Two years ago, noting the lengthy list of awards presented at the end of each college football season, Minnesota punter and placeholder Peter Mortell decided to create his own award to honor a position group he felt was overlooked.
Mortell created the Holder of the Year award. The inaugural winner? Himself.
Thus, the most (least?) coveted individual honor outside of the Heisman Trophy was born. Since graduating from Minnesota two years ago, Mortell has kept the tradition alive, naming semifinalists and, Tuesday, finalists for the award, which he has since named after himself.
One of the three finalists this season is Notre Dame reserve quarterback and holder Montgomery VanGorder.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, last season, Mortell said the criteria for the award, weighed by the “committee” (which is believed to be just Mortell) are quality of cadence, fluidity of hands (catch to hold), position of laces and post-hold celebrations.
Though the Mortell Award doesn’t have a lengthy history, it has already provided some memorable moments. Of course, Mortell presenting the award to himself — and later tweeting, “‘Your hands are slow, they said. ‘Your cadence has no rhythm,’ they said. This one’s for the state of Minnesota” — begot the prestige surrounding the award. Then, last season, the recipient, Michigan’s Garrett Moore, tweeted out a hilarious video of himself getting emotional while accepting the award.
— Garrett Moores (@gmoores11) December 9, 2016
We can only hope VanGorder is selected as this year’s recipient of the Mortell Award — and keeps the tradition alive by delivering a memorable acceptance.