The choice for Men's College Player of the Year was a tough one, because many of the candidates played in the spring, but took time off in the fall, or had already graduated.
At RUGBYMag.com we judge the candidates mostly from the spring, 2013 season, but we do take into account other play. So if a player made a national team, or played for a club in 7s, or, naturally, with their college in the fall, then that all factors in.
Certainly several of the candidates for College Player of the Year had a later impact for the Eagles or USA Selects: Cam Dolan (Life) and Nick Wallace (St. Mary's) both played well for the Eagles.
Danny Barrett (Cal) didn't make the full Eagles because he was injured, but for Cal and the USA Selects he had big moments. Kyle Sumsion was a star for Varsity Cup-winning BYU. Madison Hughes (Dartmouth) will probably win this award eventually. Gerhard Veit (Central Florida) helped carry his team to a national title, Morgan Findlay (Lindenwood) almost did, Joe Cowley was excellent in the 15s season and at the CRC 7s invitational, as was Jack McAuliffe for Navy, and Hoseki Kofe continued his form for BYU, as did Ryan Roundy, and there are still more candidates.
In the end we chose Cal's Seamus Kelly because he was the most consistently great. He scored the dramatic try to tie the Varsity Cup final before BYU's Johnny Linehan hit the winning drop goal. He was MVP for the CRC (beating out Barrett and Cowley), and started for the Eagles.
Kelly's skills are myriad. He is smart, can lead a backline, is an excellent defender at center, and very strong over the ball in the rucks. It is his skill in the breakdown that can be overlooked, but will stand him in good stead in his future.
And we haven't even discussed his attacking acumen, which is as good as anyone's.
RUGBYMag's Men's College Player of the Year is Seamus Kelly.