Dec. 13, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University football team held its annual season-ending banquet Saturday evening at Bohler Gymnasium.
Sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel was named offensive most valuable player. Tuel started all 12 games, throwing for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 59.8 percent of his passes. He finished his year in WSU's single-season top 10 for completions (219, 7th), attempts (366, 10th) and completion percentage (5th). He threw for a season-high 311 yards at UCLA, including two touchdowns, and had a career-high four touchdown passes at Stanford.
Freshman safety Deone Bucannon was named the defensive MVP after leading WSU in tackles with 84. Bucannon led all Pacific-10 Conference freshmen and finished 14th in conference tackles. He had back-to-back games where he registered 16 (Arizona) and 15 (Stanford) tackles, the first mark setting a WSU freshman record with 14 solo tackles, finishing 14th overall in tackles.
Senior wide receiver Daniel Blackledge was awarded the Randal Simmons Award, named in honor of the former Cougar and Los Angeles SWAT team member who was killed in the line of duty in 2008. Blackledge has the finest season of his career, catching 30 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore defensive end Travis Long was awarded the Leon Bender Award as the defensive lineman of the year. Long registered 51 tackles this season, including team-highs of 10.5 tackles-for-loss and five sacks. Long ranks 11th in the Pac-10 in sacks and tied for 13th in TFLs.
Senior running back James Montgomery was named the recipient of the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award. Montgomery, who battled back from a career-threatening leg injury last season, led WSU in rushing in 2010 while scoring five touchdowns.
Senior center Zack Williams received the Mike Utley Award, given to the offensive lineman of the year. Williams, the leader of the Cougars' offensive line, started each of WSU's 12 games this season and earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors.
Linebacker Hallston Higgins and offensive lineman Micah Hannam were named winners of the Laurie Niemi Award, given to the senior who best depicts the courage and attitude of former Cougar assistant coach Laurie Niemi. Linebacker Myron Beck 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 running back Chantz Staden for displaying the inspiration of former athletic director and head basketball coach Fred Bohler.
SENIOR AWARDS Laurie Niemi Award (Cougar Attitude) Hallston Higgins and Micah Hannam Frank Butler Award (Cougar Spirit) Myron Beck Fred Bohler Award (Cougar Inspiration) Chantz Staden
TEAM AWARDS Leon Bender Award (Defensive Lineman of the Year) Travis Long Mike Utley Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) Zack Williams Tim Petek Award (Strongest Man Award) James Montgomery Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year Blair Bomber Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year Anthony Martinez Offensive Most Valuable Player Jeff Tuel Defensive Most Valuable Player Deone Bucannon Randal Simmons Award (Coaches Award) Daniel Blackledge