Dec. 18, 2013
The University of Cincinnati football team handed out its postseason awards at the Bearcats' annual postseason awards banquet, Wednesday at the Kingsgate Marriott.
An overflow crowd of 400 families and supporters was on hand for the banquet as Head Coach Tommy Tuberville recognized the team's 17 seniors and recognized numerous others for their contributions to the Bearcats success in 2013.
UC's senior class is comprised of Marques Aiken, Blake Annen, Greg Blair, Austen Bujnoch, Arryn Chenault, Derek Cox, Andre Cureton, Adam Dempsey, Deven Drane, Brendon Kay, Anthony King, Sam Longo, Jordan Luallen, Anthony McClung, Mitch Meador, Dan Sprague and Jordan Stepp.
Blair and Kay were winners of the Claude Rost Sr. Most Valuable Player award on defense and offense, respectively. The award is named after Rost Sr., a dedicated former UC student-athlete and C-Club Preisdent.
Blair led UC in tackles and tied for ninth in the AAC with 96 tackles. He accumulated 6.5 tackles for loss while adding five quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, one sack, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. The senior had nine games with five or more tackles and four double-digit tackle games, including 18 stops versus Louisville. He also took home the Most Outstanding Linebacker honor.
Kay became only the fourth QB in UC history to throw for 3,000 or more yards in a season. The sixth-year senior, who played hurt all season, finished with six 300-yard games in the regular season, going 247-of-360 for 3,121 yards and 22 TDs. He added six rushing TDs and his .686 completion percentage is on pace to set the school single-season record.
Tyreek Burwell and Mark Wilson were named the offensive and defensive scout team players of the year, respectively. Scout teamers play the role of UC's upcoming opponent in practice, giving the offense and defense valuable looks leading up to games.
Eric Lefeld earned the C-Club Strothman Award for Academic Excellence. He was part of an offensive line unit that allowed only 12 sacks during the regular season, leading the American and tied for 11th best in the NCAA FBS. The unanimous First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection carries a 3.64 GPA in his marketing major.
Brandon Mitchell was named the winner of the Glenn Sample Community Service award. Named for one of the great icons of Bearcats athletics who was a lion in the community, Mitchell earned the honor for work he has done in the community both with UC student-athletes and as part of his Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Jordan Luallen and Adrian Witty were the offensive and defensive winners of the Jim Kelly Sr. Spirit Award. The award is given annually to those who best represent the ideals of former UC letterwinner, administrator, and coach Jim Kelly Sr.
True freshman Zach Edwards was named the team's newcomer of the year. Edwards made 10 starts at safety and finished third on the team with 63 tackles, including 37 solo stops. He finished with 2.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, four pass break ups, six passes defended, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Ralph David Abernathy IV and Drane took home the Brig Owens Outstanding Back award for the offense and defense, respectively. Owens was an outstanding QB for UC in the 1960s who played 13 years in the NFL before becoming a successful businessman. He is enshrined in the UC and Washington Redskins Halls of Fame.
Abernathy was a First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection at kick returner. He started 12 games, scoring four TDs, rushing for 485 yards and a 3.8 yards per carry average.
Drane was a second-team all-league honoree at cornerback. Drane intercepted a team-high three passes and defended a total of eight passes. He generated 24 tackles on the season and accumulated 85 return yards on his three picks for an average of 28.3 yards per return.
Corey Mason was named the special teams player of the year. Mason led the Bearcats with 12 special teams tackles, recording nine on kickoff and three on the punt team. Mason totaled 21 stops on the season, including a sack and four QB hurries.
McClung was named the team's most outstanding receiver, leading the Bearcats in receiving and finishing fifth in the conference with 908 yards on 68 receptions, including five touchdowns. The wide out pulled in 6.2 receptions per game and tallied seven games of 90 or more receiving yards.
Bujnoch earned the John Pease Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award while Jordan Stepp and Silverberry Mouhon shared the Pease Award for outstanding defensive lineman. Pease was captain of the 1925 UC team and a longtime supporter of UC athletics who is enshrined in the James P. Kelly Sr. Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bujnoch was part of an offensive line unit that allowed only 12 sacks during the regular season, leading the American and tied for 11th best in the NCAA FBS.
Mouhon, a second-team all-conference selection at defensive line, tied for third in the American and finished Top-20 in the NCAA FBS with 9.5 sacks. He recorded 37 total tackles while forcing two fumbles and seven quarterback hurries. The sophomore garnered a sack in seven of UC's games.
Stepp, who was a First-Team All-AAC honoree at defensive line, was second on the team and tied for sixth in the American with six sacks. He also finished fifth on the team in tackles with 43, eight of which were for a loss, and had one fumble recovery. The senior tallied a career high nine tackles in the regular season finale against Louisville.
Cincinnati (9-3, 6-2 American) will close out the 2013 season against North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 ACC) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 28 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The game will kick off at 3:20 p.m. ET, be televised by ESPN and broadcast on radio by 700 WLW AM.
Tickets are on sale now at CATSTIX.com, start at $50 and are available at four pricing levels: club seats ($100), lower sideline ($85), lower endzone ($75) and upper level ($50). All handling and shipping fees are included.
Tickets are available for purchase by all fans, including UCATS members, students and the general public. Seating assignments will be determined by UCATS tier level and then priority points within the tier level. Fans are strongly encouraged to order tickets online to avoid long wait times on the phone or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office.
All individuals who buy or donate tickets through UC will receive two (2) tickets to a future American Athletic Conference men's basketball game.
2013 UC FOOTBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS