2014 was an incredible year for TCU Athletics, and now it's time to determine who wins the 2014 TCU Athlete of the Year award. You'll find the poll at the bottom of the page. Before than, just below here, you'll find profiles for each of the four finalists.
Thanks to the 800+ of you who voted in the preliminary round to narrow it down to this point. Here's hoping that even more of you vote for the winner.
Finalists are listed in order of most preliminary votes received to least.
Trevone Boykin, TCU Football
Deuce Boogie entered 2014 as one of the biggest question marks on the Frogs' football team. He wound up being it's biggest exclamation mark. The transformation of Trevone Boykin verges on legendary, and should largely be credited to co-Offensive Coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie. After all, they installed the new offense, and instilled a new confidence in Boykin that showed from the first moment he stepped on the field.
However, most of the credit should go to Boykin himself. He understood that improvement was being demanded of him, because he was demanding it of himself. He cut out fast food and lost 15 pounds. Tell me, how many college kids do you know who would be able to do that?
He challenged himself in spring ball, and in summer practice, picking challenger Matt Joeckel's brain for information about how to excel in this new offense. The result? TCU single-season records for passing yards (3,901), passing touchdowns (33), total yards (4,608), and total touchdowns (41). He also may have set TCU single-season records for highlights, as he flipped not once....
....into TCU lore.
Boykin finished fourth in the Heisman voting, and
should will be a frontrunner in 2015. In the preliminary voting, Boykin received 32% of the total votes (267).
Cooper Robinson, TCU Swimming and Diving
Cooper Robinson is your typical darkhorse candidate. No one heard much about him throughout the year, but he has the stats to warrant being a finalist.
Robinson holds TCU records for the 100-and-200 back stroke, was named the team MVP for the 2013-14 season, and was named the Big 12 Swimmer of the Week in late November. He was also a part of the medley relay group that set a new TCU record in that event while competing at the Art Adamson Invitational in College Station, back on November 20, 2014.
Robinson, a senior, is looking to get back to the NCAA Championships for a second consecutive year. He received 19% of the total votes (156 votes) in the prelims.
Brandon Finnegan, TCU Baseball
Brandon Finnegan did something no other baseball player on the planet has ever done in 2014. That is, he pitched in a College World Series and MLB World Series in the same year. After a dominant spring, leading TCU baseball to their second College World Series appearance in four years, Finnegan was drafted No. 17 overall in the 2014 MLB Draft.
HIs unprecedented rise through the minor leagues resulted in a spot on the playoff roster for the Kansas City Royals, and led to several relief appearances in the World Series.
Finnegan, a junior, boasted a 9-3 record, and was third nationally in strikeouts (134) and K/9 (11.41). His 2.04 ERA was one of the best in the country, and he held opposing hitters to a .204 batting average against him. Finnegan finished third in preliminary voting with 18% (151 votes) of the total vote.
Paul Dawson, TCU Football
As important as Boykin was to TCU's offense, Paul Dawson was the leader of TCU's defense, which only improved throughout the season. Dawson was everywhere, all the time, and was the only player in the country to record over 100 tackles (136), six sacks and four interceptions.
Dawson recorded 9 or more total tackles in 10 games in 2014. His interception for a touchdown against Oklahoma gave TCU a lead they would never relinquish, and his interception against West Virginia, a nimble, sideline tiptoe, soft hands pick, set up a TCU touchdown that triggered the comeback win.
The wide-receiver converted into hard-hitting linebacker also recorded eight tackles against Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.
Dawson was named an AP First Team All-American, and received 12% (102 votes) of the total votes in the prelims.
So, those are your four finalists for the 2014 TCU Athlete of the Year Award! Voting begins now and runs through the weekend, with the winner being announced on Monday.
Vote below, and share about why you voted the way you did!