAD MAKES ALL-AMERICA: Aurora University senior tight end and T.F. South grad Ryan Mizgate was named a 2013 second-team All-American by Beyond Sports Network.
Mizgate was named a 2013 D3football.com third-team all-region tight end and to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference first-team all-conference. In his final season with the Spartans, Mizgate set an AU single-season record with 50 catches for 817 yards and seven touchdowns.
WINSTON TAKES HOME TWO AWARDS: Jameis Winston walked away with another major award Thursday night, the latest national prize to put on his mantle.
The Florida State star won the Davey O'Brien Award as the country's top quarterback at the annual College Football Awards Show at Disney. Winston also won the Walter Camp player of the year award in a separate announcement.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won the Maxwell Award for player of the year, and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald took home two big prizes: the Chuck Bednarik Award for defensive player of the year and the Outland Trophy as most outstanding interior lineman. The Doak Walker Award went to Andre Williams of Boston College as the nation's best running back.
Other award winners were Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard (Jim Thorpe Award for top defensive back), Oregon State junior receiver Brandin Cooks (Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver), Memphis senior Tom Hornsey (Ray Guy Award for top punter) and Florida State freshman Roberto Aguayo (Lou Groza Award for best place kicker).
THOMAS IS SAINTS' MAN OF THE YEAR: T.F. South graduate Pierre Thomas has been named the New Orleans Saints 2013 Man of the Year, and the Saints have nominated him for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given annually by the NFL, honoring a player's volunteer and charity work as well as his excellence on the field.
Since his rookie season, Thomas has remained one of the most consistently reliable Saints players participating in multiple team community events each year, including school visits, hospital visits, holiday food and toy drives, NFL-sanctioned events, team corporate partner events, local community events and teammate foundation events.
His charitable foundation, iCan Foundation, was founded to help educate people about the issues of childhood obesity. Each summer Thomas gives a free camp through the iCan Foundation at T.F. South High School. Last summer he donated money to buy new uniforms for the Rebels varsity football team.
CHARGERS STUN BRONCOS: Phillip Rivers outplayed Peyton Manning and the San Diego Chargers sprung a 27-20 upset Thursday night over the Denver Broncos.
Rivers threw for 166 yards and two scores to Keenan Allen and kept the Chargers' offense on the field for nearly 39 minutes.
Stuck on the sideline most of the night, Manning ended up with 289 yards and only two touchdowns. The Broncos (11-3) fell at home in the regular season for the first time in 14 games.
Around the horn
Purdue Calumet women's basketball coach Tom Megyesi is the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... An auction company says Michael Jordan's shoes from the famous flu game of the 1997 NBA finals have sold for $104,000. ... Cleveland Melvin scored 19 points, and DePaul beat the Florida Atlantic Owls 81-70 on Thursday night, giving the Blue Demons their 1,400th win in program history.