Columbia, Mo. - The University of Missouri football program honored its 18-member senior class Sunday afternoon at its annual team banquet to wrap up the 2012 season. As is tradition, numerous team awards were handed out at the event, which was held at Mizzou Arena. Here's a look at the awards given out:
Senior TB Kendial Lawrence(Rockwall, Texas) was named the team's Most Valuable Player (voted on by teammates), as well as taking home the team's Offensive Back of the Year award. Lawrence concluded his Tiger career with an outstanding 2012 season, as he ran for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Senior LB Zaviar Gooden(Pflugerville, Texas) took home three awards on the day, as he was recognized with the Don Faurot Most Inspirational Player Award (voted on by teammates), the team's Linebacker of the Year Award, and the Tiger Performance Athlete of the Year Award. The latter goes each year to the player who stands out in the Tiger strength and conditioning program. Gooden had 61 tackles on the season, to go with 4.0 tackles for loss, two recovered fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown.
Junior LB Andrew Wilson(Peculiar, Mo.) also won a pair of awards on Sunday. The team's leading tackler for the second-straight season (with 79 in 2012), Wilson won the Rigman Outstanding Underclassman Leadership Award, as well as taking home the team's Hammer Award for the third-straight season. The Hammer Award goes annually to the player with the most big hits.
Junior OL Justin Britt(Lebanon, Mo.) also shared the Rigman Award with Wilson, for his contributions in 2012.
Junior CB E.J. Gaineswon two awards of his own at the banquet. The Independence, Mo. native led Mizzou with 11 pass break ups in 2012, and his 58 solo tackles were also most on the squad (he finished 4th overall on the team with 74 total stops). For his efforts, Gaines was named the team's Cornerback of the Year, as well as also taking home the team's Bob Jeffries Kansas City Player of the Year Award.
Offensive lineman Evan Boehm (Lee's Summit, Mo.) won the team's Freshman of the Year Award, for his outstanding play in the trenches for a unit which was decimated by injuries. Boehm became the first-ever true freshman to start a season-opener under Head Coach Gary Pinkel, and he made starts in all 12 games this season. Earlier last week, Boehm was named a 2nd-Team Freshman All-American by Foxsports.com and was named 1st-Team Freshman All-American by College Football News.
Winners of other position group awards included senior OL Elvis Fisher (Offensive Lineman of the Year), senior TB Jared McGriff-Culver and junior TB Marcus Murphy (they split the team's Special Teams Player of the Year Award), junior DL Sheldon Richardson (Defensive Lineman of the Year) and senior SS Kenronte Walker(Safety of the Year).
Senior CB Kip Edwards(Arlington, Texas) won the team's Curtis Jones Champion of the Year Award, given annually to the Tiger who best combines on-field results, with leadership on and off the field, and who displays exemplary growth as a young man. Edwards finished 2012 with 46 tackles, and he had a team-high five turnovers gained, with three recovered fumbles and a pair of interceptions. The award honors the memory of former Tiger player and coach, Curtis Jones.
Redshirt freshman PK Andrew Baggett(Lee's Summit, Mo.) was named the team's Walk-On Player of the Year, for his play in 2012. After winning the starting kicking job in fall camp, Baggett proceeded to make 14-of-20 field goals (including a long of 46 yards), and 33-of-37 extra points on the year. He led Mizzou with 75 points scored.
The Aaron O'Neal St. Louis Metro Player of the Year Award went to sophomore WR Jimmie Hunt. Hunt was explosive in 2012, as he accounted for four touchdowns in 14 combined touches. The St. Louis, Mo. native scored three receiving TDs on 11 receptions (199 yards), and he had one kickoff return for a score (87 yards at Tennessee) in three attempts. The award is named for former Tiger LB Aaron O'Neal, who passed away tragically in 2005 following voluntary summer workouts.
Senior LB Will Ebner(Friendswood, Texas) won the team's Missouri MO Award, given annually to the Tiger who displays the most spirit, enthusiasm, determination and desire. Ebner overcame a lot of injury problems over his career, and had a standout 2012 season in which he posted 75 tackles and led the team with 10.5 tackles for loss.
Senior DE Brad Madison(Bethany, Mo.) won the team's J. Ed "Brick" Travis Interior Lineman of the Year Award. Madison had 4.0 sacks on the season, and that gave him 16.0 for his career, which puts him 11th alltime at Mizzou.
Team captains for the 2012 season included seniors Will Ebner (LB), Elvis Fisher (OL), Zaviar Gooden (LB) and T.J. Moe (WR). Captains for next season will be chosen by the team during fall camp of 2013.