While the gloomy conditions and heavy rain fell outside the Arsht Center on Saturday, the brightness of the NFL’s top stars shined inside during the ninth annual NFL Honors award show.
South Florida didn’t have much to cheer about over the course of the 2019 season – the byproduct of a Miami Dolphins team that finished with a 5-11 record – the area had much to cheer about during the awarding of the top players and moment from the season.
The highlight of the night game from Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Boynton Beach native Lamar Jackson, who was honored as the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Jackson, who shined at the University of Louisville before being drafted in 2018, completed his second pro season by bringing home the league’s Most Valuable Player award – a big reward for throwing for over 3,100 yards passing and a league high 36 touchdowns to go along with a league high for quarterbacks with 1,200 rushing yards.
South Florida was also represented among the award winners when quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was cut from the Miami Dolphins after seven seasons and led the Tennessee Titans to the AFC title game and won the Comeback Player of the Year.
Former St. Thomas Aquinas star and current San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year, winning the same award his brother Joey won for the 2016 season.
For his off the field work, former Miami Hurricanes star and current Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell was named the league’s Walter Payton Man of The Year award.
Three former players with South Florida ties got the ultimate honor when they were named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The big name was former Miami Hurricanes star running back Edgerrin James, who starred for 11 seasons in the NFL and joins former ‘Canes head coach Jimmy Johnson in this year’s class.
Two players who spent their high school careers in Broward County – former Dillard star receiver Isaac Bruce and former Coral Springs offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson – were also selected while former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas missed the cut.
The Dolphins did have one thing go their way as the team was honored with the clutch play award for their fake field goal in the team’s December 1st win over the Philadelphia Eagles.