Winner of Earl Campbell Tyler Rose award announced

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Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:10 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:49 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe, a graduate student from Victoria, Texas, is this year’s recipient of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose award.

A trophy designed in the likeness of the award’s NFL legend namesake was presented to Zappe at an awards banquet held at Willowbrook Country Club in Tyler.

The invite-only event was emceed by CBS Sports football analyst Brian Jones.

“Well, coming out of high school I only had one offer and that was Houston Baptist, you know back then that was my QB coach was Coach Reeve and Coach Uni. They took a chance on me and gave me my only offer so that’s kind of how I first got to Houston Baptist. Then going into my sophomore year was when they kind of went in a new direction with an offense, that’s when they brought Coach Kitley in. He kind of went from there he got the job at WKU my senior year and I decided why not follow him and see how it works and it worked out,” Zappe told KLTV Sports Director Michael Coleman.

Did winning tonight affirm to him he was on the right track?

“Yes sir, 100% when at night I sat up there it’s a dream come true, something I’ll never forget. I wish Earl, Mr. Earl was able to be here to be able to hold him, hold his trophy and do that, you know, as a Texas kid growing up playing football here he’s an idol. It’s a role model for all of us to go to be able to win. This is special,” he said.

The other 2021 finalists included junior UTSA running back Sincere McCormick of Converse, senior Baylor running back Abram Smith of Abilene, sophomore Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn of Round Rock, junior Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson of Austin.

Held annually in Tyler, Campbell’s hometown, the award program recognizes the most outstanding NCAA Division I offensive player who exhibits characteristics and values embodied by the hall of famer.

Presented by SPORTyler, the City of Tyler, and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was created in 2012. Each year, a selection committee reviews nominees who meet 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 Division I Texas college.

Past recipients include Bryce Petty; Trevone Boykin; Greg Ward, Jr.; D’Onta Foreman; Baker Mayfield; Kyler Murray; J.K. Dobbins; and Kyle Trask.

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