2002 Sun Devil Football Award Winners
Nov. 30, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State University football team held its annual Awards Banquet on Saturday night, November 30 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. The yearly celebration honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Sun Devil football program over the past year.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Walter was co-recipient of two awards on the night: the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award and the Cecil Abono Co-Captain Award. Walter has a breakout year as the Sun Devils' signal-caller and set several records as the catalyst of their passing attack. He set a single-game Pac-10 record for passing yards (536) on the way to earning National Player of the Week honors after leading the Sun Devils to their victory at No. 8 Oregon. His 3,584 passing yards set a single-season school record, as did his numbers for pass attempts (426) and pass completions (246). These numbers are made even more impressive since Walter did not have the starting position until the fifth game of the season. Nationally, Walter ranks 10th in passing efficiency (141.98).
Junior Terrell Suggs of Chandler garnered two honors, Outstanding Defensive Lineman and the Most Valuable Defensive Player Award. This season, Suggs proved to be one of the most dominating players in college football from his defensive end position. He recorded the NCAA, Pac-10 and ASU records for sacks (22.0) and also leads the nation in tackles for loss (29.5). He recorded four or more sacks in two games this year. Suggs is a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Maxwell Club's Chuck Bednarik Award and the Ted Hendricks Award.
Junior wide receiver Shaun McDonald was the other recipient of the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award. McDonald, of Phoenix, set the ASU single-season record for receiving yards (1,291) and catches (76), helped by two games this season with over 200 yards receiving. He is one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, which is presented to the best wide receiver in the nation. McDonald is the first player in school history to be named a finalist for the Biletnikoff.
Graduate linebacker Mason Unck went home with three honors on the evening: the Special Teams Iron Man Award, the Babe Alex Demon Award as the best special teams player and the Cecil Abono Co-Captain Award. Unck, from Ogden, Utah, had five forced fumbles on the year, which places him fourth in the Pac-10 Conference. He tied for 11th in the league in tackles per game (7.4) and his 96 total tackles is second most for the Sun Devils this season.
The other recipient of the Cecil Abono Co-Captain Award was graduate safety Al Williams. Despite two broken hands and other assorted injuries, Williams played most of the season and recorded 45 tackles, 8.5 were for loss, including 3.5 sacks. Williams is from Irvine, Calif.
The Clyde B. Smith Award for academic achievement was given to co-winners Mike Barth, a senior placekicker from Phoenix and graduate Phil Howard, a defensive tackle from Phoenix. Barth is third in the Pac-10 and ninth in the nation in field g9oals made (1.61 per game). He earned Pac-10 special teams Player of the Week honors the week after his three field goals helped beat then No. 8 Oregon on Oct. 19. Barth has been an All-Pac-10 Academic selection for the past three years. Howard is a graduate student and plays a role on the defensive line. He saw action in seven games this season before undergoing season-ending knee surgery. Howard earned Verizon Academic All-America honors for the Western United States and was honorable mention Academic all-Pac-10.
The Sun Devil Valor Award, given for courage or great team play, was presented to sophomore safety Riccardo Stewart. Stewart, of LaVerne, Calif., was third on the team in tackles with 83, 11 of which were for loss. He tied for fourth in the Pac-10 in tackles per game (8.3).
The award for Outstanding Offensive Lineman was presented to sophomore offensive guard Drew Hodgdon. Hodgdon, of Palo Alto, Calif., anchored an offensive line that helped to establish the second-best passing offense in the Pac-10.
The Mike Bartholomew Most Improved Player Award was presented to senior tight end Mike Pinkard. Pinkard, of Thornton, Colo., recorded 505 receiving yards on 30 receptions (16.8 avg.) and five touchdowns from his tight end position where he started every game.
The Gail Scott Most Improved Defensive Player Award was presented to sophomore cornerback R.J. Oliver. Oliver, from Escondido, Calif., led the Pac-10 in passes defended (21) and was tied for fifth in the league in interceptions (4). He also recorded 43 tackles on the year and started every game.
The Sun Devil Iron Man Award for excellence in the weight room was presented to senior linebacker Josh Amobi. On the year, Amobi, of Phoenix, recorded 35 tackles, including seven for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. Those four recoveries tie him for most in the Pac-10.
The co-winners of the Bill Kajikawa Sun Devil Award given to the most outstanding freshmen were Jamar Williams and Chaz White. Williams was looked to for solid contributions at the linebacker position and played in all but one game on the year. He recorded 34 tackles, four for losses, collected one interception, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble and registered one blocked kick. White became the first true freshman to start at offensive line for ASU since 1990, and only the fourth true frosh to start along the offensive line in Sun Devil history.
The McBurney Scout Team Award for offense was given to redshirt freshman wide receiver Terry Richardson as the best offensive scout team player. The 6-1, 190-pounder from Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., has sparkled offensively for the scout team all Fall.
The Glen Hawkins Scout Team Award for defense was presented to redshirt freshman linebacker Jordan Hill as the best defensive scout team player. The 6-2, 255-pounder from Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho won the defensive scout team award of the week seven times this Fall.
The Frank Kush Award, given for outstanding support of the ASU football program, was presented to Jake Plummer. Plummer, the quarterback for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, is one of the most famous players in ASU football history. He was a four-year letterwinner at ASU (1993-96) and led the Sun Devils to a Rose Bowl berth and an 11-1 season in 1996. He holds several Sun Devil passing records, including career passing yards (8,827) and career touchdowns (65).