Brown Named Colorado Football MVP
BROOMFIELD - Senior cornerback Cha'pelle Brown was selected by his University of Colorado teammates as the Buffaloes' 2009 Most Valuable Player, as the announcement came here Sunday as part of CU's annual football senior awards banquet at the Omni Interlocken Hotel.
Brown is the third defender in a row to claim the MVP award, named for Zack Jordan, joining linebacker safety Ryan Walters last year and Jordon Dizon, who won in 2007. Brown finished his CU career in style, racking up 11 tackles (9 solo) in last Friday's 28-20 loss to Nebraska, a game in which he also had two tackles for losses including a quarterback sack, three third down stops and a tackle for zero. He was in on the first tackles of the game, and finished the season with 96 tackles, most on the team, while playing all 804 defensive snaps from scrimmage. He also led the team in third down stops (12) and tackles for zero (10), with his 19 tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage also a team best when adding in nine tackles for losses, which included four sacks, both the second highest totals on the team. He had 257 career tackles, 26th all-time at CU, but seventh all-time among defensive backs.
(Brown was also named the co-defensive player of the week in the Big 12 Conference for his efforts against the Huskers.)
Junior wide receiver Scotty McKnight was named the John Mack Award winner as the team's most outstanding offensive player for the second straight year, just the fourth player to earn the honor twice and only the second to be honored in consecutive seasons. He joins center Eric Coyle, who won in 1985-86, quarterback Darian Hagan (1989 and 1991) and quarterback Joel Klatt (2003 and 2005). In posting team highs of 76 receptions (second most for a single season in school history), 893 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns, McKnight joined Monte Huber (1967-69) as the only player to lead CU in receiving in three consecutive seasons. He has caught a pass in all 36 games of his CU career, also a school record (37 including the '07 Independence Bowl).
Senior inside linebacker Jeff Smart earned the Dave Jones Award as the team's outstanding defensive player. Smart recorded 92 tackles (64 solo), second most on the team after leading most of the season until a pinched nerve limited him in the final two games. He added six tackles for losses (two-and-a-half sacks), eight third down stops, five tackles for zero, two fumble recoveries, three pass break ups and an interception. He had four games with 10 or more tackles, and two others with nine, finishing his career with 290 which ranked him 18th all-time at Colorado. A former walk-on, Smart went on to become a three-year starter at linebacker, virtually unheard of.
The Bill McCartney Award for special teams achievement was awarded for the second straight season to safety Travis Sandersfeld. The sophomore led the Buffaloes in special team points (44 prior to the Nebraska game), earning points in 11 of the 14 different categories possible: top numbers included 13 tackles (three inside-the-20) 11 knockdown blocks, six wedge breaks, five caused penalties and two forced fair catches.
The Lee Willard Award for the most outstanding freshman went to defensive end Forrest West, who played just under 200 snaps from scrimmage and had 10 tackles on the season while improving over the course of year to set him up for a breakout year in 2010.
The scout team awards, which recognized those players who shined weekly mimicking opponent schemes and mannerisms went to junior redshirt receiver Toney Clemons for offense (he is a transfer from Michigan who has two years of eligibility for CU beginning in 2010), to sophomore defensive end David Goldberg for defense and to redshirting freshman linebacker Derrick Webb for special teams.
There were 26 players cited as first-year lettermen, among them Goldberg and offensive lineman David Clark, who was on the field goal/PAT unit on special teams; the duo became the first-ever Buffaloes from Aspen to letter in football.
Forty-nine players earned the inaugural Gold Group Commitment Award, which was voted on by the coaches as well as several support staff units. Those selected have achieved "excellence with class" in their academic, athletic and personal lives, emphasizing a quality balance of life and epitomizing the core values of the Colorado football program: leadership, hard work, passion, selflessness, trust, attention to detail, discipline and toughness.
The complete list of CU award winners announced Sunday, most selected by the coaching staff and a few others, including the most outstanding and the MVP, by the players:
Zack Jordan Award (most valuable player, selected by teammates): CB Cha'pelle Brown
John Mack Award (outstanding offensive player): WR Scotty McKnight
Dave Jones Award (outstanding defensive player): ILB Jeff Smart
Hang Tough Award (overcame the most adversity): ILB Marcus Burton
Lee Willard Award (outstanding freshman): DE Forrest West
Tyronee "Tiger" Bussey Award (perseverance over adversity, injury and/or illness): CB Benjamin Burney
Dean Jacob Van Ek Award (academic excellence): FB Jake Behrens
Bill McCartney Award (special teams achievement): SS Travis Sandersfeld
Regiment Award (greatest contribution with least recognition): SN Justin Drescher
Derek Singleton Award (spirit, dedication, enthusiasm): TB Brian Lockridge
Tom McMahon Award (dedication and work ethic): QB Cody Hawkins
Eddie Crowder Award (leadership): TE Riar Geer
Robbie Robinson Good Works Award (community service): P Matt DiLallo
Offensive Scout Award: WR Toney Clemons
Defensive Scout Award: DE David Goldberg
Special Teams Scout Award: ILB Derrick Webb
Best Interview (tie, selected by team beat media): CB Benjamin Burney& WR Scotty McKnight
Gold Group Commitment Awards: OLB Tyler Ahles, PK Ryan Aweida, OL Matthew Bahr, OLB B.J. Beatty, FB Jake Behrens, SN Austin Bisnow, DT Nate Bonsu, CB Cha'pelle Brown, CB Jalil Brown, CB Benjamin Burney, ILB Marcus Burton, WR Kyle Cefalo, OL David Clark, WR Toney Clemons, DT Curtis Cunningham, TE Ryan Deehan, TE Patrick Devenny, P Matthew DiLallo, SN Justin Drescher, WR Dustin Ebner, WR Jason Espinoza, TE Riar Geer, PK Aric Goodman, OLB Brandon Gouin, QB Tyler Hansen, QB Cody Hawkins, DE Marquez Herrod, OL Mike Iltis, CB Arthur Jaffee, QB Seth Lobato, TB Brian Lockridge, ILB Jon Major, WR Scotty McKnight, ILB Shaun Mohler, DT Will Pericak, SS Anthony Perkins, S Ray Polk, DT Tyler Sale, SS Travis Sandersfeld, OLB Guy Sergent, TE Devin Shanahan, ILB Michael Sipili, ILB Jeff Smart, S Bret Smith, TE Nate Solder, ILB Bryan Stengel, C Keenan Stevens, TB Demetrius Sumler, TE Luke Walters.
David Plati Staff Support Award (tireless effort for football program): Kris Livingston (academics), Jason DePaepe (facilities &
grounds), Jose Tanori-Lopez (facilities & grounds)
David Clough Faculty Support Award (extraordinary support for football program): Susan Morley (Business School).
Pasta Jay Elowski Community Support Award (active support and enthusiasm): George Andrews, Boulder Broker Inn.
Buffalo Heart Award (selected by "the fans behind the bench"): CB Cha'pelle Brown