Dec. 8, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. --- The Washington State University football team held its annual season-ending banquet Saturday evening at Bohler Gymnasium, honoring the senior class of 2007 as well as the standout performers from a season that ended with a 5-7 record.
Senior quarterback Alex Brink was named offensive MVP. Brink threw for 3,818 yards this season, the second highest single-season total in school history. He completed 305-of-503 passes for a completion-percentage of .606, the fourth-best in WSU history. The senior also threw 26 touchdown passes, which ranks tied for third on the single-season list. This season Brink took over as the WSU career leader in passing yardage (10,913), touchdowns (76), attempts (1,451) and completions (848). Brink, one of the most prolific passers in conference history, ranks third and fifth in the Pac-10 in yards and touchdowns, respectively, and is only the sixth signal-caller in conference history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and toss 70-or-more touchdowns. Brink also earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors following his 399-yard, five-touchdown performance against Washington in the Apple Cup this year, his third victory over the Huskies as a starter.
Senior safety Husain Abdullah was named defensive MVP. Abdullah led WSU with a career-high 93 tackles (54 solo) this season. He also posted 8.5 tackles for loss, intercepted a team-high four passes, had six pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. One of his interceptions he returned for a touchdown to clinch a victory over Stanford, earning Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors. The senior's 10 career thefts rank 11th all-time at WSU.
Ropati Pitoitua received the Leon Bender Award as the defensive lineman of the year. Pitoitua started 11 of the Cougars' 12 games this season, recording 42 tackles (17 solo) and five tackles for loss.
Senior offensive guard Bobby Byrd received the Mike Utley Award, given to the offensive lineman of the year. Byrd helped WSU lead the conference in passing offense (319.7 yards per game) and rank second in total offense (435.6 yards per game).
Senior defensive end Matt Mullennix and junior middle linebacker Greg Trent were named co-winners of the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award. Mullennix started 10 games in 2007, recording 33 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Trent tallied a career-high 89 tackles (46 solo), finishing third on the team. The junior also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, both of which were also career highs. Trent added four pass break-ups, five quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Senior linebacker Chris Baltzer was named the winner of the Laurie Niemi Award, given to the senior who best depicts the courage and attitude of former Cougar assistant coach Laurie Niemi. Senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus 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 tight end Jed Collins for displaying the inspiration of former athletic director and head basketball coach Fred Bohler.
Junior wide receiver Michael Willis was named the recipient of the Ozzie Dire Award, which goes to a scout team member who is devoted to his teammates and their success.
Sophomore safety Xavier Hicks was named the Hammer Award winner, given annually to the individual who records the most big play special teams hits throughout the season.
SENIOR AWARDS Laurie Niemi Award (Cougar Attitude) Chris Baltzer Frank Butler Award (Cougar Spirit) Michael Bumpus Fred Bohler Award (Cougar Inspiration) Jed Collins
TEAM AWARDS Leon Bender Award (Defensive Lineman of the Year) Ropati Pitoitua Mike Utley Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) Bobby Byrd Tim Petek Award (Strongest Man Award) Greg Trent and Matt Mullennix Ozzie Dire Award (Scout Team Player of the Year) Michael Willis Offensive Most Valuable Player Alex Brink Defensive Most Valuable Player Husain Abdullah
SPECIAL TEAMS AWARDS Hammer Xavier Hicks