Hutchinson tops Mayo Clinic returning player semi-finalists

FILE - Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson rushes against Maryland in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, November 20, 2021, in College Park, Md.  Hutchinson was shortlisted for the Associated Press's All-Big Ten squad in the results released Tuesday, December 7, 2021. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, File)

FILE – Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson rushes against Maryland in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, November 20, 2021, in College Park, Md. Hutchinson was shortlisted for the Associated Press’s All-Big Ten squad in the results released Tuesday, December 7, 2021. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, File)

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Michigan pass runner Aidan Hutchinson, Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan and Baylor linebacker Terrel Bernard were among nine college football players selected as semi-finalists for the Returning Player of the Year award. from the Mayo Clinic.

The other semifinalists announced Thursday were West Virginia defensive lineman Taijh Alston; Johns Hopkins wide receiver Ryan Hubley; Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton; Utah quarterback Cameron Rising; Stetson defensive lineman Avery Samuels; and Kentucky linebacker JJ Weaver.

Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year winners are chosen by Top 25 AP voters, sports news directors and contributors to Touchdown Illustrated magazine.

Three winners and six honorable mentions will be announced on December 21, and donations of $ 30,000 will be made on their behalf to the general scholarship fund of each player’s school.

Winners will be honored at the Fiesta Bowl on January 1.

Hutchinson injured his ankle in Michigan’s first possession in Game 3 last season and missed the rest of the Big Ten’s abridged campaign. He returned this season to lead the Big Ten in the sacks with 14 1/2 and help Michigan reach the college football playoffs for the first time.

Coan broke his foot before last season while with Wisconsin and never played a stroke. He transferred with Notre Dame in the offseason and led the Irish to an 11-1 season, throwing 20 touchdown passes.

Bernard has been a mainstay of Baylor’s defense after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in November 2020. He lost 10 1/2 tackles, including 5 1/2 sacks, to the Big 12 Bears champions. .

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