Rules For Voting

The Jet Award Voting

The Jet Award Voting Selection Process

The voting process for the Jet Award is as follows:

1.) Midseason Watch List: At the mid-season point of the college football season, a watch list will be compiled. This watch list will include the best kickoff and punt returners in the game. The list will be sent out to a panel of voters. These voters will consist of individuals who have expertise and knowledge in college football.

2.) Finalist Selection: Once the regular season ends, the list of candidates will be narrowed down to three finalists. This selection will be based on the votes received from the panel of voters. The three finalists will be those who received the highest number of votes and are deemed to have had the most outstanding performances in kickoff and punt returns during the season.

3.) Winner Announcement: The winner of the Jet Award will be announced after the College Football National Title Game. This announcement will be made public, and the recipient of the award will be recognized for their exceptional performance as a kickoff or punt returner during the season at the annual Jet Award Gala.


To be considered for the Jet Award, players must meet the following qualifications: 

1.) Division 1 College Football Team Member: Players must be a member of a Division 1 college football team. This ensures that only players from the highest level of collegiate competition are eligible for the award.
2.) Primary Return Specialist: Players must serve as the primary kickoff or punt returner for their team. This means that they are specifically designated and utilized by their team to return kickoffs or punts. Being the primary return specialist demonstrates their importance and impact in the return game.
3.) National Leaders in Return Categories: Players must be among the national leaders in return categories. This means that they should have exceptional statistics and performance in terms of yards gained, touchdowns scored, average yards per return, or other relevant return categories. Their statistics should reflect their ability to make a significant impact in the return game.
4.) Leadership, Courage, Desire, Respect for Authority, and Discipline: In addition to their on-field performance, players must also demonstrate certain qualities off the field. These qualities include leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority, and discipline. These attributes are important in recognizing the overall character and sportsmanship of the players.
The Jet Award recognizes exceptional contributions by primary return specialists, their statistical achievements, and their display of leadership and positive character traits.

Award Presentation

The first round of voting will be conducted in late September and early October. From that first round of votes, the list of 12 semifinalists will be created and released at the end of October. The second round of voting will take place in mid-October to form the list of four finalists.  A final vote in early December to determine the winner and the decision is announced at the Jet Award Presentation.

Damon Benning

Damon Benning, (Lead Voting Panelist) was a four year letterman who helped lead the Huskers to back-to-back national titles. He finished his career carrying the pigskin 270 times for a total of 1,562 yards. Benning also caught the ball 12 times for a total of 134 yards and returned 32 kickoffs for 770 yards. He finished his Husker career with 2,625 all-purpose yards. Due to his outstanding career, Benning was signed as a free-agent by the Carolina Panthers in 1997. Currently Benning focuses his attention on The Sharp & Benning in the Morning on 1620 The Zone.

The Jet Award Voting Panel

Consists of a group of experts and professionals in college football, will convene to decide on the winner. They will review the performances of the three finalists and consider various factors such as statistics, impact on games, and overall skill level. After careful deliberation, the voting panel will determine the recipient of the Jet Award.

Media Voters

Tom Fornelli, CFB Reporter for CBS Sports
Bryan Fischer, National CFB Writer for Fox Sports
Brett McMurphy, Covers CFB for The Action Network
Phil Steele, Phil Steele's College Football Preview
Max Olson, National College Football Writer for The Athletic
Adam Rittenberg, Senior CFB Writer for
Blair Kerkhoff, CFB Reporter for KC Star
Scott Dochterman, Covers Iowa and Big Ten for The Athletic
Sam McKewon, Sports Editor and Columnist for Omaha World-Herald
Damon Benning, Former Husker I-Back and Two time national champion
Shehan Jeyarajah, National CFB Writer for CBS Sports
Brett Ciancia, Creator of Pick Six Previews
Paul Myerberg, covers CFB for USA Today

Media Voting Panel