Dec. 9, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University football team held its annual season-ending banquet Saturday evening at Bohler Gymnasium, honoring the senior class of 2006 as well as the standout performers from a season that ended with 6-6 record.
A pair of wide receivers were named co-winners of the team's offensive MVP award as senior Jason Hill and junior Michael Bumpus shared the award. Hill, a three-time All-Pac-10 second-team selection, led WSU with seven receiving touchdowns this season, to go with 41 catches for 600 yards. He is the Cougars' all-time leader in receiving yards (2,704) and touchdown receptions (32), tied for second in Pac-10 history in the latter category. Hill is also second in career receptions at WSU with 148.
Bumpus, a Pac-10 honorable mention selection for the third consecutive season, led the Cougar receivers with 60 catches for 558 yards and one touchdown. Bumpus led the Pacific-10 Conference in catches for much of the season until a high ankle sprain suffered against Arizona forced him to miss much of that game along with the next contest at Arizona State. He had a career-best 11 catches for 112 yards against USC and added eight catches for 74 yards in a victory over No. 16 Oregon.
Senior safety Eric Frampton was a triple winner Saturday evening, taking home defensive MVP honors in addition to the Game Breaker and Fred Bohler Awards. Frampton earned his first All-Pac-10 Conference first team honor after leading the Cougars in tackles with 100, to go along with a team-leading five interceptions, eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Frampton had a career-high 16 tackles, nine solo, with a tackle for loss in WSU's 34-23 upset of No. 16 Oregon, for which he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week. In the Apple Cup against Washington, Frampton had a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown, the second of his career.
Senior defensive end Mkristo Bruce received the Leon Bender Award as the defensive lineman of the year. Bruce capped his senior season by leading the Cougars with 11.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss, to go with 67 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Bruce tied a Pac-10 record with five sacks at Stanford, after which he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week, and was the national leader in that category the following three weeks. Earlier this week Bruce was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America second team and was an honorable mention All-American by cnnsi.com.
In addition to his all-conference honors, Bruce received national acclaim by being named a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player), Rotary Lombardi Award (top defensive player) and the Lott Trophy (top defensive player).
Senior offensive tackle Charles Harris received the Mike Utley Award, given to the offensive lineman of the year. Harris was the only member of the offensive line to start every game anchored an offensive line that produced 489 yards per game and cleared the way for the nation's leading rusher.
Seniors linebackers Scott Davis and Steve Dildine were named co-winners of the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award. Davis earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors for the third straight season after finishing sixth on the team with 66 tackles. He was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week following his performance at Oregon State in which he had six tackles, three sacks, two on the Beavers' final drive, two passes defended and two fumble recoveries.
Dildine ended his senior campaign with 70 tackles, third on the team, to go with 5.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack, an interception and three pass breakups. He had a season-high 10 tackles against USC.
Davis 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. Bruce 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 Frampton for displaying the inspiration of former athletic director and head basketball coach Fred Bohler.
There were three special team awards as junior Jed Collins was awarded the Assasin, given to the individual who records the most tackles on special teams throughout the season. Senior Brian Hall received the Iron Man Award, which goes to the player who accumulates the most plays on special teams. Frampton earned his third honor of the evening when he was given the Game Breaker Award, representing the player who consistently performs at a high level on special teams.
SENIOR AWARDS Laurie Niemi Award (Cougar Attitude) Scott Davis Frank Butler Award (Cougar Spirit) Mkristo Bruce Fred Bohler Award (Cougar Inspiration) Eric Frampton
TEAM AWARDS Leon Bender Award (Defensive Lineman of the Year) Mkristo Bruce Mike Utley Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) Charles Harris Tim Petek Award (Strongest Man Award) Scott Davis & Steve Dildine Ozzie Dire Award (Scout Team Player of the Year) Kevin Lopina & DeWayne Patterson Offensive Most Valuable Player Michael Bumpus & Jason Hill Defensive Most Valuable Player Eric Frampton