Zach Charbonnet put up award-worthy numbers Saturday, and now he has the hardware to go along with them.
The UCLA football running back earned the Maxwell Award Player of the Week on Wednesday, crediting him for his performance in the Bruins' 44-10 win over Hawaii last weekend. Charbonnet posted 106 yards and three touchdowns on six carries, in addition to one reception that went for 14 yards, in his UCLA debut.
Getting the third-most touches in the backfield behind Brittain Brown and Keegan Jones didn't stop Charbonnet from crossing the 100-yard threshold for the third time in his collegiate career and first time since he did so with Michigan on Oct. 12, 2019. Charbonnet surely would have got more touches if the game had been a little closer, but his chunk plays and big scores were some of the main reasons UCLA ran away with it to begin with.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football, while the organization's Player of the Week Award is presented by Pro Football Focus and The Athletes' Corner based on overall performance on offense, defense or special teams in a given game. Nine of the 14 weekly awards in 2020 went to quarterbacks, while Alabama's Najee Harris and Buffalo's Jarret Patterson were the only ball-carriers to win it.
Charbonnet averaged 5.1 yards per carry and 47.2 yards per game in two seasons at Michigan, but he more than doubled those figures one game into his career as a Bruin.
Two of Charbonnet's new teammates – linebacker Bo Calvert and offensive guard Atonio Mafi – have shown their support for his early-season Heisman Trophy campaign when talking to the media Monday and Wednesday.
The reigning Maxwell Award Player of the Week from the end of the 2020 season was LSU quarterback Max Johnson, who will make the start against UCLA on Saturday. Johnson threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns against Florida in Week 14, leading the Tigers to an upset win on the road.