The Wisconsin football program held its annual team banquet on Friday and honored 16 different Badgers for a variety of awards.
Running back Montee Ball and wide receiver Jared Abbrederis were named offensive MVPs, capping a stellar two days for the former, who was named the recipient of the Doak Walker Award on Thursday night. On the other side of the ball, linebackers Chris Borland and Mike Taylor were named defensive MVPs.
Other awards included Rookie of the Year (fullback Derek Watt), special teams MVP (running back Kyle Zuleger) and two coaches' appreciation awards. For the Wayne Souza Coaches' Appreciation award on offense -- "presented in honor of former player Wayne Souza to an offensive player based on improvement, attitude and willingness to help the program" -- quarterback Curt Phillips and running back James White were honored. As a fan, this might be my favorite group of award winners -- Phillips' perserverance through four years of injuries paid off in his first career starts and a chance to win the program's first Rose Bowl since 2000, while White kept a fantastic attitude despite being overshadowed by Ball and having freshman running Melvin Gordon garner hype all year long.
The recipients for the Jay Seiler Coches' Appreciation award -- were linebacker Ethan Armstrong and cornerback Devin Smith.
The rest of the awards, as well as the program's full press release, are below.
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin football program held its team banquet Friday and named the winners of its annual team awards.
Senior RB Montee Ball and junior WR Jared Abbrederis shared Offensive MVP honors, while linebackers Mike Taylor and Chris Borland were both named Defensive MVP. Redshirt freshman FB Derek Watt was named Rookie of the Year, while the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award was presented to senior S Shelton Johnson.
The Wayne Souza Coaches' Appreciation Award, which is presented in honor of former player Wayne Souza to an offensive player based on improvement, attitude and willingness to help the program, went to senior QB Curt Phillips and junior RB James White.
The Jay Seiler Coaches' Appreciation Award, presented in honor of former player Jay Seiler to a defensive player who shows great improvement, attitude and willingness to help the team, was awarded to junior LB Ethan Armstrong and senior CB Devin Smith.
Senior LT Rick Wagner was presented with the Tom Wiesner Award, which is presented to a Wisconsin-born player who exhibits the qualities of loyalty, hard work, spirit and dedication. Wagner is a native of West Allis, Wis.
Sophomore OL Kyle Costigan was named winner of the Badger Power Award for the player that consistently performs at a high level in the strength and conditioning program while exhibiting a strong work ethic and dedication to the program.
Special Teams MVP honors went to junior RB Kyle Zuleger for his work on the Badgers' kickoff and punt units.
Freshman DB Joe Schobert (defense) and redshirt freshman TE Austin Traylor (offense) were named the recipients of the Scout Team Player of the Year awards.
Also honored was longtime Director of Strength and Conditioning John Dettmann, who was presented with The Captains' Cup. The award is presented annually to an individual other than a player or coach who shows dedication and commitment toward the success of the Badgers' football program.
2012 Wisconsin Football Award Winners
- Offensive MVP: Jared Abbrederis, Montee Ball
- Defensive MVP: Chris Borland, Mike Taylor
- Rookie of the Year: Derek Watt
- Special Teams MVP: Kyle Zuleger
- Wayne Souza Coaches' Appreciation (Offense): Curt Phillips, James White
- Jay Seiler Coaches' Appreciation (Defense): Ethan Armrstrong, Devin Smith
- Tom Wiesner: Rick Wagner
- Badger Power: Kyle Costigan
- Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic: Shelton Johnson
- Scout Team Offense: Austin Traylor
- Scout Team Defense: Joe Schobert
- The Captains' Cup: John Dettmann