Football Players Honored at UVA Banquet
December 6, 1998
CHARLOTTESVILLE–Safety Anthony Poindexter was named the University of Virginia’s Outstanding Defensive Player for the second consecutive year, and quarterback Aaron Brooks and tailback Thomas Jones shared UVa’s Outstanding Offensive Player award at the 1998 Virginia Football Banquet on Sunday (Dec. 6).
In addition, defensive end Patrick Kerney received the Colonel Frank C. McCue Award as Virginia’s Outstanding Interior Lineman; linebacker Wali Rainer received the Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice, dedication and enthusiasm; offensive tackle Robert Hunt received the John Polzer Award for ability, sportsmanship and character; and center John St. Clair received the Speed Elliott Award as UVa’s Most Improved Player.
Poindexter received the Ned McDonald Award as Virginia’s Outstanding Defensive Player. The senior from Forest, Va., earned first-team All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 1998 and was selected the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year despite missing the last four games with a knee injury. A two-time team captain, he earned first-team All-ACC honors for the third consecutive year. In seven games, Poindexter was in on 73 tackles (an average of 10.4 per game), intercepted three passes, recovered two fumbles and caused two fumbles. He was in on three quarterback sacks in 1998, the most ever by a UVa defensive back.
Brooks and Jones shared the Ben Wilson Award as Virginia’s Outstanding Offensive Players. Brooks, a senior from Newport News, Va., is a team co-captain. He started all 11 games at quarterback for the Cavaliers in 1998 and completed 156 of 290 passes (53.8 percent) for 2,319 yards and 12 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He also rushed for 227 yards and five touchdowns. Brooks passed for over 300 yards in three games and holds the UVa career record for 300-yard passing games with six.
Jones, a junior from Big Stone Gap, Va., earned first-team All-ACC honors after carrying the ball 238 times for 1,303 yards and 13 touchdowns in 1998. He averaged 5.5 yards a carry and led the conference in rushing. He also caught 28 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
UVa Football – 1st Add – December 6, 1998
Jones rushed for 100 or more yards in a game seven times during the 1998 season and rushed for over 200 yards in a game twice.
Kerney, a senior from Newtown, Pa., earned first-team All-America honors and was a first-team All-ACC selection in 1998. He was in on 62 tackles, including a UVa record-tying 15 quarterback sacks, to lead Virginia defensive linemen in tackles this fall. He led the ACC in quarterback sacks.
Rainer, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., was a first-team All-ACC selection and earned third-team All-America honors from the Football News in 1998. He led the Cavaliers in tackles with 134 and in passes broken up with nine. Rainer also had two interceptions, recovered two fumbles and caused one fumble. He ranks sixth on Virginia’s career tackles list with 347.
Hunt, a senior from Newport News, Va., started all 11 games at right tackle for the Cavaliers and earned first-team All-ACC honors, while St. Clair, a junior from Roanoke, Va., started 10 games. They helped anchor an offensive line that enabled Virginia to average 213.1 yards a game rushing and 213.5 yards a game passing for an average of 426.6 yards a game in total offense.
Virginia finished the 1998 regular season with an overall record of 9-2 and a 6-2 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers will participate in the 1998 Peach Bowl on December 31 in Atlanta., Ga.