Malzahn speaks at Columbus area high school football awards - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Malzahn speaks at Columbus area high school football awards

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Gus Malzahn made a stop in Columbus Thursday morning, the week before Auburn can begin bowl preparation for the national title game against Florida State.

The Tigers' head coach was speaking at the fifth annual Columbus Valley Area High School Football Awards Luncheon.

For the former Hughes (Ark.) High School coach, this took him back to his roots.

"This is right down my alley," Malzahn said. "I'm an old high school coach, been to banquets like this, and this is a big deal. It's a big deal for coaches, it's a big deal for players, it's a big deal for parents, and congratulations to them all here."

Immediately after speaking to the assembled players, Malzahn left town for the Home Depot awards presentation, where he will be presented with the Coach of the Year honor. With bowl preparations beginning next week, the head coach has yet to really prepare for Florida State.

"We have plenty of time for that," he said. "Our coaches, some of them have already started on that. The rest of the time, we're just trying to wrap up this week."

It will be a busy week. Along with Malzahn's award, running back Tre Mason will be in New York on Saturday for the Heisman Trophy presentation. That, combined with the extra week due to the SEC championship game, has Malzahn—in true head coach fashion—a little worried.

Not a lot, just a bit.

"We're a little behind with recruiting because we had the SEC championship last week, so we're trying to play catch-up with that," he said. "With everything else, the awards are coming, the Heisman, [we're] just trying to balance all that right now."

2013 Columbus Valley Area High School Football Awards:

Wendy's Middle School Player of the Year – Leonard Hill, Arnold Middle School

Sportsvisions Coach on the Rise – Jerry Dukes, Kendrick

CB&T Outstanding Player – Jawon Pass, Carver

Wallace Davis Special Teams Player of the Year – A.J. Wells, Marion County

AFLAC Student-Athlete of the Year – Jailyn Trice, Columbus

Chick-fil-A Offensive Player of the Year – Daryl Dunlap, Troup

St. Francis Hospital Defensive Player of the Year – Rashaan Evans, Auburn

Hilton Garden Inn Coach of the Year – Mike Swaney, Marion County

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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