PULLMAN, Wash. --- The Washington State University football team held its annual banquet over the weekend at Martin Stadium.
Senior safety Deone Bucannon was named the defensive MVP after leading WSU in tackles with 109. Bucannon led all Pac-12 Conference players in tackles and finished tied for fourth in interceptions with five. Bucannon, who is fourth on WSU’s all-time tackles list with 379, earned All-Pac-12 Conference First Team honors this season and was a midseason All-America First Team selection by Sports Illustrated.
Senior offensive lineman Elliott Bosch was named offensive most valuable player. Bosch has started 24 straight games at center over the last two seasons and anchored an offensive line that ranks fourth nationally in passing and has doubled its rushing output over last season. Earlier this month Bosch received All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention honors.
Junior wide receiver Kristoff Williams garnered special teams MVP. Williams played on three of the four Cougar special teams, registered six tackles during the season and averaged 20.7 yards on kickoff returns. During the season he was named special teams captain on two occasions.
Redshirt junior defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole was awarded the Leon Bender Award as the defensive lineman of the year. Pole has registered 26 tackles this season, including three tackles-for-loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Senior tackle John Fullington received the Mike Utley Award, given to the offensive lineman of the year. Fullington played both right guard and right tackles this season and has started each of the last 42 games dating back to his freshman campaign in 2010.
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Xavier Cooper was named the recipient of the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award. Cooper has posted team-highs of 13 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks this season, which also registering 47 total tackles and two forced fumbles.
Junior running back Marcus Mason and senior linebacker Justin Sagote were awarded the offensive and defensive Randal Simmons Award, respectively, named in honor of the former Cougar and Los Angeles SWAT team member who was killed in the line of duty in 2008. Mason led the team in rushing and all-purpose yards while Sagote was the second-leading tackler on the squad with 91.
Junior quarterback Connor Halliday received the offensive captain award while sophomore linebacker Darryl Monroe was the defensive recipient. Halliday had a record-setting season, setting Pac-12 conference records for pass attempts and completions in a game and season, while also registering the most passing yards in a season in school history. Monroe finished the season with 81 tackles, third on the team, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Defensive lineman Ioane Gauta was named the recipient of the Laurie Niemi Award, given to the senior who best depicts the courage and attitude of former Cougar assistant coach Laurie Niemi. Kicker Andrew Furney was given the Frank Butler Award, which goes to a senior member of the team who exemplifies the Cougar spirit made famous by Spokane booster Frank Butler. The Cougar Inspiration Award, known as the Fred Bohler Award, was presented to senior cornerback Damante Horton for displaying the inspiration of former athletic director and head basketball coach Fred Bohler.
Laurie Niemi Award (Cougar Attitude) Ioane Gauta
Frank Butler Award (Cougar Spirit) Andrew Furney
Fred Bohler Award (Cougar Inspiration) Damante Horton
Leon Bender Award (Defensive Lineman of the Year) Kalafitoni Pole
Mike Utley Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) John Fullington
Tim Petek Award (Strongest Man Award) Xavier Cooper
Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year Jamal Morrow
Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year Ivan McLennan
Offensive Most Valuable Player Elliott Bosch
Defensive Most Valuable Player Deone Bucannon
Randal Simmons Award (Offensive Coaches Award) Marcus Mason
Randal Simmons Award (Defensive Coaches Award) Justin Sagote