Football Team Presents Annual Awards at Team Banquet
CHARLOTTESVILLE The University of Virginia football program presented the team awards for the 2008 season Saturday night (Jan. 24) at its annual team banquet. In addition, 20 fourth- and fifth-year players were recognized for their contributions to the football program throughout their careers.
Senior offensive tackle Eugene Monroe won the Colonel F.C. McCue Award as the outstanding interior lineman. Monroe was one of the top offensive linemen in the country this season and was named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He also received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the ACC, while being named first-team all-conference.
Senior tailback Cedric Peerman garnered the Ben Wilson Award as the team’s outstanding offensive player. He led the team in rushing for the second year in a row this season with a career-high 774 yards. He also caught 44 passes, tops among ACC running backs, and was named honorable mention All-ACC.
Senior outside linebacker Clint Sintim was the recipient of the Ned McDonald Award as the team’s outstanding defensive player. He led the team with 13 sacks and 16 tackles for loss this season. A second-team All-ACC selection, he was the nation’s leader in sacks by a linebacker for the second year in a row.
Senior inside linebacker Jon Copper was presented the Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice, dedication and enthusiasm. He recorded a team-leading 101 tackles this season and became the first Cavalier since 1984 to lead the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons.
Junior cornerback Vic Hall was presented with the John Polzer Award for ability, sportsmanship and character. He started all 12 games this season11 at cornerback and one at quarterback. He finished with a career-high 59 tackles, including three for loss. Hall also led the team in punt returns and was second in interceptions. Against Virginia Tech in his only start at quarterback, he rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior tight end John Phillips was named the recipient of the Speed Elliott Award as the most improved player. He was the next in a long line of tight ends to excel in Virginia’s system under Al Groh. He was second on the team with 48 receptions for 385 yards, figures that were the most by an ACC tight end. Phillips’ 48 receptions were more than double his career total prior to the season and are second most by a tight end in school history.
Defensive back Rodney McLeod received the Bill Dudley Award at the team’s most outstanding first-year player. As a true freshman, he played in nine games as a nickel back and on special teams.
Sophomore Raynard Horne received the George Welsh Special Teams Award for outstanding special teams play. A demon in kick coverage, he played a big role on four of the team’s six special teams units. He shared the team lead in tackles on kickoffs (seven) and punts (six).
Freshman wide receiver Javaris Brown won the inaugural Scout Team Player of the Year. A highly regarded receiver with a bright future, Brown excelled in replicating during practice the plays the Cavalier defense would see in the game on Saturdays.
The 20 fourth- and fifth-year players recognized were LB Antonio Appleby, LB Jon Copper, WR Maurice Covington, QB Scott Deke, TE Andrew Dewey, DE Alex Field, DE Jason Fuller, S Byron Glaspy, WR Cary Koch, OT Eugene Monroe, WR Kevin Ogletree, TE John Phillips, TB Cedric Peerman, TE Crutcher Reiss, PK Yannick Reyering, FB/ST Hall Simmons, LB Clint Sintim, OG Patrick Slebonick, OG Zak Stair and P John Thornton.