Kansas Football Team Honored At Team Awards Ceremony

Jan. 31, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. -Todd Reesing and James Holt were named the Kansas football team’s offensive and defensive players of the year respectively, highlighting the annual Jayhawk Football Awards Ceremony held at the Lied Center on Saturday night.

Fifteen awards were given out as the Jayhawks celebrated their 2008 season, which included an 8-5 record and a victory in the Insight Bowl.

Safety Darrell Stuckey took home a team-high three honors, as he was named the Bruce Kallmeyer Special Teams Player of the Year, shared the Nolan Cromwell Leadership Award with Reesing, and earned the Iron Hawk Award for outstanding performance in the weight room.

Reesing, who threw for a school record 3,888 yards as a junior in 2008, was presented the John Hadl Award as the team’s offensive player of the year. It marked the second straight season the quarterback claimed the honor.

Holt, a senior linebacker, earned the Ray Evans Defensive Player of the Year honor after a standout season in which he recorded 105 tackles. Holt also claimed the Willie Pless Award, given annually to the team’s tackle leader.

For the third straight season senior linebacker Mike Rivera earned the Galen Fiss Award, given for campus and community service.

Junior wide receiver Kerry Meier shared two different awards. He and junior running back Jake Sharp were presented the Gale Sayers Most Courageous Player award. Meier and sophomore wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe were tabbed the co-Most Improved Offensive Players.

KU’s senior class members were presented with framed jerseys. The senior class was part of one of the best four-year periods in school history as the Jayhawks were bowl eligible in each of the last four years and their 33 wins were the most in a four-year period in school history.

KU’s 18-member senior class included Richard Alspaugh, Tang Bacheyie, Russell Brorsen, Micah Brown, Raymond Brown, Ryan Cantrell, Matt Darton, Dexton Fields, Gary Green, Kendrick Harper, Chet Hartley, Marcus Herford, James Holt, John Larson, Adrian Mayes, Joe Mortensen, Patrick Resby, and Mike Rivera.

Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway thanked the team in brief remarks during the ceremony.

“Thank you for the thrills and excitement from the past season,” he said. “Thank you for the success and pride you let us share with you.”

Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins talked about how the players are great representatives of the University on and off the field. He also thanked the senior class for their time in Lawrence.

“I want to thank our seniors,” Perkins said. “They have been on teams that have won three bowl games.”

2008 Kansas Football Team Awards

Ray Evans Defensive Player of the Year – James Holt (senior, linebacker)

John Hadl Offensive Player of the Year – Todd Reesing (junior, quarterback)

Bruce Kallmeyer Special Teams Player of the Year – Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)

Gale Sayers Most Courageous Player – Jake Sharp (junior running back) and Kerry Meier (junior, wide receiver)

Don Fambrough Unselfish Player – Daymond Patterson (freshman cornerback)

Nolan Cromwell Leadership – Todd Reesing (junior, quarterback) and Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)

Willie Pless Most Tackles – James Holt (senior, linebacker)

Galen Fiss Exemplery Service to Campus and Community – Mike Rivera (senior, linebacker)

Most Improved Defensive Player – Jake Laptad (sophomore, defensive end)

Most Improved Offensive Player – Kerry Meier (junior, wide receiver) and Dezmon Briscoe (sophomore, wide receiver)

Iron Hawk Weight Room – Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)

Offensive Lineman of the Year – Adrian Mayes (senior, offensive guard)

George Mrkonic Defensive Scout Player of the Year – Dustin Spears (junior, defensive end)

Otto Schnellbacher Offensive Scout Player of the Year – Kale Pick (freshman, quarterback)

Senior Academic Scholar Award – Russell Brorsen (senior, defensive end)