The Corbett Award
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and named in honor of the late James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. At the time of his death, Mr. Corbett was the Athletic Director at Louisiana State University. These awards are presented annually to the most outstanding amateur male and female athletes in the State of Louisiana. The Corbett recipients are selected each year by members of the N.O. Sports Hall of Fame Committee, based on nominations submitted by the state's sportswriters, sportscasters and sports information directors.
Corbett Award Honorees are Repeat Winners
For the first time in the history of the Corbett Award, both the male and female honorees are repeat winners. LSU star Leonard Fournette, who became the first high school athlete to win the Corbett Award in 2013-14, earns the honor after his standout sophomore campaign for the Tiger football team. On the women's side, UL-Lafayette slugger Lexie Elkins wins the honor for the second year in a row, becoming the second female to win the Corbett Award in back-to-back years.
Any reference to repeat winners of the Corbett Award has to begin with former LSU basketball star Seimone Augustus, who was recognized four straight years (2003-2006). Other multiple-time winners are Kimberlyn Duncan (LSU Track, 2010-11, 2012-13), Shaquille O'Neal (LSU Basketball, 1991, 1992), Rodney Milburn (Southern Track, 1971, 1973) and Pete Maravich (LSU Basketball, 1968-69).
If Fournette approaches his 2015 accomplishments, he will likely be the favorite for next year's Corbett. The sophomore sensation rushed for 212 yards and scored five touchdowns in LSU's bowl victory over Texas Tech to close his season with a school-record 1,953 rushing yards. His final rushing total allowed him to become the first LSU player in history to lead the nation in rushing and the first SEC player to accomplish the feat since 1949. He was named first-team All-SEC and first-team All-America after setting another LSU record with 22 touchdowns while rushing for 200 yards four times and 100 yards 10 times. In addition to being tabbed as a Doak Walker Award finalist, he was named the Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The Corbett Award caps an impressive career of accomplishments for Elkins. She was a three-time All-American, including first team as a junior and senior and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She was also one of four finalists for the Honda Award for softball, which recognizes the best in the nation in each sport. In 2016, Elkins became the first Ragin' Cajun to finish a season with a .500-plus average (.509). She led the nation in batting average, slugging percentage (1.130) and home runs per game (0.51), which powered the No. 1 home run hitting (1.96 per game) and slugging (.622) team in Division I. In addition, Elkins launched 19 home runs, knocked in 49 runs, scored 42 times and drew 28 free passes for a .607 on-base percentage.