Maxwell Award; Davey O’Brien Trophy
Despite not winning the Heisman, Peyton Manning won all the other important awards. Manning took home the Maxwell Award, which is also given annually to the nation’s best player, and he took home the Davey O’Brien Trophy, which goes to the best quarterback in the nation.
There are other awards with stipulations he won. Among those are the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the best quarterback among upperclassmen. He also won the Campbell Trophy, which combines success in academics and athletics. Simply put, he swept the awards outside of the Heisman that year.
Manning had the greatest solo season in Tennessee football history in 1997. Choosing to return for his senior campaign, he completed 287 of 477 passes (60.2 percent) for 3,819 yards (8 yards per attempt), 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Just as a pocket passer, he has the total offense record still for the Vols in yards and touchdowns.
Hendon Hooker approached Manning’s records this year in total offense, as Joshua Dobbs did in 2016, but Manning still holds those honors. His pure passing stats are still untouched. Add in the fact that he led the Vols to the SEC Championship, and it’s clear why he swept these awards and should’ve won the Heisman.