Historical perspective portrays impressive sweep

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On Thursday, the Big East announced the league football awards and UC pulled off a sweep of the top three awards.

Coach Butch Jones won Coach of the Year, Isaiah Pead was named Offensive Player of the Year and DT Derek Wolfe tied for Defensive Player of the Year.

If you take a look back at the recent history of the awards in the conference, the significance of the individual and collective effort is all the more impressive for UC.

First off, the three awards have never been given to the same school since UC joined the Big East in 2005. It hasn't been done in the history of the Big East since the great 2001 Miami team where QB Ken Dorsey shared the award with BC's William Green, the Hurricanes' Ed Reed shared with Syracuse's Dwight Freeney and Larry Coker won Coach of the Year as the team went 12-0.

The first thought that came to mind when I heard about Pead and Wolfe in particular earning the honor was the reputation that comes along with the award, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

I've talked so much about Wolfe you all probably think I'm his agent, but take a look at the people who have been a part of the DPOY award in this conference. Tell me if you think his NFL future is bright.

Here's the list along with the draft selection and current NFL status:

Year   Player                          Draft       Current Team
2010  DE Jabaal Sheard, Pitt   Rd2/37   Cleveland   
2009t DT Mick Williams, Pitt   ----------------------------
2009t DE Greg Romeus, Pitt   Rd7/226  New Orleans
2008  LB Scott McKillop, Pitt  Rd5/146  Waived this preseason (2010ACL)
2007  DE George Selvie, USF Rd7/226   Jacksonville
2006  DE H.B. Blades, Pitt     Rd6/179   2007-10 Redskins/waived this year
2005  DE Elvis Dumervil, Lou  Rd4/126   Broncos

All but one of the players to win the award since the Big East transformed in 2005 have gone on to play multiple years in the NFL. Dumervil would be the most accomplished, having developed into one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. Sheard has turned in a nice rookie season for the Browns while Romeus, McKillop, Selive and Blades all put in time and found a niche at one point somewhere.

The list of former Big East Offensive POYs doesn't quite read like a laundry list of All-Pros, but it's select company in its own right. In fact, Pead makes it the fourth consecutive year the award has gone to a running back.

All three were drafted and are still in the league.

Year   Player                             Draft       Current Team
2010  RB Jordan Todman, Conn  Rd6/183  San Diego (practice squad)
2009  RB Dion Lewis, Pitt           Rd5/149  Philadelphia
2008  RB Donald Brown, Conn    Rd1/27    Indianapolis

Pead will make it four in a row drafted this year. For the record Donald Brown has developed into the top running back this season for the Colts, as hapless as they are. Dion Lewis hasn't seen the field much sitting behind LeSean McCoy.

Still, all have entered the league talented enough to have a chance. Pead will have that. And judging by his resume here, that means this award could be the first of many. 

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