Dec. 10, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University football team held its annual season-ending banquet Saturday evening at Bohler Gymnasium, honoring the senior class of 2005 as well as the standout performers from a season that ended with an Apple Cup win over Washington.
Senior running back Jerome Harrison was named the offensive most valuable player after a season that saw him break or 11 school records, including the single-season mark for rushing yards with 1,900. Harrison rushed for a Pacific-10-record 100-plus yards in 14 straight games and led the nation in rushing at 172.6 yards per game. He was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back, and has been named to numerous All-America first and second teams.
Junior defensive end Mkristo Bruce was a double-winner as he received the defensive most valuable player and the Leon Bender Award as the defensive lineman of the year. Bruce registered 67 tackles and a team-leading 10 sacks, which tied for seventh on the single-season list. His sack totals were second among all Pac-10 players and his 15 tackles for loss were tied for first, garnering him All-Pac-10 second team honors.
Senior center Nick Mihlhauser received the Mike Utley Award, given to the offensive lineman of the year. Mihlhauser, a Rimington Trophy candidate, anchored an offensive line that produced 489 yards per game and cleared the way for the nation's leading rusher.
Senior Adam Braidwood was named the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award winner for the second straight season. Braidwood, who shared the honor last season with former Cougar Steve Cook, had 27 tackles on the season and was second on the team in both sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (8.5).
Tight end Troy Bienemann 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. Receiver Marty Martin 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 linebacker Will Derting for displaying the inspiration of former athletic director and head basketball coach Fred Bohler.
Freshman Arkelon Hall was named the winner of the Ozzie Dire Award, which goes to a scout team member who is devoted to his teammates and their success.
There were three special team awards as freshman Courtney Williams was awarded the Assasin, given to the individual who records the most tackles on special teams throughout the season. Sophomore Jed Collins received the Iron Man Award, which goes to the player who accumulates the most plays on special teams. Senior punter Kyle Basler, who set school records for career punts and punt yardage and finished his Cougar career second all-time in punting average, was given the Game Breaker Award, representing the player who consistently performs at a high level on special teams.
Leon Bender Award (Defensive Lineman of the Year) - Mkristo Bruce
Mike Utley Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) - Nick Mihlhauser
Tim Petek Award (Strongest Man Award) - Adam Braidwood
Ozzie Dire Award (Scout Team Player of the Year) - Arkelon Hall
Offensive Most Valuable Player - Jerome Harrison
Defensive Most Valuable Player - Mkristo Bruce