Huskers Pick up Honors at Football Banquet
The Nebraska football team recognized its 2016 team award winners on Sunday as part of its season banquet at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln.
Nebraska staff members presented awards to several members of the 2016 team and Head Coach Mike Riley thanked the players, coaches and staff for their efforts that led to a 9-3 season and a berth in the Music City Bowl.
Senior receiver Jordan Westerkamp was selected as the winner of the Guy Chamberlin Trophy. The award is voted on by the media and honors a senior player who has the qualities and dedication of the great Cornhusker tradition. Westerkamp is a two-year captain and enters the bowl game second in school history in career receptions and fourth in receiving yards.
Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. was honored as the winner of the Tom Novak Trophy. Armstrong is a four-year starter at quarterback and holds Nebraska career records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns. The Novak Trophy is one of the oldest Nebraska senior awards, dating back to 1950. The award is selected by a vote of media that cover Nebraska on a daily basis.
A pair of Nebraska natives were honored with the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award. The Native Son Award is given annually to a senior who is a Nebraska native and is named in honor of long-time Nebraska offensive line coach Cletus Fischer.
Senior linebacker Josh Banderas, is a Lincoln native and second-generation Husker following in the footsteps of his father, Tom, who played for Nebraska in the 1980s.
The Native Son Award was also presented to punter Sam Foltz, which was accepted by place-kicker Drew Brown on behalf of the Foltz family. A native of Greeley, Neb., Foltz was a three-year letterwinner and the 2015 Big Ten Punter of the Year before his tragic passing this past July.
The Novak, Chamberlin and Native Son award winners will also be honored at the Outland Trophy ceremony in Omaha on Jan. 11.
Senior offensive guard Sam Hahn was presented with the 2016 Walk-on of the Year Award. Hahn started nine games at right guard this season and helped Nebraska rank among the national leaders in fewest sacks allowed.
Senior tight end Sam Cotton was presented with the Husker Pride Award. The honor goes to a player who the coaching staff recognizes as being someone who has represented Nebraska football for all the right reasons, and has represented Nebraska both on and off the field in a first-class manner.
Junior fullback Luke McNitt was presented Nebraska’s prestigious Lifter of the Year award for his dedication, work ethic and commitment in the weight room. Senior linebacker and special teams standout Brad Simpson earned the Huskers’ Lunch Bucket, given to a player who shows a blue collar attitude and gives maximum effort at all times.
Junior receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El was the winner of the Pat Clare Award. This award is presented by the Husker medical staff and is given to a player who has shown courage and commitment to overcome an injury.
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Carlos Davis was honored with the Most Improved Player Award, while true freshman running back Tre Bryant earned the Newcomer-of-the-Year Award.
Five Huskers earned Scout Team MVP honors. The Scout Team Defensive MVPs were defensive end Collin Miller and linebacker Pernell Jefferson. On offense, receiver JD Spielman and quarterback Tanner Lee were recognized, while Conor Young was honored for his Special Teams scout work.
2016 Nebraska Football Award Winners
Scout Team Defensive MVP: Pernell Jefferson, Collin Miller
Scout Team Offensive MVP: Tanner Lee, JD Spielman
Scout Team Special Teams MVP: Conor Young
Walk-on of the Year Award: Sam Hahn
Most Improved Player: Carlos Davis
Newcomer of the Year Award: Tre Bryant
Pat Clare Award: De’Mornay Pierson-El
Tom Novak Trophy: Tommy Armstrong Jr.
Guy Chamberlin Trophy: Jordan Westerkamp
Cletus Fischer Native Son Award: Josh Banderas, Sam Foltz
Lunch Bucket Award: Brad Simpson
Lifter of the Year: Luke McNitt
Husker Pride Award: Sam Cotton