The regular season has come to an end. While there is still a big time Bowl matchup on New Year's Day, the team took the time to reflect on the season and recognize some of its standout players. On Sunday night, the Oklahoma State football program held its yearly award banquet. We're going to break down each award given out by the coaching staff and how each recipient helped the team.
First off, the Bob Fenimore Award (named for the hero from the team's last trip to the Sugar Bowl) is given to most valuable player on offense and defense; Mason Rudolph and Emmanuel Ogbah were chosen.
Rudolph is the player that moves this offense. I know some would say J.W. Walsh should get this award, and given his production, they would have a case (There's no doubt that OSU has no running game without Walsh). But let's not ignore the fact that without Rudolph they would have no passing game to speak of. I don't want to know what this offense would have looked like without QB1.
Rudolph threw for 3,591 yards and averaged a hair under 300 yards per game. He threw 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions, completing 62.6 percent of his passes. He finished with a passer rating of 152.41.
There is no doubt who the defensive MVP was; Emmanuel Ogbah was a force this season. The Big 12 leader in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (17.5) is likely to play his final game as a Cowboy on January 1st. If that's the case, the defensive line will have big holes to fill with the departure of both Ogbah and senior Jimmy Bean.
Team Captains are voted on by the players. On offense they chose seniors David Glidden and J.W. Walsh. Both are shoe-in's not only for their production on the field but for their leadership in the locker room.
Defensive captains are Emmanuel Ogbah and Kevin Peterson. Ogbah has been called a quiet leader, but his aforementioned production speaks volumes. With Peterson ending his senior year, the cornerback position may be one of the biggest questions on defense going into next year.
The captain on special teams is Miketavius Jones, who really had a breakout year. His stat sheet may not look overly impressive but he had some big plays this year including the strip that ended in a scoop and score against UTSA and the big time sack of Jerrod Heard in Austin.
The Thurman Thomas Award for outstanding offensive player was given to James Washington and David Glidden. David Glidden led the team, just barely edging out Washington with 53 receptions. He amassed 807 yards and three touchdowns. He was a security blanket on third down and will be missed more next year than you may think.
Washington is just good. He showed not only his big play capability but also that he has sure hands and he is fast. He grabbed 52 catches for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns. The best part is that we get to see him catch darts from Rudolph for a couple more years (hopefully).
The Leslie O'Neal Award for outstanding defensive player went to Kevin Peterson and Jordan Sterns. Jordan Sterns continues to be overlooked a bit on this defense. I can't really say why as the junior led the team in tackles for the second straight year. He's currently tied with last year's total of 103 with a chance to add to it against the Runnin' Rebels.
The Vernon Grant Award is given out for "Outstanding Leadership, Spirit and Enthusiasm". The Offensive players were Zach Crabtree and J.W. Walsh and the defensive players were Jimmy Bean and Ryan Simmons. The last two were lost to injury and were no doubt missed on and off the field at the end of the season.
Senior cornerback Bryant Reber won the Dr. LL. Boger Award for Academic and Athletic Achievement. I'm assuming he got really good grades because he hasn't played a game in two years.
Fellow Cowboy Backs Blake Jarwin and Jeremy Seaton won the Barry Sanders Award for the offensive side of the ball. It's given for "greatest contribution with least recognition". I'm not sure I get the reference. It's possible that they coined the Thurman Thomas Award first so outstanding offensive player was taken. I mean you can't not have a Barry Sanders Award. But based on the descriptions, it seems like the two should be switched. The defensive recipients were Miketavius Jones and senior Indiana transfer Michael Hunter.
Jerel Morrow won the Special Teams Award (I vote for calling it the Perrish Cox Award) for outstanding special teams player.
Rounding out the awards was the Russell Okung Award for outstanding newcomer given to Jalen McCleskey and Darrion Daniels. I completely agree on this one. McCleskey showed some potential when he gets a little space and Darrion Daniels came right in and contributed from day one.
The Four-Year Letterwinners were Trace Clark, Kevin Peterson, Jeremy Seaton, Brandon Sheperd and Ryan Simmons.
The regular season is over but Bowl Season is here. The Cowboys have a chance to get some guys healthy and hopefully right the ship to end the season on a bright note.