Inside the Article:
Ladies and gentlemen, the votes are in and Detroit Lions rookie EDGE Aidan Hutchinson has won the “Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year” award for the 2022 season. Hutchinson said that winning the award feels, “surreal.” “There were so many talented players in this rookie class, so it’s quite an honor for me to be named the 2022 Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year,” Hutchinson said via press release. “Considering some of the past Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year winners, taking home this award feels surreal, and I want to thank all the fans who believed in me and voted for me. It is amazing to see the support from fans week after week, and I am ready to start the offseason and get out there for an even better season next year.”
Why it Matters for Aidan Hutchinson and the Lions
Individual awards don't mean a ton in the big picture, but this is certainly an awesome honor for Hutchinson, as most believe New York Jets CB Sauce Gardner will win the NFL Rookie of the Year award. Hutchinson got off to a bit of a slow start to his career in Detroit, but he really flipped the switch as the season went on, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. In fact, Hutchinson was double-teamed more than any other pass rusher during the 2022 season.
Press Release from Pepsi
DETROIT LIONS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN AIDAN HUTCHINSON NAMED 2022 PEPSI® ZERO SUGAR NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Winner Selected by voting on www.nfl.com/voting/rookies/rookie-of-the-year
Detroit Lions defensive lineman AIDAN HUTCHINSON has been named the 2022 PEPSI ZERO SUGAR NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Pepsi and the NFL announced today. Hutchinson was recognized online at www.nfl.com/voting/rookies/rookie-of-the-year and was awarded a custom-designed, Pepsi Zero Sugar branded Rookie of the Year Trophy to celebrate his season.
The No. 2 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Hutchinson led all rookies with 9.5 sacks this season and became the first rookie since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with at least nine sacks and three interceptions (three). He also became the fourth player since 1982 with at least nine sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries (two) in a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer RICHARD DENT (1990), JOEY PORTER (2002) and OTIS WILSON (1985). In Week 2, Hutchinson recorded three sacks at 22 years and 40 days old and became the fourth-youngest player since 1982 to record three sacks in a game, trailing only VERNON MAXWELL (21 years and 321 days old in Week 2, 1983), NICK BOSA (22 years and four days old in Week 8, 2019) and GREG TOWNSEND (22 years and 24 days old in Week 13, 1983).
“There were so many talented players in this rookie class, so it’s quite an honor for me to be named the 2022 Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year,” said Hutchinson. “Considering some of the past Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year winners, taking home this award feels surreal, and I want to thank all the fans who believed in me and voted for me. It is amazing to see the support from fans week after week, and I am ready to start the offseason and get out there for an even better season next year.”
Hutchinson was one of six finalists nominated for the award. The other finalists were Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, Saints wide receiver Chris Olave, Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker, Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen.
The six finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2022 NFL season. Each week, six nominees were chosen for the Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Week and fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.
This is the 22nd year with Pepsi as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the 21st year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year award.
2022 PEPSI ZERO SUGAR NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
|Sauce Gardner||Cornerback||New York Jets|
|Aidan Hutchinson||Defensive Lineman||Detroit Lions|
|Chris Olave||Wide Receiver||New Orleans Saints|
|Kenneth Walker||Running Back||Seattle Seahawks|
|Garrett Wilson||Wide Receiver||New York Jets|
|Tariq Woolen||Cornerback||Seattle Seahawks|
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