Texas Native Bailey Zappe Wins 2021 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award
TYLER, Texas — WKU Football quarterback Bailey Zappe was named the winner of the 2021 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, it was announced at the annual banquet on Wednesday night. The Victoria, Texas, native is the ninth recipient of the award, which has been presented by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler since 2013.
Zappe is the second Hilltopper in the program’s FBS Era (since 2009) to win a national award, joining quarterback Brandon Doughty – who won the 2014 Sammy Baugh Award, which was presented annually by the Touchdown Club of Columbus to the nation’s top collegiate passer from 1959-2018.
Zappe was also named a Finalist for the Manning Award, as well as a Semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards. He was Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week four times and was voted the league’s Most Valuable Player by the 14 head coaches.
On November 15, Zappe became the first quarterback to accept an invitation to the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he will join fellow standouts North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Nevada’s Carson Strong and Liberty’s Malik Willis. On January 6, he accepted an invitation to participate in the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine where he and defensive end DeAngelo Malone will be ninth and 10th Hilltoppers to participate in the event.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division I who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college.
The eight previous winners were: Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (2013), TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2014), Houston quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. (2015), Texas running back D’Onta Foreman (2016), Oklahoma quarterbacks Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018), Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (2019) and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (2020).
The other four 2021 finalists were: UTSA junior running back Sincere McCormick, Baylor senior running back Abram Smith, Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn and Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Zappe was the first-ever finalist from Victoria, Texas.
The voting committee – co-chaired by Kirk Bohls and Austin Statesman, as well as Phil Hicks of the Tyler Morning Telegraph – included 44 broadcasters, commentators and journalists from across the country, as well as fans and the previous winners.