More banquet: Awards, GPAs, letterwinners
I'm milking Saturday night's football banquet for a fourth blog post, but there's a ton of things worth delving into ...
-- Awards. Skip Holtz used a different format from past years, with four awards each for the offense, defense and special-teams units -- an Iron Bull (MVP) award, plus the Effort Award, Crunch Award (big hitter) and Scout Team Player of the Year. On offense, senior receiver Dontavia Bogan got the Iron Bull, sophomore running back Demetris Murray got the Effort, senior running back Mo Plancher got the Crunch and freshman offensive lineman Austin Reiter got the Scout Team honor. Defensively, senior linebacker Jacquian Williams was the Iron Bull, redshirt freshman safety JaQuez Jenkins got the Effort (impressive for a non-starter), sophomore safety Jon Lejiste got the Crunch and sophomore linebacker Armando Sanchez got the Scout Team nod. And on special teams, Sanchez got the Iron Bull, senior fullback Richard Kelly got the Effort, sophomore tight end Andreas Shields got the Crunch and freshman safety-now-linebacker Reshard Cliett got the Scout Team honor. Senior center Sampson Genus also got the Golden Bull award for his weight-room prowess.
-- Academics. The biggest honor went to special-teams ace Armando Sanchez, the linebacker from St. Petersburg, who pulled off a 4.0 grade-point average for the fall semester. But Holtz took the time to call out the actual fall GPAs for all football players who got a 2.5 or higher (my instinct is to set the bar higher for public praise, but I understand). I'll share the top 10 -- Sanchez at 4.0, Maikon Bonani at 3.75, Chaz Hine at 3.75, Evan Landi at 3.75, Joel Miller at 3.71, Jake Sims at 3.55, Sampson Genus 3.51, T.J. Knowles 3.50, Chris Lane 3.49, Andrew Ketchel 3.44.
Holtz said there were 8 with 3.5 or higher, another 17 with 3.0 or higher and 30 with 2.5 or higher for the fall, though that also means the other half of the team didn't make that cut.
-- Letterwinners: Another new wrinkle, announcing the 62 players who earned letters in 2010, showed the relative youth of this Bulls team. Of the 62 letterwinners, just eight were fourth-year letterwinners and nine were third-year letterwinners, which is to say that the other 45 were in either their first or second season as regular contributors. There were only eight scholarship players who didn't redshirt this season and still didn't earn a letter -- four on the offensive line in Damien Edwards, Steven Jacques, John McGhin (who was injured much of the year) and Darren Powe, along with fullback Chase Griffiths, receivers Derrick Hopkins and T.J. Knowles and defensive tackle Demi Thompson.
-- Few other notes -- walk-on receiver Tyler Stowell, who played sparingly in three seasons but was mentioned last year for a spring-break mission he took to Costa Rica, was listed as a redshirt sophomore this past season but was recognized with the seniors at the banquet. Best of luck to the Northside Christian graduate. ... USF's official site has a photo gallery from the banquet, worth the click for the fashion alone. Among the boldest-dressed Bulls was Jacquian Williams, who pulled off the red blazer; Sam Barrington sported a red bow tie, Jerrell Young a purple vest and Dontavia Bogan a purple shirt. ... Name that came up most in the video interviews with outgoing seniors shown during the banquet? David Lane, the team's longtime chaplain, who players consistently thanked for his counsel and guidance in their time with the Bulls.