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Three Dudley nominees announced; award for state's best college football player will be presented in April
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Three Dudley nominees announced; award for state's best college football player will be presented in April

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The Dudley Award has resided in Charlottesville for the past three seasons. The next winner will have to wait a little while longer to hear his name called, though.

The award, which honors the best football player in the state each year, is traditionally given out in December.

However, this year, a number of state colleges are playing spring football seasons, leading to the decision to delay voting on the award until April, when all teams have had the opportunity to compete.

The Lanier Award for best small-college player also will be awarded at that time, and the Touchdown Club of Richmond will present its annual awards for players and coaches of the year.

The three state schools that played fall seasons have made their nominations.

UVA boasts the last three winners, with Micah Kiser taking the award in 2017, and Bryce Perkins winning back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.

This year, the Cavaliers’ nominee is Charles Snowden, a senior linebacker who could have turned pro after his junior year, but opted for one more season with the Wahoos.

He dominated competition early in the season, with 44 tackles, 10 for losses, six sacks, three pass deflections and a forced fumble in his first eight games, before his season was cut short by an ankle injury.

Even missing part of the season, he was named second-team all-ACC.

Snowden was initially a basketball prospect in high school, and his only Division I football offer was from Virginia.

Virginia Tech is nominating running back Khalil Herbert. Herbert will attempt to break a Dudley-less streak for the Hokies that dates to 2011, when running back David Wilson took home the prize.

Herbert led the nation with 1,791 all-purpose yards this season, including a Tech record 357 yards against Duke in October.

He picked up 1,182 of those yards rushing, and was named third-team all-ACC as a running back.

Herbert finished second in the conference with 7.68 yards per carry.

Liberty has never had a Dudley winner, but the Flames had the state’s best record this season, and their nominee this year had a big hand in that.

Quarterback Malik Willis led Liberty to a 10-1 record in the shortened season, ending with a dramatic bowl victory over Coastal Carolina.

Willis, a dual-threat quarterback who transferred to Liberty from Auburn, scored 20 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns during the regular season, and after adding three in the bowl game, he holds the Liberty records for touchdowns in a season (33) and rushing yards in a season (855).

In the air, he finished with 2,260 yards and a passer rating of 156.2, completing 64.2% of his throws.

Willis led the Flames to upset victories over ACC foes Syracuse and Virginia Tech as part of a 9-0 start to the season.

mphillips@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6546

Twitter: @michaelpRTD

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