EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State football program announced its award winners at a team dinner on Sunday afternoon at the Kellogg Center. Senior wide receiver R.J. Shelton was selected Most Valuable Player (Governor's Award recipient) by his teammates.
Senior captain Riley Bullough won a team-best five awards: Downtown Coaches Club Award (most outstanding senior defensive player), Biggie Munn Award (most inspirational defensive player), Iron Man Award (strength and conditioning), Doug Weaver Oil Can Award (team humorist), and the Captains Award (team captain).
The Spartans saluted the 2016 Senior Class, which compiled a 39-14 record from 2013-16 to become the fourth-most winningest class in school history. The class won two Big Ten Championships (2013, 2015), two bowl games (2015 Cotton, 2014 Rose) and played in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Below is the complete list of award winners:
Governor's Award (Most Valuable Player): WR R.J. Shelton
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Offense: WR R.J. Shelton
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Defense: LB Riley Bullough
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Special Teams: PK Michael Geiger
Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational): QB Tyler O'Connor (offense), LB Riley Bullough (defense)
MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award: TE Josiah Price
President's Award (Senior Lineman/Senior Back Perseverance): OL Kodi Kieler (offense), DE Evan Jones (defense)
Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman): OG Brian Allen (offense), LB Chris Frey (defense)
Clarence Underwood Sportsmanship Award: OL Benny McGowan
Outstanding Underclass Lineman: OT Cole Chewins (offense), DT Mike Panasiuk (defense)
Outstanding Underclass Back: RB LJ Scott (offense), S Montae Nicholson (defense)
Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes): RB Prescott Line (offense), DT Kevin Williams (defense)
Tommy Love Award (Most Improved): RB Gerald Holmes Ioffense), DT Raequan Williams (defense)
Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): WR Donnie Corley
Iron Man Award (Strength and Conditioning): LB Riley Bullough
Potsy Ross Award (Scholar-Athlete): QB Tyler O'Connor, WR Edward Barksdale III
Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): LB Riley Bullough
Captains Award: LB Riley Bullough, S Demetrious Cox, QB Tyler O'Connor
Award winner notes:
Governor's Award (Most Valuable Player): Wide Receiver R.J. Shelton
Shelton becomes the fourth wide receiver under Mark Dantonio to win the Governor's Award (B.J. Cunningham in 2011; Tony Lippett in 2014; Aaron Burbridge in 2015) . . . second-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches . . . led the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (789) and all-purpose yards (1,377), and tied for the team lead in touchdown catches (5), all of which were career highs . . . during the regular season, ranked tied for fifth in the Big Ten in receptions (4.4 pg), fifth in all-purpose yards (114.8 ypg), sixth in receiving yards (65.8 ypg) and tied for ninth in TD catches (5) . . . led the team with 22 plays of 20 yards or more (11 kick return, 10 receptions, one rush), and four of MSU's eight plays of 50-plus yards in 2016 featured Shelton . . . caught two 86-yard touchdown passes (at Indiana, vs. Northwestern) from Tyler O'Connor, becoming one of only two players in school history to have two touchdown receptions of 86 yards or longer in the same season (Sherman Lewis, 1963) . . . had two 100-yard receiving games in 2016: career-high 190 vs. Northwestern (Oct. 15) and 141 at Indiana on Oct. 1 . . . had TD grabs of 86 and 59 yards against the Wildcats and finished with a career-high 260 all-purpose yards; the 190 receiving yards against Northwestern were the second-highest single-game total by a Big Ten player during the regular season . . . hauled in at least seven catches in five different games, including a career-high eight for 80 yards in the win at No. 18 Notre Dame on Sept. 17 . . . also had seven catches vs. Indiana (141 yards), Northwestern (190), Maryland (89) and Illinois (80).
CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner finished his career with 116 career catches for 1,471 yards and scored a total of 16 touchdowns (11 receiving, four rushing, one kick return) in 53 career games, including 23 starts . . . the Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, native ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in kick return yards (second with 1,855), kick returns (second with 80), all-purpose yards (13th with 3,900), receptions (tied for 17th with 116) and touchdown catches (tied for 18th with 11).
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Offense: Wide Receiver R.J. Shelton
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Defense: Linebacker Riley Bullough
Team captain garnered All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row, as he was a third-team pick by the coaches and media in 2016 . . . was a second-team pick by the coaches and a third-team selection by the media in 2015 . . . finished second on the team in tackles for loss (6.5 for 13 yards) and third in tackles (76) despite missing three games (Wisconsin, Indiana, BYU) due to an injury . . . his 8.4 tackles per game average led the Spartans and tied for eighth best in the Big Ten in the regular season . . . in addition, his 64 tackles (9.1 avg.) in conference play ranked sixth best in the league . . . tallied double-digits in tackles four times in 2016: season-high 14 vs. Michigan (Oct. 29), 12 vs. Northwestern (Oct. 15), 11 each vs. Ohio State (Nov. 19) and Illinois (Nov. 5) . . . posted a season-high two tackles for loss (7 yards) at Maryland and had at least one tackle for loss in five of the nine games he played in this season.
CAREER NOTES: Finished his career with 214 tackles, becoming the fourth member of the Bullough family with 200 tackles (uncle Chuck with 391 from 1988-91; father Shane with 311 from 1983-86; brother Max with 299 from 2010-13) . . . had 18 tackles for loss (54 yards), 7.5 sacks (37 yards), four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in 50 career games, including 23 starts . . . had seven career games with double-digit tackles . . . as a junior, led the Spartans with a career-high 106 tackles . . . set to graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor's degree in media and information.
Downtown Coaches Club Award - Outstanding Senior Special Teams: Placekicker Michael Geiger
Finished his senior season by making his last nine field goals in a row and was 15-of-19 (.789) for the season . . . in the regular season, ranked among the Big Ten leaders in field goals (tied for fifth with 15), kick scoring (tied for fifth at 6.3 ppg) and field-goal percentage (seventh at .789) . . . the 15 field goals tied a single-season high (2013) . . . made at least one field goal in seven games, including four with multi-FGs . . . kicked four first-half field goals (28 yards, 36, 35, 33) at Penn State in his final collegiate game, tying his career high . . . successfully converted all seven of his PATs vs. Rutgers to earn Spartans' Special Teams' Co-Player of the Week award . . . tied a career high with four field goals at Illinois, adding one PAT to finish with 13 points, his second-best outing . . . split the uprights for career-long 52-yard field goal vs. Michigan and added two PATs . . . made 4-for-4 PATs at Notre Dame, becoming MSU's career PAT record holder with his second of the game, which gave him 165 for his career, passing Brett Swenson (2006-09) for the school record.
CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner was a four-year starter at placekicker (2013-16) . . . owns five school records: most consecutive point-after attempts (98 in a row), most PATs in a single-season (72 in 2014), most PATs in a career (189), most extra points in a single game (10 vs. Eastern Michigan in 2014) and best field-goal percentage in a single season (94 percent as a freshman in 2013 by going 15-for-16) . . . made 56 of his 76 career field-goal attempts (.737) . . . his school-record 98 consecutive point-after attempts (streak ran from Nov. 23, 2013, vs. Northwestern to Sept. 26, 2015, vs. Central Michigan) is also tied for the ninth longest in Big Ten history . . . became MSU's career record holder for extra-points made in the game at Notre Dame, making his 165th, passing Brett Swenson (2006-09) for the school record with 164 and finished with 189 career PATs . . . finished his career ranked first in MSU history in extra points (189), second in scoring (357 points), fourth in field goals (56) and fourth in field-goal percentage (.737) . . . set an MSU single-season record as a true freshman by making 93.8 percent of his field-goal attempts (15-of-16), which ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for fourth in the NCAA FBS . . . three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection . . . set to graduate in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in applied engineering sciences.
MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award: Tight end Josiah Price
Named recipient of the MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award for the second year in a row . . . named third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches for the second straight year . . . finished second on team in receptions (38), third in receiving yards (387) and tied for first in receiving TDs (5) . . . the 38 receptions and 387 receiving yards marked single-season career highs . . . the 38 receptions also tied for second most by a Spartan tight end in a single season . . . his five TD catches were most by a Big Ten tight end during the regular season . . . tied career high with six catches for 63 yards in his final collegiate game at No. 7 Penn State . . . recorded his first multi-TD game with two TD catches vs. Rutgers (2 yards, 4 yards) as part of three receptions for 13 yards . . . recorded a career-high six catches for 65 yards at Illinois, including a season-long 26-yard catch.
CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner had 104 catches for 1,238 yards (11.9 avg.) and 21 touchdowns in 51 career games, while making 25 starts . . . ranks first in school history among tight ends with 21 career TD receptions, which also ranks fourth among all players in school history . . . also ranks third among Spartan tight ends in catches (104) and receiving yards (1,238) . . . named to midseason watch list for the Mackey Award (nation's most outstanding tight end) . . . nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognizing college football players who exemplify a superior commitment to community service and volunteerism, the past two years . . . named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy (nation's top scholar-athlete) . . . named one of 11 semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy for community service combined with athletic and academic achievement . . . was named one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award . . . one of 25 players in program history to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors four times . . . set to graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor's degree in hospitality business.
President's Award (Senior Lineman/Senior Back Perseverance)
Offense: Offensive lineman Kodi Kieler
Fifth-year senior started three different positions (center, right tackle, left tackle) in 11 games (center vs. Furman, Notre Dame, Wisconsin; left tackle vs. BYU, Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan; right tackle vs. Indiana, Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State) . . . was the Spartans' starting center in the win over No. 18 Notre Dame, earning the Spartans' Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance, registering one dominator and three knockdowns . . . CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner saw action in 49 career games, including 30 starts (22 at right tackle, five at left tackle, three at center) . . . set to graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science -- human capital.
Defense: Defensive lineman Evan Jones
Fifth-year senior collected career-high 15 tackles in eight games . . . started first five games at defensive end . . . missed four games (Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Rutgers) with an injury . . . Academic All-Big Ten selection . . . recorded four stops vs. BYU . . . logged career-high five tackles at Indiana and also had a break-up to lead the defensive line with 11 production points . . posted four tackles vs. No. 11 Wisconsin . . . made his first career start in Furman game, logging two tackles and registering his first career sack . . . CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner had 23 tackles in 33 career games . . . set to graduate in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in media and information.
Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman)
Offense: Guard Brian Allen
A mainstay on the offensive line, was one of only three players on the team and the only offensive lineman to start all 12 games . . . second-team All-Big Ten choice by the media and third-team pick by the coaches . . . led the team with twice as many knockdowns as any other lineman and also ranked first in dominators . . . started three positions on the offensive line; started the first three games at left guard, then shifted to center for two games before moving to right guard for five games . . . the versatile lineman started at left guard the final two contests . . . earned Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week accolades twice (vs. Furman and Rutgers) . . . in the win over No. 18 Notre Dame, Allen helped the Spartans rack up a season-high 501 yards of total offense, including 260 rushing yards, as he produced a team-best 12.5 knockdowns . . . down the stretch, Allen was instrumental in providing consistency to an injury-riddled offensive line that started seven different combinations; the Spartans rushed for more than 200 yards five times in 2016, including four of the last six games (270 vs. Maryland, 217 vs. Michigan, 277 vs. Rutgers, 207 vs. Ohio State) . . . CAREER NOTES: Will enter his senior season in 2017 having started in 15 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the team . . . has played in 38 career games, including 25 starts (16 at left guard, five at right guard, four at center) . . . two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Defense: Linebacker Chris Frey
Earned honorable mention accolades from the media after leading the Spartans during the regular season with a career-high 96 tackles . . . ranked tied for 12th in the conference during the regular season with his 8.0 tackles per game average . . . also shared the team lead with seven quarterback hurries and had four tackles for loss (12 yards) . . . recorded double-digit tackles in two games (career-high 13 vs. BYU; 10 vs. Maryland) and collected at least eight tackles in eight games this season . . . was the only player to start every game on defense in 2016 for the Spartans . . . played his best against top competition, recording nine tackles apiece against No. 2 Michigan on Oct. 29 and second-ranked Ohio State on Nov. 19 . . . also had eight stops, including a 2-yard tackle for loss, vs. No. 11 Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener . . . shared the team lead with six tackles, including a 3-yard tackle for loss, and was named the Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week in MSU's 49-0 win over Rutgers on Nov. 12 . . . CAREER NOTES: Has 138 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and three sacks, in 39 career games.
Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational)
Offense: Quarterback Tyler O'Connor
Fifth-year senior started nine games at quarterback in 2016 . . . finished the regular season ranked fifth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency (135.2 rating), fifth in completion percentage (.588), eighth in touchdown passes (16) and ninth in passing (179.1 ypg) . . . was voted one of three captains . . . for the season, was 154-of-262 passing (.588) for 1,970 yards, 16 TDs and nine interceptions in 11 games . . . did not play at Maryland on Oct. 22 due to an injury, but returned to the starting lineup on Oct. 29 vs. No. 2 Michigan . . . started the first five games of the season . . . started his seventh game of the season at Illinois on Nov. 5, completing 23-of-35 passes for 265 yards; it marked O'Connor's fifth 200-yard passing game of 2016 (career-high 281 vs. Northwestern; 263 vs. Indiana; 241 vs. Notre Dame; 224 vs. Wisconsin) . . . the 265 passing yards were the third most by a Spartan in the series against Illinois, and the 23 pass completions were a career high (previous: 21 vs. Indiana) . . . although he didn't start in Game 6 vs. Northwestern, he finished with a career-high 281 yards passing against the Wildcats on 13-of-21 throws and tied his career high with three touchdown passes (59 and 86 yards to R.J. Shelton; 9 yards to Donnie Corley) . . . in his second career road start, O'Connor was 19-of-26 passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns in the 36-28 win at No. 18 Notre Dame on Sept. 17; he threw a 38-yard TD pass to Donnie Corley and a 10-yard pass to R.J. Shelton, both in the second quarter . . . CAREER NOTES: Completed 60 percent of his passes (188-of-316) for 2,344 yards, 20 TDs and 11 interceptions in 25 career games . . . one of 25 players in program history to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors four times . . . graduated with a bachelor's degree in supply chain management in December 2015 and is set to earn his master's degree in marketing research in December 2016.
Defense: Linebacker Riley Bullough
Clarence Underwood (Sportsmanship Award)
Offense: Offensive lineman Benny McGowan
Fifth-year senior played in all 12 games, including nine starts (left guard at Indiana, right guard vs. BYU, center in last seven games) . . . ranked second on the team in knockdowns . . . was starting center vs. No. 2 Michigan and registered an offensive line-best 5.5 knockdowns . . . made first career start at center vs. Northwestern . . . started at right guard vs. BYU and posted three knockdowns; was named fourth captain against the Cougars . . . graded out at a Big Ten Championship level at Notre Dame, sharing team lead with three dominators as part of six knockdowns . . . CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner played in 38 career games, including 17 starting assignments (seven at center, five at left guard, five at right guard) . . . three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection graduated with his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in May 2016.
Outstanding Underclass Lineman
Offense: Offensive Tackle Cole Chewins
Played in all 12 games to earn his first letter . . . started the last three games (Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State) at left tackle . . . named to BTN All-Big Ten Freshman Team (honorable mention) . . . was starting left tackle in Ohio State game, registering six knockdowns, including two dominators . . . made first career start in Rutgers game at left tackle and led team with 5.5 knockdowns, earning one of three Spartan "Unsung Hero" team awards . . . logged one knockdown at Illinois while playing both left and right tackle.
Defense: Defensive lineman Mike Panasiuk
Played in all 12 games to earn his first letter . . . started the final three games of the season at defensive tackle . . . recorded 14 tackles . . . named to BTN All-Big Ten Freshman Team (honorable mention) . . . tallied three stops at No. 8 Penn State . . . had season-best seven tackles against No. 2 Ohio State, including half a sack for loss of three yards . . . started his first career game vs. Rutgers . . . logged first tackle of Spartan career vs. No. 11 Wisconsin.
Outstanding Underclass Back
Offense: Tailback LJ Scott
Led the Spartans in nearly every rushing category, compiling career highs in rushing yards (994), carries (184) and rushing touchdowns (6) . . . third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and honorable mention choice by the coaches . . . his 82.8 rushing yards per game average ranked eighth in the Big Ten during the regular season and his 86.9 ypg in conference play was sixth best . . . his 994 rushing yards were seventh most by a Spartan sophomore in a single season . . . also had a team-best 10 runs of 20 yards or longer . . . had five 100-yard games this season, tied for third most in the Big Ten in the regular season, including four of the last six games (109.7 ypg last six games) . . . collected career highs in rushing yards (160), all-purpose yards (236) and receiving yards (76) vs. No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 19 . . . scored on the second play from scrimmage against the Buckeyes on a career-long 64-yard TD reception and also recorded a career-long rush with a 61-yard scamper in the first quarter; finished with 19 carries for 160 yards (8.4 avg.) and two catches for 76 yards vs. OSU . . . rushed for 139 yards against No. 2 Michigan on Oct. 29, the most by a player against the Wolverines during the regular season . . . also compiled 100-yard games against Furman (105), Maryland (128) and Rutgers (122) . . . had 98 yards with a touchdown on 22 carries in the 36-28 win at No. 18 Notre Dame on Sept. 17 . . . CAREER NOTES: Has rushed for 1,693 yards (65.1 ypg; 5.1 avg.) and 17 touchdowns in 26 career games, including 11 starts.
Defense: Safety Montae Nicholson
Received All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades from the coaches and media . . . finished second on the team with a career-high 86 tackles, which ranked second among Big Ten defensive backs and 15th overall during the regular season (7.8 avg.) . . . started 10 games at safety . . . also led the team in production points throughout the entire season . . . led the team in tackles four times and had four double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 17 vs. BYU on Oct. 8, the most by a Spartan in a single game since 2005 . . . also had 10 stops vs. No. 11 Wisconsin and 13 apiece vs. Northwestern and No. 2 Ohio State . . . had two pass break-ups vs. Furman, a fumble recovery vs. No. 18 Notre Dame and a 10-yard interception return vs. Rutgers . . . CAREER NOTES: Reached the 200-career tackle milestone in the season finale at No. 8 Penn State . . . also has four interceptions, four pass break-ups, 4.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries in 38 career games, including 23 starts.
Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes)
Offense: Fullback Prescott Line
Graduate transfer from SMU played in 11 games, including four starts (Furman, Wisconsin, BYU, Michigan) . . . had 12 yards on five carries . . . was lead blocker for most rushes in Ohio State and Michigan games, as MSU ran 207 yards against the Buckeyes and 217 yards against the Wolverines . . . made Spartan debut in Furman game, logging one carry for three yards to get MSU a first down on its opening drive that resulted in a TD, as well as being lead blocker for Spartans' rushing attack . . . named one of two Spartan Unsung Hero award recipients after performance in Furman game . . . CAREER NOTES: Graduate transfer played in 46 collegiate games, including 29 career starts (25 at SMU, four at MSU) . . . rushed for 774 yards on 228 carries in 35 career games for the Mustangs from 2013-15, including 25 starts.
Defense: Defensive tackle Kevin Williams
Graduate transfer from Nebraska received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and played his final season with the Spartans in 2016 . . . played in all 12 games and started eight times at defensive tackle to earn his first letter with the Spartans . . . recorded 25 tackles . . . logged best game as a Spartan at Indiana, posting five tackles . . . made Spartan debut vs. Furman, logging two tackles and being selected as one of Spartan Unsung Hero Award honorees . . . CAREER NOTES: Played in 23 games for the Huskers, including four starts, during the 2012 (five games), 2014 (10 games) and 2015 (eight games) seasons . . . recorded 27 tackles at Nebraska, including 10 for losses (37 yards) and three sacks (28 yards) . . . had 52 tackles in 34 career games, including 12 starts.
Tommy Love Award (Most Improved)
Offense: Running back Gerald Holmes
Fourth-year junior played in all 12 games, including two starts (Northwestern, BYU) . . . ranked second on the team in rushing yards (431), carries (91) and rushing touchdowns (5) . . . also ranked second among MSU's running backs in average per carry with 4.8 ypc . . . rushed for over 50 yards six times . . . led Spartan running backs with 11 receptions for 48 yards (4.4 avg.) . . . tallied 52 yards on nine carries with a long of 25 yards vs. Rutgers . . . had second-highest output of season with 78 yards on 12 carries at Illinois, all in the second half, and scored on a 6-yard run; added three catches for 15 yards . . . had 59 yards on 13 carries with a long of 26 yards and scored on a 1-yard TD at Maryland . . . made first start of season vs. BYU and had 15 carries for 57 yards and an 8-yard TD rush to go with a team-leading and career-high four catches for 22 yards . . . carried the ball nine times for 51 yards with a long of 22 yards and added one catch at Indiana . . . named one of two Spartan Unsung Hero award recipients at Notre Dame after his second career 100-yard rushing game with 100 yards on just 13 carries and had two TDs . . . his 73-yard scoring run at Notre Dame in the third quarter was not only a career-long rush, surpassing a 43-yard run vs. Nebraska (11/7/15), it also marked MSU's longest rushing TD since Nick Hill's 76-yarder at Indiana in 2014 . . . CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner has 216 carries for 1,015 yards (4.7 avg.) and 13 rushing touchdowns in 28 career games, including nine starts.
Defense: Raequan Williams
Redshirt freshman collected 28 tackles in 11 games . . . ranked fourth on the team with five tackles for loss (14 yards) . . . started the final three games of the season at defensive tackle (Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State) . . . honorable mention choice for the BTN All-Big Ten Freshman Team . . . tied season high with four tackles at No. 8 Penn State . . . started against Ohio State and played in 66 of the 67 plays, logging three tackles, including one pass break-up and three QB hurries . . . made first career start in Rutgers game, starting at defensive tackle and registered two tackles, including 0.5 TFL . . . tallied two tackles vs. Michigan . . . tied career high with four tackles vs. Northwestern, including career-high 1.5 tackles for loss . . . played in the first four games of season before missing BYU game with an injury but returned to action vs. Northwestern . . . logged best outing as a Spartan vs. Wisconsin with season-best four tackles, including a sack and forced fumble that set up MSU's first field goal . . . notched two tackles at Notre Dame, including first career sack in the fourth quarter.
Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): Wide receiver Donnie Corley
Named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team by BTN and ESPN.com . . . ranked second among Big Ten freshmen during the regular season in catches (33) and receiving yards (453), and was tied for first among Big Ten freshmen wide receivers in touchdown receptions with three . . . his 453 receiving yards were the most by a true freshman in MSU history and his 33 catches were second most by a true freshman (B.J. Cunningham had 41 catches for 528 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2008; Sedrick Irvin had 40 catches as a true freshman in 1996) . . . also had five tackles while playing cornerback in four games . . . had at least four receptions in four games, including a season-high five for 73 yards against Northwestern on Oct. 15 that featured a 9-yard touchdown reception . . . his breakout performance came in the win at No. 18 Notre Dame on Sept. 17 as he hauled in four receptions for a season-high 88 yards, including a leaping 38-yard TD catch in the second quarter . . . also had four catches against No. 11 Wisconsin (84 yards) and Indiana (35 yards) . . . had seven plays of 20-plus yards (six catches, one rush) . . . 24 of his 33 catches (73 percent) went for either a first down or touchdown . . . had a season-long 47-yard reception in his first career start at Illinois on Nov. 5.
Iron Man Award: Linebacker Riley Bullough
Potsy Ross (Scholar-Athlete): Edward Barksdale III
Three-year letterwinner played in 25 career games . . . two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection . . . graduated with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology over the summer and will earn his second degree in human biology in December 2016.
Potsy Ross Award (Scholar-Athlete): Tyler O'Connor
Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): Riley Bullough