1998 Michigan State Football Bust
Kanu named Spartan MVP at annual awards banquet.
December 4, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior free safety Sorie Kanu, who averaged a team-leading 11.0 tackles per game in 1998, was named Michigan States Most Valuable Player at the annual MSU Football Bust held Friday night at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing. Kanu becomes the second-straight defensive player to win the Governors Award as team MVP since outside linebacker Ike Reese earned the honor in '97.
Kanu reached double figures in tackles eight times in 11 games this season, including a career-high 16 stops vs. Oregon. A three-year starter, he recorded 365 career stops to rank fifth on MSUs all-time tackles chart. Kanu took home two other pieces of hardware, including the Captains Award and Presidents Award as the outstanding senior back.
Junior placekicker Paul Edinger and freshman linebacker Josh Thornhill shared the Jim Adams Award as the teams unsung heroes. Edinger led the Big Ten in scoring with 94 points while kicking a school single-season record 22 field goals. Thornhill, who became a starter by midseason, finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles, including four for losses (15 yards).
Sophomore offensive guard Shaun Mason and senior center Jason Strayhorn were co-recipients of the Iron Man Award for their dedication to the teams strength and conditioning program.
Senior fullback Garett Gould, who will graduate next May with a 3.2 grade-point average in mechanical engineering, picked up the Potsy Ross Award as the teams top senior scholar-athlete.
Junior quarterback Bill Burke and sophomore cornerback Renaldo Hill shared the Tommy Love Award as the most improved players. Burke threw for a school single-season record 2,595 yards in '98, while Hill led the Spartans with five interceptions.
Three juniors - defensive tackle Robert Newkirk, defensive end Julian Peterson and offensive tackle Greg Robinson-Randall - divided the Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award. Newkirk, a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, led the defensive line in tackles with 61. Peterson tied the school single-season record with 18 tackles for losses (75 yards), including 10 sacks (57), while Robinson-Randall started the last 10 games at right tackle.
Sophomore wide receiver Plaxico Burress, junior tailback Sedrick Irvin and junior wide receiver Gari Scott shared the Outstanding Underclass Back Award. Burress had a Spartan single-season record 65 receptions for 1,013 yards and a record-tying eight touchdowns. Irvin rushed for 1,167 yards to become only the second player in school history to record three-straight 1,000-yard seasons. Scott had a career-high 58 catches for 843 yards and four TDs and accounted for a team-high 1,637 all-purpose yards.
Strayhorn, a first-team All-Big Ten selection at center, received the Up Front Award as the teams outstanding interior lineman. He graded out as a winner, better than 70 percent, in 11 out of 12 games in 1998. Strayhorn was selected Spartan Offensive Player of the Week after grading out at 80 percent overall vs. top-ranked Ohio State, including 89 percent in his pass-blocking assignments. He consistently earned the teams top grade for pass protection by not allowing a sack the entire season.
Lemar Marshall, who started games at three different positions in the Spartan secondary in 1998, earned the Downtown Coaches Club Award as the outstanding senior on defense. Marshall ranked third on the team in tackles with 101 and tied the school single-season record for pass break-ups with 16.
Gould picked up the Downtown Coaches Club Award as the outstanding senior on offense. He carried the ball only once all season but earned his keep as the lead blocker for Irvin.
Junior strong safety Aric Morris and offensive tackle Dave Sucura won the Danziger Award as the outstanding Detroit-area players on the '98 roster. Morris led the team in tackles with 127 total, including eight for losses (31 yards). He reached double figures in tackles seven times, including 17 each vs. Penn State and Ohio State. Sucura started all 12 games at left tackle.
Junior defensive tackle Pete Govens received the Doug Weaver Oil Can Award as the teams top humorist.
Senior cornerback Amp Campbell earned the Biggie Munn Award as the teams most inspirational player. He missed the last 10 games of the 1998 season after suffering a cervic-spinal injury in the Oregon game. Campbell, who fractured the sixth and seventh vertebrae while trying to make a tackle on the goal line, underwent spinal-fusion surgery Sept. 5.
Outside linebacker Courtney Ledyard was presented the Presidents Award as the outstanding senior lineman. Ledyard registered 58 tackles, including eight stops each vs. Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Former All-America halfback Lynn Chandnois was the recipient of the Duffy Daugherty Award, named in honor of MSU's legendary head coach and presented annually since 1975 to a Spartan football alumnus who has distinguished himself both on and off the field following his graduation.
Here's a complete list of awards presented at the annual MSU Football Bust:
Cowing Award (Senior Manager): Dan Hude
Jim Adams Award (Unsung Hero): PK Paul Edinger, LB Josh Thornhill
Iron Man Award (Strength & Conditioning): OG Shaun Mason, C Jason Strayhorn
Potsy Ross Award (Senior Scholar-Athlete): FB Garett Gould
Tommy Love Award (Most Improved Player): QB Bill Burke, CB Renaldo Hill
Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award: DT Robert Newkirk, DE Julian Peterson, OT Greg Robinson-Randall
Outstanding Underclass Back Award: WR Plaxico Burress, TB Sedrick Irvin, WR Gari Scott
Up Front Award (Outstanding Interior Offensive Lineman): C Jason Strayhorn
Downtown Coaches Club Award (Outstanding Senior Defense): CB/SS Lemar Marshall
Downtown Coaches Club Award (Outstanding Senior Offense): FB Garett Gould
Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit-Area Player): SS Aric Morris, OT Dave Sucura
Doug Weaver Oil Can Award (Team Humorist): DT Pete Govens
Captains Award: CB Amp Campbell, FB Garett Gould, TB Sedrick Irvin, FS Sorie Kanu, LB Courtney Ledyard, C Jason Strayhorn
Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational Player): CB Amp Campbell
Presidents Award - Outstanding Senior Lineman: LB Courtney Ledyard
Presidents Award - Outstanding Senior Back: FS Sorie Kanu
Duffy Daugherty Award (Distinguished Alumnus): Lynn Chandnois
Governors Award (Most Valuable Player): FS Sorie Kanu