TSN names Cutcliffe co-coach of year, Edwards freshman A-A

Dec. 13, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

Duke footballl coach David Cutcliffe on Friday was named The Sporting News Co-National Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.

In addition, Duke redshirt freshman safety/kick returner was named to The Sports News’ Freshman All-America Team as a kick returner.

Cutcliffe has led Duke to a school-record 10 wins, an ACC Coastal Division title, a berth in the ACC Championship game and a trip to face No. 21 Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. He was selected as the National Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation and is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson, Liberty Mutual and Bowden Coach of the Year Awards.

Malzahn, in his first year as Auburn’s head coach, resurrected a team with a losing record last season and has taken it to a berth in the BCS national championship game where the No. 2 Tigers will face undefeated and top-ranked Florida State.

Highlighting Duke’s historic 2013 season were an eight-game winning streak, 11 All-ACC selections, wins over two ranked opponents, a 5-0 record in road games and four straight weeks ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. The Blue Devils have qualified for bowls in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history and enter the postseason matchup against Texas A&M ranked No. 24 in the BCS rankings with a 10-3 record.

Cutcliffe is the second coach in school history to earn national coach of the year recognition, joining Fred Goldsmith who earned the Bobby Dodd Award in 1994.

Also the recipient of the 2013 ACC Coach of the Year award, Cutcliffe is the seventh coach in league history earn that honor in back-to-back seasons.

Edwards, who also received Walter Camp All-America second team honors and All-ACC second team recognition, ranks second nationally with 31.1 yards per kickoff return. He has returned 18 kickoffs for 559 yards, including two touchdowns covering 100 and 99 yards.

A 5-9, 185-pound safety, Edwards accounted for three touchdowns in Duke’s 38-20 win against N.C. State on Nov. 9, returning two interceptions for scores and a 100-yard kickoff return. His interception returns came on back-to-back plays and covered 25 and 45 yards.

Also a starter at safety since midway through the season, Edwards has logged 55 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups in six starts. He has reached double-digit tackles twice and secured the game-winning interception with 13 seconds remaining in Duke’s school-record 10th victory of the year at North Carolina on Nov. 30.

Edwards is the 25th Duke player to receive freshman all-America honors and the ninth to earn first team recognition. Duke has had a freshman all-America first team selection in three consecutive seasons and at least one freshman all-America choice in each of Cutcliffe’s six seasons as head coach.