Carpenter, James, Pollak Among Award Winners At Annual ASU Football Banquet

Dec. 2, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following its 20-17 win over rival Arizona Saturday, the Arizona State University football team held its annual Awards Banquet Sunday, December 2 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.

Junior quarterback Rudy Carpenter (Westlake, Calif.) was given ASU's Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year Award. Carpenter, a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, presented annually to the nation's top quarterback, finished the season with 23 touchdowns and passed for 3,015 yards with a 63 percent completion rate.

The recipient of the 2007 Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Year was senior linebacker Robert James (Phoenix, Ariz.). James led the team this season with 99 tackles, and he also had four interceptions and 2.5 sacks.

The 2007 Babe Alex Demon Special Teams Player of the Year Award was given to redshirt freshman kicker Thomas Weber (Downey, Calif.). Weber, a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's top placekicker, made 22 of his 23 field goal attempts this season. He set a new school record by making 17 consecutive attempts to begin the season, and he tied the Pac-10 freshman record with his 22 total field goals.

The award for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman was given to senior tackle Brandon Rodd (Aiea, Hawai'i) and the award for Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman was presented to sophomore defensive end Dexter Davis (Phoenix, Ariz.). Rodd, who was also one of two winners of the Clyde B. Smith Award for academic achievement, started at left tackle in all 12 games. Davis led the team with 10.5 sacks, and he also had 30 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Junior safety Troy Nolan (Los Angeles, Calif.) was the other winner of the Clyde B. Smith Award for academic achievement in 2007. Nolan led the Sun Devils with six interceptions, including two that he returned for touchdowns, and he was third on the team with 59 tackles.

Cornerback Omar Bolden (Ontario, Calif.) won the Bill Kajikawa Sun Devil Award, given to the year's most outstanding freshman. Bolden started the team's final eight games, and he returned an interception for a touchdown in his first start, a 41-3 win over Stanford.

Sophomore wide receiver Chris McGaha (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned the Mike Bartholomew Most Improved Offensive Player Award, and the Gail Scott Most Improved Defensive Player Award was presented to Nolan and senior cornerback Justin Tryon (Palmdale, Calif.). McGaha led the team with 52 receptions for 751 yards, and 40 of his catches went for first downs. Tryon, who started every game at cornerback, had three interceptions and 50 tackles on the season.

Junior running back Shaun DeWitty (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was the recipient of the 2007 McBurney Scout Team Player of the Year Award, while freshman safety Oliver Aaron (Gainesville, Fla.) earned the Glen Hawkins Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year Award.

Senior center Mike Pollak (Tempe, Ariz.) and senior defensive end Kellen Mills (Mesa, Ariz.) were both awarded the Tim Landers Iron Man Award, given to the Sun Devil with exemplary work ethic in the weight room, on the field or in the community. Pollak, who was also given the Cecil Bono Team Captain Award and the Pat Tillman Award, started all 12 games at center, while Mills played throughout the season as a reserve defensive lineman.

Cecil Bono Team Captain Awards were also presented to senior running back Ryan Torain (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), senior defensive tackle Michael Marquardt (Vista, Calif.) and senior safety Josh Barrett (Reno, Nev.). Before a foot injury ended his season early, Torain rushed for 553 yards and five touchdowns in six games. Marquardt started 10 games and had 17 tackles, while Barrett started eight games with 38 tackles, one sack and one interception.

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