The Football Fever: Lattimore follows Bosa as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The future is bright in the Big Easy as New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore won the top rookie awards.

In a year featuring outstanding rookie running backs, Kamara, third-round draft pick out of Tennessee, beat another third-rounder, Kansas City's Kareem Hunt, for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Kamara, selected 19 spots ahead of Hunt, received 28 votes to 21 for Hunt. Houston rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, despite playing in only seven games before a season-ending knee injury, got the other vote.

"You get caught up in the season, you don't really get time to pat yourself on the back,'' Kamara said. "But when the season is over you realize what you've done. I've kind of had to time to look back and say, I made some history this season.''

Kamara shared duties with veteran Mark Ingram as the Saints won the NFC South with an 11-5 record. He rushed for 728 yards with a 6.1-yard average and scored eight times. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards, with 5 touchdowns.

No rookie had more impact on his NFL team this season than Lattimore, who won the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The 11th overall draft pick and first from his position selected, Lattimore was a shutdown defender for the Saints

The Ohio State product had five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 13 games, was a sure tackler and, by midseason, was someone opposing quarterbacks tended to avoid.

He missed three games, one because of a concussion and two with an ankle injury.

Lattimore got 45 votes, far ahead of Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White with four and San Francisco 49ers LB Reuben Foster with one.

The Saints are the first team to sweep the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards since the 1967 Lions with Mel Farr and Lem Barney.

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