Congratulations to Tennessee senior defensive end Kyle Phillips on winning SB Nation’s fourth edition of the Piesman Trophy — our award for a lineman who does something truly special with the ball in his hands. Phillips’ winning play came on the third Saturday in October against Alabama, when he turned an interception into a brilliant touchdown.
You can watch Phillips’ acceptance speech here:
He joins previous winners Ashton Henderson of Southeastern Lousiana. Brian O’Neill of Pitt, and Brock Riggs of Heidelberg. As the Piesman winner, Phillips gets all the glory associated with this honor, as well as the literal Piesman Trophy, which we make new each year.
Spiffy, isn’t it?
Phillips emerged from a nationwide field that included dozens of candidates, which we narrowed to 11 nominees at the end of the year.
A fan and media vote produced five finalists on our big ballot. You can see every final nominee there.
Phillips beat out these four finalists to win the award:
- This touchdown catch by Iowa defensive lineman Sam Brincks:
- This fumble-return TD by UAB defensive lineman Garrett Marino:
- This runback by Incarnate Word defensive lineman Darrius Montgomery:
- And this acrobatic pick by Vanderbilt’s Louis Vecchio:
We loved all of these nominees. Phillips’ pick rose above the pack.
It came against Bama. He almost got tackled five different times. He showed incredible coordination to catch the ball while engaged with an offensive lineman and tremendous determination to get himself into the end zone from 27 yards out.
If you voted on the Piesman this year or followed along with the race at all, thanks so much for being part of this award.
We think it’s fun, and that’s all thanks to the players making the plays and the folks who make sure to celebrate them with us. We appreciate you.