Thomas Jones Named Team's Outstanding Offensive Player At Football Banquet
Dec. 12, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.— Tailback Thomas Jones was named the University ofVirginia’s Outstanding Offensive Player for the second consecutive year,while defensive tackle Maurice Anderson was named the Outstanding DefensivePlayer at the 1999 Virginia Football Banquet on Sunday (Dec. 6).
Additionally, John St. Clair received the Colonel Frank C. McCue Award asthe team’s Outstanding Interior Lineman, linebacker Yubrenal Isabellereceived the Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice, dedication andenthusiasm, tight end Casey Crawford received the John Polzer Award forability, sportsmanship and character, and offensive tackle Brad Barnesreceived the Speed Elliott Award as UVa’s Most Improved Player. Widereceiver Billy McMullen won the Bill Dudley Award as Virginia’s MostOutstanding First-year Player.
Jones received the Ben Wilson Award as Virginia’s Outstanding OffensivePlayer. The senior from Big Stone Gap, Va., has capped a record-settingseason by becoming a consensus All-American. He led the ACC and finishedthird nationally in both rushing (1798 yards) and all-purpose yards (2054yards). Both marks also set Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference records.He finished his career first in school history with 3998 rushing yards,fourth in ACC history. Jones is the first player in 15 years to lead theACC in rushing in back-to-back seasons.
Anderson was honored for his play this season with the Ned McDonald Awardas the team’s Outstanding Defensive Player. A senior from Blackstone, Va.,Anderson stepped from out of the shadows of recent UVa stars Antonio Dingleand Patrick Kerney with an outstanding fall. He finished third on the teamwith 74 tackles, tops among UVa’s defensive linemen and third in schoolhistory by a defensive tackle. He also finished the season with fourquarterback sacks and seven tackles for loss. He had three games of 10+tackles, including a career-high 13 in the finale vs. Maryland.
St. Clair, a senior from Roanoke, Va., was instrumental in paving the wayfor Jones’ record-setting season. Named to several All-America teams inrecognition of this, he is Virginia’s first All-American center. He wasalso named first-team All-ACC and won the coveted Jacobs Blocking Trophy asthe ACC’s top blocker.
Isabelle, a junior middle linebacker from Bluefield, W.Va., fought throughpersonal tragedy in midseason to lead the team in tackling, averaging 8.7stops per game (78 tackles in nine games). He missed the Virginia Tech gamedue to the death of his mother, Deberah, who died three days before thegame. Isabelle also had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and causedone fumble. He had a career-high 14 tackles against both Clemson andBrigham Young, which was a team best this fall.
Crawford, a senior tight end from Fairfax, Va., missed five of the firstsix games of the season due to an injury, but provided the team with anadditional lift upon his return by catching 11 passes for 183 yards and atouchdown. He has been active in community service projects throughout hiscareer and was named to the American Football Coaches Association’s GoodWorks team for his off field activities.
Barnes, a junior from Tabb, Va., moved into the starting line-up in thespring and improved throughout the year. One of the offensive line’s mostconsistent performers, Barnes proved valuable by being able to play guardand both tackle spots. He was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Weekfor his play against N.C. State on Oct. 16 when Jones rushed for acareer-high 221 yards as the Cavaliers gained an important win on the road.
McMullen, a true freshman from Richmond, Va., came on strong toward the endof the season. He led the team with 483 receiving yards, while sharingreceiving honors with Kevin Coffey with 28 receptions. His six touchdowncatches trailed Coffey by one. McMullen broke Herman Moore’s rookie recordfor receptions and became the first freshman in school history to lead theteam in receptions and receiving yards. His touchdown catch vs. Marylandwith 26 seconds left to play clinched UVa’s 13th consecutive seven-winseason.
The Cavaliers concluded the regular season with a 7-4 record and tiedClemson and Georgia Tech for second in the ACC with a 5-3 league mark.Virginia faces Illinois in the 1999 Micronpc.com Bowl in Miami, Fla., onDec. 30.