Lincoln – The Nebraska football team celebrated its 2009 season on Friday evening at its annual banquet, held at The Cornhusker in Downtown Lincoln. Nearly 500 people attended the banquet, which included the awarding of several team awards and the announcement of the 2009 season captains.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was the most honored Husker of the evening, although he was not in attendance. Instead, the senior from Portland, Ore., was in New York as one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented on Saturday. Earlier this week Suh took home the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy. On Friday, he was named Nebraska’s Team MVP and Defensive MVP.
After leading the Huskers in tackles (82), sacks (12.0), tackles for loss (23), quarterback hurries (26) and blocked kicks (three), Suh was also named as the winner of the Guy Chamberlin Award.
The first-team All-American was also named one of Nebraska’s three season captains. The Huskers elected game captains each week, before determining season-long captains after the regular season. While Suh was chosen as the defensive captain, center Jacob Hickman was selected as the offensive captain and place-kicker/punter Alex Henery was named the special teams captain.
After setting a school record with 20 field goals this season and placing a Big 12-leading 28 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, Henery was also named Nebraska’s Special Teams MVP. The Omaha native has connected on 20-of-24 field goal attempts and all 35 extra-point tries this season. Henery is the Huskers’ top scorer with 95 points, while he also averages 41.7 yards per punt. For his efforts, Henery earned first-team all-conference accolades as both a punter and place-kicker by at least two publications.
I-back Roy Helu Jr. was named the Offensive MVP. Despite battling an injury, Helu has rushed for 1,139 yards this season, the third highest total in the Big 12. A second-team all-conference selection by the league’s coaches, Helu has scored 10 touchdowns while posting four 100-yard rushing games and averaging 5.2 yards per carry, a league best among backs with at least 150 carries this season.
Helu’s leading blocker, fullback Tyler Legate was named the Walk-On MVP. Legate helped pave the way for Helu to record the program’s 29th 1,000-yard rushing season. The Novak Trophy went to linebacker Phillip Dillard, a second-team All-Big 12 pick. The Novak and Chamerblin Awards were chosen by a vote of media who regularly cover Nebraska throughout the season. Those two winners, along with the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award, will again be celebrated at the Outland Trophy banquet in Omaha on Jan. 14.
Safety Matt O’Hanlon was named the winner of the Native Son Award, along with earning the Bobby Reynolds Award. Defensive end Barry Turner received the Pat Clare Award, while four members of the scout team were also honored. Quarterback Ron Kellogg III and offensive lineman Nick Ash were announced as the Scout Team Offensive MVPs, while safety Jim Ebke and defensive end Kenny Anderson were named the Scout Team Defensive MVPs. Defensive tackle Jared Crick was named Lifter of the Year to round out the award selection.
2009 Nebraska Football Award Winners
Offensive Captain: Jacob Hickman, C
Defensive Captain: Ndamukong Suh, DT
Special Teams Captain: Alex Henery, PK
Team MVP: Ndamukong Suh, DT
Offensive MVP: Roy Helu Jr, IB
Defensive MVP: Ndamukong Suh, DT
Special Teams MVP: Alex Henery, PK
Walk-On MVP: Tyler Legate, FB
Scout Team Offensive MVPs: Ron Kellogg III, QB; Nick Ash, OL
Scout Team Defensive MVPs: Jim Ebke, S; Kenny Anderson, DE
Novak Trophy: Phillip Dillard, LB
Chamberlin Trophy: Ndamukong Suh, DT
Cletus Fischer Native Son Award: Matt O’Hanlon, S
Bobby Reynolds Award: Matt O’Hanlon, S
Pat Clare Award: Barry Turner, DE
Lifter of the Year: Jared Crick, DT