2015 Spartan Football Awards Banquet Recap

Aaron Burbridge named Most Valuable Player by his teammates.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Big Ten Receiver of the Year Aaron Burbridge, who set a Michigan State single-season record with 85 catches and became the first Spartan to lead the league in receiving yards and receptions in the same season, has been selected Most Valuable Player (Governor’s Award recipient) by his teammates at the annual Spartan Football Awards Banquet held Sunday, April 24 before a crowd of nearly xxxx at the Breslin Center.

Here is the complete list of hardware presented at the 2015 Spartan Football Awards Banquet.

Governor’s Award (Most Valuable Player): Wide Receiver Aaron Burbridge

Named the 2015 Richter-Howard Big Ten Receiver of the Year, the second-straight Spartan to win the award (Tony Lippett, 2014) . . . first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media . . . also named first-team All-Big Ten by The Associated Press, Athlon Sports, BTN.com, ESPN.com and Phil Steele . . . SI.com honorable mention All-American . . . led the Big Ten in receptions with 85 (6.1 pg.), which also set an MSU single-season record . . . also led the Big Ten in receiving yards with 1,258 (89.9 ypg.), the fifth-highest single-season total in MSU history . . . became just the third Spartan to lead the Big Ten in receiving yards (Charles Rogers, 2002; Lippett, 2014) and the second to lead the conference in receptions (Kirk Gibson, 1976 and 1978) . . . also led the team and ranked ninth in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (1,302; 93.0 ypg.) . . . became just the seventh Spartan to record 1,000 receiving yards in a single-season . . . ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in receptions (first with 85), 100-yard receiving games (tied for second with 7), receiving yards (fifth with 1,258) and TD catches (tied for 12th with 7) . . . ranked among the NCAA FBS leaders in receiving yards (16th with 1,258), receiving yards per game (19th with 89.9 ypg.) and receptions (29th at 6.1 pg.) . . . had seven 100-yard receiving games, one shy of the MSU single-season record (B.J. Cunningham, eight, 2011), including a stretch of four-straight games (Rutgers, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska) . . . ranked first on the team with seven TD catches, which tied for fourth most in the Big Ten . . . led MSU in receiving in 12 of 14 games . . . had 21 receptions of 20-plus yards . . . 61 of his 85 catches resulted in either a touchdown or first down (72 percent) . . . in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. No. 4 Iowa, established a Michigan State single-season record for receptions with his 80th catch of the year on a third-and-8 play in the fourth quarter that kept MSU’s eventual game-winning touchdown drive alive; the 16-yard grab was his fifth of the game and he finished with a team-high five receptions for 61 yards . . . led team with six catches for 75 yards on Senior Day vs. Penn State, including a 29-yard touchdown reception from Connor Cook in the third quarter in which he eluded several tacklers on his way into the end zone . . . tied his career high with 10 catches and established a career high for receiving yards with 164 at Nebraska; also had a 33-yard TD catch in the third quarter . . . his 164 receiving yards were the most ever by a Spartan wide receiver against the Huskers . . . had eight receptions for 128 yards, including an 11-yard TD grab, against Indiana . . . in MSU’s 27-23 win over No. 12 Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 17, hauled in nine catches for 132 yards while being matched up against Wolverine senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who was named an All-American by several national media outlets . . . recorded a career-high 10 receptions and had 156 receiving yards in the win at Rutgers . . . named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after setting a career high with three touchdown catches in the win over Air Force; had eight receptions overall for 156 yards against the Falcons . . . scored on TD grabs of 28, 32 and 21 yards from Cook . . . his first TD grab was an acrobatic reception in the corner of the end zone that was named one of the top plays of the week by several national media outlets . . . the three TD receptions tied MSU’s single-game record (last player: Cunningham vs. Wisconsin, 2011 Big Ten Championship Game), and it also marked his third-straight 100-yard receiving game; he topped the 100-yard receiving mark in the first half alone, with five catches for 112 yards and two TDs . . . became just the fourth player in Spartan history to record 150-plus receiving yards and three TD catches in the same game (Andre Rison, Plaxico Burress, B.J. Cunningham) . . . named Spartan Offensive Player of the Week after posting eight catches for 101 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, in the victory over No. 7 Oregon . . . recorded his second career 100-yard receiving game with 117 yards on four catches (29.2 avg.), including a career-long 56-yard reception, in the season opener at Western Michigan; named the Spartan Offensive Player of the Week vs. the Broncos.

CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner had 165 catches for 2,174 yards (13.2 avg.) and 10 touchdowns in 51 career games, including 23 starts . . . finished his career ranked among MSU’s all-time leaders in receptions (second with 165), 100-yard receiving games (fifth with eight), receiving yards (seventh with 2,174) and TD catches (tied for 20th with 10) . . . one of only two Spartans with more than 150 career receptions (record-holder is B.J. Cunningham with 218 from 2008-11).

Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Offense: Quarterback Connor Cook

Completed 56 percent of his passes (229-of-408) for 3,131 yards and 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions . . . finished among MSU’s single-season leaders in touchdowns (tied for second with 24, tying a career high), pass attempts (fourth with career-high 408), passing yards (fourth with 3,131), pass completions (fifth with career-high 229) and passing yards per game (fifth with 240.8 per game) . . . named recipient of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually since 1987 to the nation’s top college quarterback . . . became just the second Big Ten quarterback (Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien in 2010) to win the Unitas Award . . . became first Spartan quarterback to win the Greise-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year Award since its inception in 2011, and was also the first Spartan QB be named first-team All-Big Ten since Steve Juday in 1965 and only the fifth ever in school history (Earl Morrall, 1955; James Ninowski, 1957; Dean Look, 1959; Juday, 1965) . . . also named first-team All-Big Ten by The Associated Press, Athlon Sports, BTN.com, ESPN.com and Phil Steele . . . finished tied for ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting, becoming the first Spartan to finish in the Top 10 since Javon Ringer in 2008 (10th); also became just the fourth Spartan quarterback to finish in the Top 10 and the first since 1965 (Juday, 1965, 6th; Look, 1959, 6th; Morrall, 1955, 4th) . . . SI.com honorable mention All-American . . . Chicago Tribune Silver Football finalist (Big Ten’s best player/one of three) . . . Manning Award finalist . . . semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award (college player of the year) . . . Academic All-Big Ten selection for the third year in a row . . . finished ranked No. 6 in ESPN.com’s 2015 final Big Ten player rankings . . . ranked among the Big Ten leaders in touchdown passes (second with 24), passing (third with 240.8 ypg.), total offense (third with 245.2 ypg.) and passing efficiency (fifth with 136.6 rating) . . . established a school record by throwing for more than 300 yards in four consecutive games (367 vs. Rutgers; 328 vs. Michigan; career-high 398 vs. Indiana; 335 vs. Nebraska) . . . the four 300-yard passing games were tied for second most in an MSU single season (record: Smoker with six in 2003) . . . had eight 200-yard passing games, tied for fifth most in an MSU single-season . . . in Big Ten games, averaged 270.3 passing yards per game . . . completed 19-of-39 passes for 210 yards in his final collegiate game against No. 2 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl; with an 18-yard completion to Josiah Price in the third quarter, became MSU’s all-time leader in passing yards . . . became the first player in Big Ten history to win the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game Most Valuable Player Award twice (also won in 2013 vs. Ohio State), as he helped lead the Spartans past No. 4 Iowa, 16-13, to claim MSU’s second Big Ten title in three years; completed 16-of-32 passes for 191 yards against the Hawkeyes, including a key 16-yard strike to Aaron Burbridge on third-and-8 during the game-winning touchdown drive . . . on that same drive, which lasted 22 plays and went 82 yards in 9:04, also rushed 2 yards for a first down on fourth-and-2 from the Iowa 5-yard line with 1:59 remaining that set up LJ Scott’s 1-yard game-winning TD run with 27 seconds left . . . it marked Cook’s sixth fourth-quarter comeback for the Spartans . . . connected on 19-of-26 throws for 248 yards and three touchdowns against Penn State on Senior Day in his final appearance at Spartan Stadium; completed passes to seven different receivers, including TD strikes of 29 yards to R.J. Shelton, 29 yards to Burbridge and 6 yards to Price . . . with 243 total yards vs. PSU, set MSU’s career record for total offense (previous record held by Cousins, 2008-11); became the school’s all-time leader in total offense with his 16-yard completion to Shelton early in the fourth quarter . . . named Spartan Offensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State . . . had his school-record streak of 36 consecutive starts at quarterback come to an end as he sat out the game at No. 2 Ohio State (shoulder) . . . tied a career high with four touchdown passes at Nebraska to set a Michigan State career record, passing Cousins . . . completed 23-of-37 passes for 335 yards and one interception along with his four TDs, and set a school record with his fourth-straight 300-yard passing game; his 335 passing yards were the most ever by a Spartan QB against Nebraska . . . named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after setting a school record with 416 yards of total offense and throwing for a career-high 398 yards in Michigan State’s 52-26 win over Indiana . . . also set career highs for pass completions (30) and pass attempts (52) against the Hoosiers and tied his career best with four touchdown passes . . . produced some of the top single-game passing totals in school history against the Hoosiers: completions (tied for sixth with 30), pass attempts (sixth with 52), passing yards (second with 398) and TD passes (tied for second with 4); the 398 passing yards were just two shy of MSU’s single-game record (Bill Burke, 400, vs. Michigan in 1999) . . . his effort against the Hoosiers was also named one of the “Great Eight” performances of the week by the Davey O’Brien Award . . . became just the second Spartan starting quarterback to defeat Michigan three consecutive times (Cousins, 2009-11) in MSU’s 27-23 triumph at Michigan Stadium in Week 7; threw his 60th career touchdown pass with a 30-yard pass to Macgarrett Kings Jr. in the third quarter and completed 18-of-39 passes overall for 328 yards, marking his eighth career 300-yard passing game . . . threw for 367 yards – the fifth-highest single-game total in school history – while completing 24-of-39 passes for two touchdowns and one interception in the win at Rutgers; with the scored tied at 24 with 4:16 to play, engineered a 10-play, 76-yard game-winning touchdown drive to give MSU the 31-24 victory; was 2-of-3 passing for 39 yards on the drive, including a 29-yard third-down completion to Shelton . . . his showing against the Scarlet Knights was named one of the “Great 8” performances of the week by the Davey O’Brien Award . . . became the winningest quarterback in school history in the victory over Purdue, surpassing Cousins’ previous record of 27 . . . matched his career high with four touchdown passes and completed 15-of-23 throws for 247 yards against Air Force.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year starter finished his career as the winningest quarterback in school history with 34 victories (34-5 overall record, 23-2 vs. Big Ten opponents, 21-2 in Big Ten regular-season games, 2-0 in Big Ten Championship Games, 2-1 in bowl games) . . . the 34 wins are fourth most in Big Ten history and tied for 25th in NCAA FBS history by a starting quarterback . . . surpassed Kirk Cousins for the most wins by a Spartan starting QB in school history in the Purdue game in Week 5 of the 2015 season (Cousins had a 27-12 record from 2009-11) . . . tied a school record with 39 starts (Cousins, 2009-11) . . . in 43 career games, completed 58 percent of his passes (673-of-1170) for 9,194 yards, 71 touchdowns and 22 interceptions . . . finished his career as the school-record holder for most touchdowns passes (71), passing yards (9,194), total offense (9,403 yards) and pass attempts (1,170) . . . tied for first in MSU history in 300-yard passing games (10) and 200-yard passing games (26) . . . also ranks among MSU’s all-time leaders in passing yards per game (second at 213.8 ypg.), pass completions (third with 673), passing efficiency (fourth with 139.8 rating) and pass completion percentage (10th at .575) . . . finished his career ranked seventh in Big Ten history in touchdown passes with 71 . . . tied a school record, shared with Cousins and Drew Stanton, by throwing for a touchdown pass in 16-straight games (streak started vs. Illinois on Oct. 26, 2013 and was snapped at Maryland on Nov. 15, 2014) . . . started a school-record 36 consecutive games at quarterback (streak began on Sept. 7, 2013 vs. South Florida and ended on Nov. 21, 2015 vs. Ohio State) . . . had two winning streaks which rank among the longest by a Spartan starting quarterback in school history (12 from Nov. 15, 2014 to Oct. 24, 2015 is second longest; 11 from Oct. 5, 2013, to Aug. 29, 2014 is third longest; record: Al Dorow, 15 in 1950-51) . . . led the Spartans to a 5-2 record against AP Top 10 teams and an 8-4 mark vs. AP Top 25 teams . . . led the Spartans to six fourth-quarter comeback victories (2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs. TCU; 2013 vs. Ohio State in Big Ten Championship Game; 2014 Rose Bowl vs. Stanford; 2015 Cotton Bowl vs. Baylor; 2015 vs. Michigan; 2015 vs. Iowa in Big Ten Championship Game) . . . three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection earned his bachelor’s degree in media and information in December 2015.

Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Defense: Defensive End Shilique Calhoun

Named second-team All-American (Associated Press, CBS Sports, Football Writers Association of America, Phil Steele, Walter Camp Football Foundation) for the third year in a row . . . also earned honorable mention All-America honors from SI.com . . . first-team All-Big Ten selection (coaches and media) for third-straight year . . . Athlon Sports and Phil Steele first-team All-Big Ten selection . . . named one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year) . . . semifinalist for Lombardi Award (collegiate lineman of the year), Chuck Bednarik Award (collegiate defensive player of the year) and Lott IMPACT Trophy . . . led the Spartans in sacks (career-high 10.5 for 74 yards), tackles for loss (career-high 15 for 82 yards) and quarterback hurries (18) . . . his career-high 10.5 sacks (0.75 pg.) ranked third most in the Big Ten and 22nd in the FBS; they also ranked seventh most in an MSU single-season . . . his career-high 49 tackles were first among Spartan defensive linemen . . . recorded three tackles for loss (17 yards) and two sacks (16 yards) and finished with six tackles overall in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. No. 4 Iowa; also was credited with a forced fumble on his 8-yard sack of C.J. Beathard late in the second quarter . . . tallied 18 production points in his final appearance at Spartan Stadium in the win over Penn State; had two QB hurries, two tackles and broke up a pass that led to Malik McDowell’s 13-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Nittany Lions . . . named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and the Lott IMPACT Trophy National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the 27-23 win at No. 12 Michigan; recorded five tackles, including a career-best 3.5 for losses (11 yards) and two sacks (6 yards), and had 31 production points against the Wolverines . . . the Spartan defense forced Michigan to go three-and-out on six possessions and limited the Wolverines to season lows in total yards (230) and rushing yards (62) . . . wore No. 43 in tribute to injured linebacker Ed Davis in the Michigan game . . . named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high six tackles vs. Central Michigan, including three tackles for loss (three for 24 yards) and a career-high tying 2.5 sacks (24 yards) . . . also was credited with four quarterback hurries, one pass break-up and a blocked kick against the Chippewas; finished the game with a team-high 37 production points.

CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner was a three-year starter as a defensive end (2013-15) for the Spartans . . . one of four players in the Mark Dantonio era to be elected a team captain twice (Greg Jones, Kirk Cousins, Max Bullough) . . . three-time second-team All-American (2013, 2014, 2015) . . . one of only eight Spartans in program history and first defensive lineman to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors three times (2013-15) . . . had 131 career tackles, including 44 for losses (268 yards) with 27 sacks (211 yards) . . . dynamic playmaker appeared in 54 career games, including a team-high 41 consecutive starts to close his career (42 starts overall) . . . finished his career tied for the most games played ever by a Spartan (54) . . . finished his career ranked among MSU’s all-time leaders in tackles for loss yardage (first with 268), sacks (second with 27), sack yardage (second with 211), tackles for loss (fourth with 44), fumble recoveries (tied for 10th with five) and forced fumbles (tied for 15th with four) . . . was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three times in his career (twice in 2015; once in 2013) . . . one of three Spartans in school history to have scored three defensive touchdowns in his career (T.J. Turner; RJ Williamson) . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in December 2015.

Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Special Teams: Snapper Taybor Pepper

Played in all 14 games to earn his fourth letter . . . had three tackles on special teams . . . CAREER NOTES: Four-year starting long snapper played in 54 career games, tied for the most of any Spartan player in Michigan State history (along with Mike Sadler, Marcus Rush, Shilique Calhoun, Darien Harris and Taiwan Jones) . . . had 10 career tackles.

President’s Award (Senior Lineman/Senior Back Perseverance)

Offense: Tight End Paul Lang
Played in all 14 games, including nine starts . . . had a career-high 11 receptions for 129 yards (11.7 avg.) . . . named MSU’s recipient of the Cotton Bowl Classic’s Scholar-Athlete Award . . . chosen as the fourth game captain vs. Penn State and was named one of three Spartan unsung heroes in the game . . . posted career highs for receptions (3) and receiving yards (35) in win over Indiana; had a career-long 21-yard grab vs. IU . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes of the game against the Hoosiers . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes of the game vs. Michigan . . . caught one pass for 9 yards and was named Spartan Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week for his role in the win over the Central Michigan . . . also named fourth game captain against the Chippewas . . . had a 3-yard reception vs. No. 7 Oregon; named Spartan unsung hero on offense against the Ducks . . . CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner saw action in 50 games, including 15 starts . . . had 15 career catches for 136 yards (9.1 avg.) . . . primarily used as a blocking tight end . . . one of 22 Spartans in program history to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors four times . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in December 2015.

Defense: Cornerback Arjen Colquhoun
Recorded a career-high 45 tackles in 14 games, including 11 starts at cornerback . . . ranked tied for seventh in the Big Ten in pass break-ups (10) and passes defended (12; 0.9 pg.) . . . led team with 10 pass break-ups and tied for team lead with two forced fumbles . . . had two interceptions . . . ranked eighth on the team with 72 production points during the regular season . . . recorded four tackles, recovered a fumble, and broke up a pass in the end zone on third-and-goal in the first quarter to force a field goal in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. No. 4 Iowa . . . named Spartan Co-Defensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State after collecting 15 production points, four tackles, a pass break up and an interception in the end zone in the first quarter against the Nittany Lions . . . compiled a career-high 23 production points vs. Maryland; returned an interception 7 yards that led to a field goal in the second quarter, had three tackles, and also broke up a pass . . . tied his career high with two pass break-ups and tallied three tackles at Nebraska . . . broke up a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter at Rutgers on a pass that was intended for Scarlet Knight receiver Leonte Carroo on third-and-goal, forcing Rutgers to kick a field goal . . . led the Spartan secondary with 15 production points vs. Purdue; had five tackles, including 1.5 for losses (12 yards) and an 11-yard sack, and two pass break-ups against the Boilermakers to earn unsung hero of the week honors on defense . . . his pass break-up on fourth-and-9 with 58 seconds remaining in the game sealed the victory for the Spartans over the Boilermakers . . . recorded a career-high seven tackles and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a Spartan touchdown against Central Michigan . . . CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner had 62 tackles and 15 passes defended (three interceptions, 12 pass break-ups) in 40 career games.

Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman)

Offense: Center Jack Allen

Named All-American by The Associated Press (first team), CBS Sports (first team), SI.com (first team), Football Writers Association of America (second team), Phil Steele (second team), USA TODAY (second team) and Walter Camp Football Foundation (second team) . . . back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media . . . also named first-team All-Big Ten by The Associated Press, Athlon Sports, BTN.com, ESPN.com and Phil Steele . . . named one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy (nation’s most outstanding center) . . . started 12 games at center . . . collected 77 knockdowns during the regular season . . . finished the season ranked No. 12 in ESPN.com’s Big Ten postseason player rankings . . . started the first six games at center; missed the Michigan and Indiana games with a lower leg injury he suffered in the Rutgers game in Week 6; returned to the starting lineup in Week 9 vs. Nebraska . . . also played at left tackle vs. Purdue and Rutgers due to injuries along the offensive line . . . helped the Spartans accumulate 174 yards on the ground in the Big Ten Championship Game against the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing defense in No. 4 Iowa in the victory over the Hawkeyes; on MSU’s game-winning, 22-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, played multiple positions, including center, tight end and fullback . . . graded out at an All-America level in the win over Penn State on Senior Day in his last appearance at Spartan Stadium; led the team with 10 knockdowns and rushed for a 9-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter . . . led the Spartans with nine knockdowns at Ohio State as the Spartans rushed for 203 yards and ended the second-ranked Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak . . . credited with six knockdowns and delivered a Big Ten Championship grade vs. Maryland; named Spartan Offensive Player of the Week against the Terrapins . . . graded out at a Big Ten Championship level and led the Spartans with 12 knockdowns, including four dominators, while playing 76 snaps in his return to the starting lineup at Nebraska . . . started at center but also played at left tackle at Rutgers . . . played a game-high 67 snaps and started at center in the Purdue game, but was forced to play left tackle against the Boilermakers following a second quarter season-ending injury to Dennis Finley; produced a winning grade while playing left tackle for the first time in a game during his career . . . named Spartan unsung hero of the game on offense vs. Purdue . . . played a game-high 58 snaps, tallied nine knockdowns, and delivered a winning grade vs. Central Michigan; named Spartan Offensive Player of the Week.

CAREER NOTES: Four-year starter on the offensive line was one of the most accomplished offensive linemen in school history . . . tough, tenacious and versatile lineman could play any position on the offensive line . . . played in 48 career games, including 47 starts (42 at center, five at left guard) . . . the 47 starts were second most by a Spartan offensive lineman in school history (Joel Foreman: 49 from 2008-11) . . . back-to-back first-team All-American (2015: Associated Press, CBS Sports, SI.com; 2014: USA TODAY) . . . became just the third Spartan offensive lineman to earn first-team All-America honors twice (Dave Behrman, 1961-62; Tony Mandarich, 1987-88) and only the 15th player overall in school history . . . also a back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten selection . . . became only the fifth Spartan offensive lineman to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors twice (Ellison Kelly, 1957-58; David Behrman, 1961-62; Joe DeLamielleure, 1971-72, Tony Mandarich, 1987-88) and just the second center (Behrman) . . . two-time Rimington Trophy finalist . . . voted co-captain by his teammates his senior season in 2015 . . . one of 22 Spartans in program history to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors four times . . . was one of 135 semifinalists for National Football Foundation 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy (nation’s top scholar-athlete) . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality business in December 2015.

Defense: Defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas

Started all 14 games (13 at defensive end, one at defensive tackle) . . . ranked seventh on the team with 118 production points during the regular season . . . recorded a career-high 38 tackles, including a career-best five for losses (31 yards) and three sacks (27 yards) . . . ranked third on the team with a career-high six pass break-ups . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches) . . . led Spartan defensive line with 14 production points in the win at No. 2 Ohio State; had three tackles, including a half tackle for loss (1 yard), against the Buckeyes . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes of the game vs. Maryland . . . tallied a career-high seven tackles and broke up a pass in win at No. 12 Michigan; named the fourth game captain against the Wolverines . . . named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week vs. Michigan . . . led Spartan defensive linemen with 10 production points at Rutgers; tallied two tackles, including a 6-yard sack . . . led Spartan defensive linemen with 19 production points in the win over No. 7 Oregon; recorded six tackles, including a half sack on a key third down with just over a minute remaining . . . was also credited with an assisted tackle on a fourth-and-goal stop in the second quarter as MSU kept UO’s Royce Freeman out of the end zone.

CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner started two seasons on the defensive line for the Spartans (2014-15) . . . played in 47 career games and closed his career with 27 consecutive starts . . . started 13 games on the interior of the line as a junior in 2014 and all 14 games in 2015 (13 at defensive end, one at defensive tackle) . . . had 30 starts overall (three at fullback in 2012) . . . had 72 career tackles, including 9.5 for losses (50 yards) and 6.0 sacks (43 yards) . . . began his career at linebacker and moved to defensive end during his red-shirt season in 2011 . . . played fullback in 2012 before returning to the defensive line in 2013 . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in December 2015.

Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational)

Offense: Center Jack Allen

Defense: Linebacker Riley Bullough

Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and third-team pick by the media . . . also named second-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele . . . led team and ranked 16th in the Big Ten with a career-high 106 tackles (7.6 avg.) . . . became the first Spartan to record 100 tackles in a single season since his brother Max had 111 in 2012; it marked the seventh season a member of the Bullough family has led Michigan State in tackles (father Shane in 1985-86; uncle Chuck in 1990-91; brother Max in 2011-12) . . . led the team with 226 production points during the regular season . . . ranked fourth on the team in sacks (4.0 for 20 yards) and tackles for loss (7.5 for 24 yards) . . . tied for team lead with two fumble recoveries . . . also had two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two pass break-ups . . . named to ESPN.com Big Ten All-Bowl Team after leading MSU with 11 tackles in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic vs. No. 2 Alabama . . . in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. No. 4 Iowa, had five tackles, forced a fumble on Iowa’s first possession, and his hit on Hawkeye tight end George Kittle led to an interception in the end zone in the second quarter . . . racked up 22 production points in the win over Penn State to lead the linebackers; collected seven tackles, broke up a pass, and forced a fumble that led the Demetrious Cox’s 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes for his performance against the Nittany Lions . . . led Spartans with 20 production points and tallied four tackles in win at No. 2 Ohio State, as MSU held the Buckeyes to 132 total yards; named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Co-Player of the Week . . . credited with a team-high 30 production points in the win over Maryland; had a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter to give MSU a 14-7 lead, and also had seven tackles (one for loss; half sack) . . . named Spartan Defensive Player of the Week against the Terrapins . . . compiled 16 production points at Nebraska; had five tackles and recorded his third career interception when he picked off a Tommy Armstrong pass in the end zone and ran it back 17 yards midway through the third quarter, halting a Nebraska scoring drive . . . recorded 18 production points at Michigan; tallied seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a half sack, against the Wolverines . . . recorded a career-high 16 tackles (5 solos, 11 assists) against Air Force and was named the team’s Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week; recorded a team-high 28 production points against the Falcons . . . named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after tallying 14 tackles (five solos, nine assists) and a pass break-up in the end zone in the win over No. 7 Oregon, as MSU held the Ducks to 123 rushing yards, their lowest output since November 2013 . . . collected nine tackles and three sacks in the season opener at Western Michigan in his first career start at middle linebacker, compiling 14 production points . . . became the first player since Denicos Allen in 2011 to record three sacks in one game.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner has played in 41 career games, including 14 starts . . . has 138 career tackles, including 11.5 for losses with 7.5 sacks . . . has four career interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

Clarence Underwood (Sportsmanship Award)

Offense: Offensive Guard Donavon Clark

Started all 14 games (10 at right guard; four at right tackle) . . . third-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches; honorable mention by the media . . . also a third-team All-Big Ten pick by Phil Steele . . . started the first two games at right guard, then started four-straight games at right tackle before returning to right guard in Week 7 at Michigan . . . collected a team-high 83.5 knockdowns during the regular season . . . was named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week twice (vs. Oregon and Purdue) . . . had 6.5 knockdowns and delivered a winning grade on Senior Day against Penn State . . . credited with five knockdowns and graded out a winner in the win at No. 2 Ohio State, as MSU rushed for 203 yards on the Buckeyes . . . started at right tackle for the fourth consecutive game at Rutgers; named the fourth game captain against the Scarlet Knights . . . selected Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week after recording a Big Ten Championship grade in his performance vs. Purdue, including a career-high 11 knockdowns . . . named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week after playing both guard and tackle on the right side in the win over No. 7 Oregon and grading out at a Big Ten Championship level; recorded six knockdowns against the Ducks . . . led the team with 10 knockdowns, including a team-best five dominators, while grading out at a Big Ten Championship level in the season-opening win at Western Michigan . . . named Spartan unsung hero of the game on offense against the Broncos.

CAREER NOTES: Two-year starter on the offensive line . . . versatile lineman saw action in 47 career games, including 33 starts (18 at right guard, nine at right tackle, six at left tackle) . . . finished his career with 27 consecutive starts . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in December 2015.

Defense: Defensive Tackle Joel Heath

Started 12 games at defensive tackle . . . recorded a career-high 31 tackles, including 5.5 for losses (26 yards) and two sacks (11 yards) . . . ranked 11th on the team with 52 production points during the regular season . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten (media) . . . posted four stops, including an 8-yard sack, vs. Indiana; named Spartan Defensive Player of the Week against the Hoosiers . . . recorded four tackles, including a 3-yard loss, and broke up a pass at Michigan . . . tallied a career-high six tackles, including a 10-yard loss, and also forced a fumble in the win over seventh-ranked Oregon; collected 13 production points against the Ducks.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner played in 39 career games, including 24 starts . . . two-year starter on the defensive line (2014-15) . . . had 60 career tackles, including 10.5 for losses and 4.5 sacks . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science in December 2015.

MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award: Tight end Josiah Price

Named winner of the Gwendolyn Norrell Community Service & Leadership Award at the 2016 MSU Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Gala (presented to the student-athlete who best exemplifies the goals of the PACT (Putting Athletes and Community Together) program, excelling in the field of community service and outreach) . . . serves as one of the football team’s representatives on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was selected as SAAC community outreach committee chair for 2015-16 . . . was also named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List (for community service combined with athletic and academic achievement) and was nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognizing college football players who exemplify a superior commitment to community service and volunteerism . . . spent 2 and 1/2 weeks in Australia last summer (June-July 2015), participating in MSU’s study abroad International Summer Sports Program, and he also took part in a mission trip to South Africa during spring break of 2013 . . . actively participates in a variety of community service events, including the Ingham County Child Benefit Fund, DARE Graduations, and March is Reading Month . . . third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media . . . named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 5 Team . . . ranked fourth on the team and led tight ends with 23 catches for 267 yards (11.6 avg.) in 12 games.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner has 66 catches for 851 yards (12.9 avg.) and 16 touchdowns in 39 career games, including 15 starts . . . ranks first in school history among tight ends with 16 career TD receptions, which also ranks tied for seventh among all players in school history . . . three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Outstanding Underclass Lineman

Offense: Offensive Tackle Jack Conklin

Named All-American by Sporting News (first team), USA TODAY (first team), Associated Press (second team), CBS Sports (second team), Football Writers Association of America (second team), Walter Camp Football Foundation (second team), Phil Steele (third team) and SI.com (honorable mention) . . . became the first Spartan offensive tackle to be named a first-team All-American since Flozell Adams in 1997 . . . first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media; was MSU’s first All-Big Ten First-Team offensive tackle since Sean Poole in 2004 . . . also named first-team All-Big Ten by The Associated Press, Athlon Sports, BTN.com, ESPN.com and Phil Steele . . . played in 12 games (missed Purdue and Rutgers games with a leg injury) . . . had 65.5 knockdowns during the regular season . . . graded out as a winner in eight of his 10 regular-season games . . . helped anchor a Spartan offensive line that rushed for 174 yards against No. 4 Iowa – the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing defense – in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . was named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week a team-best four times (Western Michigan, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State) . . . had 8.5 knockdowns vs. Penn State as the Nittany Lions were held without a sack for the first time all season . . . named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week vs. No. 2 Ohio State, as the Spartans rushed for 203 yards and ended the Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak; graded out a winner and had 1.5 knockdowns against OSU . . . selected fourth game captain for Maryland game and had five knockdowns against the Terrapins . . . named Spartan Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after posting a winning grade and compiling eight knockdowns vs. Indiana . . . after missing two games, returned to action at Michigan in Week 7 and was named the Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week after recording 7.5 knockdowns and registering a Big Ten Championship grade . . . led team with 7.5 knockdowns vs. Air Force and graded at a winning level against the Falcons . . . led team with 9.5 knockdowns and posting a winning grade in the win over No. 7 Oregon . . . named MSU’s Offensive Lineman of the Week after grading out at a Big Ten Championship level and collecting six knockdowns in the win at Western Michigan.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner was a three-year starter at left tackle . . . started in 38 of his 39 career games (35 at left tackle, three at right tackle) . . . recorded more than 235 career knockdowns . . . former walk-on was awarded a scholarship in January 2013 . . . chose to forgo his senior season to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

Defense: Defensive Tackle Malik McDowell

Second-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media . . . named first-team All-Big Ten by ESPN.com and second-team by The Associated Press and Athlon Sports . . . named to CampusInsiders.com All-Sophomore Team (first team) . . . ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (13 for 54 yards), tied for second in QB hurries (8) and third in sacks (4.5 for 38 yards) . . . ranked second on the team with 146 production points during the regular season . . . ranked second among Spartan defensive linemen with 41 tackles . . . named to ESPN.com Big Ten All-Bowl Team after recording two tackles, including a 2-yard loss, vs. No. 2 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic . . . named Spartan Co-Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week after leading the team with 25 production points in the win over Penn State; returned an interception 13 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and also had a 10-yard sack . . . recorded a tackle and partially blocked OSU’s Cameron Johnston’s punt late in the fourth quarter in the win at No. 2 Ohio State that helped give MSU good field position (ball on OSU 48-yard line) with 4:07 remaining to set up the Spartans’ game-winning field-goal drive as time expired in the 17-14 win . . . named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after posting career highs in tackles (eight) and tackles for loss (4.5 for 14 yards) vs. Maryland; his 4.5 tackles for loss are the eighth-best single-game total in MSU history and the second most by a Big Ten player last season (Dean Lowry, Northwestern, six vs. Nebraska) . . . totaled a career-high 29 production points in the Maryland game and was also named the Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week . . . had 11 production points and three tackles, including a 1-yard loss, in the win at No. 12 Michigan . . . recorded two tackles for loss (11 yards) at Rutgers, including a 10-yard sack in the final seconds of the game to help seal the win for the Spartans; named MSU’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Scarlet Knights . . . posted two tackles for loss (7 yards), including a 6-yard sack, forced a fumble, and made six stops overall vs. Purdue; led team with 23 production points against the Boilermakers and was named the Spartan Defensive Player of the Week . . . named Spartan Defensive Player of the Week after leading the team with 19 production points in the season opener at Western Michigan; recorded a 10-yard sack and was credited with one quarterback hurry as MSU limited the Broncos to just 18 rushing yards.

CAREER NOTES: Has played in 27 career games, including 15 consecutive starts . . . has 56 career tackles, including 17 for losses (75 yards) and 6.0 sacks (53 yards ).

Outstanding Underclass Back

Offense: Tailback LJ Scott / Tailback Gerald Holmes

LJ Scott

True freshman led the team in rushing (699 yards; 49.9 ypg.; 4.8 avg.), carries (146) and rushing touchdowns (11) . . . became first freshman to lead MSU in rushing since Larry Caper in 2009 . . . named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by ESPN.com . . . his 11 rushing TDs tied for third most in the Big Ten and were also second most by a Spartan freshman in a single season (Sedrick Irvin, 16, 1996) . . . ranked second on the team in scoring with 66 points . . . played in all 14 games, including one start (Michigan) . . . led all rushers with 73 yards on 22 carries, including the game-winning 1-yard TD run on third-and-goal with 27 seconds remaining, vs. No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game; had 14 carries for 40 yards during MSU’s game-winning 22-play, 82-yard drive, including three third-down conversions . . . scored two rushing touchdowns at Michigan (11 yards in second quarter; 1 yard in fourth quarter) in his first career start . . . named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after rushing for 146 yards – the most by a Spartan freshman since Javon Ringer in 2005 – and two touchdowns on 18 carries (8.1 avg.) against Purdue . . . collected 76 yards on 11 carries (6.9 avg.) in the win over No. 7 Oregon; scored the first two rushing TDs of his career on a 6-yard run in the third quarter and a 38-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that made it 31-21 Spartans in the eventual 31-28 win against the Ducks; named Big Ten Freshman of the Week . . . led the Spartans with 77 rushing yards on 13 attempts (5.9 avg.) in his collegiate debut at Western Michigan.

Gerald Holmes

Ranked second on the team in rushing (540 yards; 41.5 ypg.; 4.9 avg.) and rushing TDs (8), and third with 110 carries . . . also had 10 receptions for 92 yards (9.2 avg.) . . . played in 13 games, including seven consecutive starts to close out the season . . . after being inserted into the starting lineup in Week 8, led the team in rushing yards (387), carries (81) and touchdowns (5) . . . led team in rushing during Big Ten games with 438 yards on 89 carries (54.8 ypg.; 4.9 avg.) . . . paced the Spartan ground attack for the fourth game in a row with 64 yards on 12 carries (5.3 avg.) vs. Penn State, including a 6-yard TD run in the second quarter; had 100 all-purpose yards against the Nittany Lions, as he also had three receptions for 36 yards . . . led the Spartans in rushing with 65 yards on 14 carries, including a 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, in the 17-14 win at No. 2 Ohio State . . . gained 83 yards on 18 carries vs. Maryland; had a 3-yard TD run behind right guard with 7:20 left in the third quarter . . . posted career highs in rushing yards (117) and carries (22) at Nebraska; scored on a 1-yard TD run with 4:16 left in the fourth quarter.

CAREER NOTES: Two-year letterwinner has 125 carries for 584 yards (4.7 avg.) and eight rushing touchdowns in 16 career games.

Defense: Safety Demetrious Cox

Third-team All-Big Ten selection by coaches and honorable mention by the media . . . started all 14 games (eight at cornerback, six at safety) . . . started the first four games at cornerback before starting two games at safety (Purdue, Rutgers) . . . returned to cornerback in Week 7 at Michigan, but then switched back to safety in Week 11 at Ohio State . . . ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 79 tackles . . . ranked second on the team with seven pass break-ups . . . tied for the team lead with three interceptions . . . ranked tied for third on the team with 127 production points during the regular season . . . tallied seven tackles vs. No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game and picked off a pass in the end zone in the second quarter . . . led the Spartan secondary with 20 production points in the win over Penn State; posted seven stops and returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Nittany Lions . . . recorded four tackles in victory at No. 2 Ohio State while switching back to a starting role at safety . . . matched his career high with eight tackles while starting at cornerback at Michigan . . . tallied a career-high eight tackles, including a 1-yard loss, at Rutgers . . . recorded his first career interception and had three tackles vs. Purdue in his first career start at safety . . . posted five stops each vs. Central Michigan and Air Force . . . recorded seven tackles and tied a career best with two pass break-ups in victory over No. 7 Oregon.

CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner has 111 tackles and 11 passes defended (three interceptions, eight pass break-ups) in 41 career games, including 15 starts (nine at cornerback, six at safety).

Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes)

Offense: Fullback Trevon Pendleton

Appeared in all 14 games, including nine starts . . . had four receptions for 94 yards (23.5 avg.) and one touchdown . . . battled through a knee injury to help Michigan State rush for 174 yards on No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game; provided several key blocks on MSU’s game-winning 22-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter . . . had a 12-yard TD reception from Tyler O’Connor in the second quarter during MSU’s 17-14 win at No. 2 Ohio State . . . with MSU trailing 23-14 at No. 12 Michigan with 9:25 remaining in the game, had a career-long 74-yard reception to the UM 1-yard line that set up an LJ Scott touchdown run and cut the Spartan deficit to 23-21 in the eventual 27-23 win over the Wolverines.

CAREER NOTES: Four-year letterwinner started three years at fullback . . . appeared in 49 career games, including 28 starts at fullback . . . former walk-on earned a scholarship in 2013 . . . had 13 career catches for 223 yards and three TDs . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality business in December 2015.

Defense: Linebacker Chris Frey

Recorded a career-high 23 tackles, including five for losses (24 yards) and 2.5 sacks (14 yards), in 14 games . . . ranked 12th on the team with 50 production points during the regular season. . . Academic All-Big Ten selection . . . recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the fourth quarter vs. Indiana that led to a Spartan touchdown . . . recorded four stops, including a half tackle for loss, and had a QB hurry at Michigan . . . his only tackle against Air Force came on a fourth-and-goal play in the fourth quarter, as he tripped up Jale Robinette for a 5-yard loss . . . recorded four tackles and 12 production points in the win over No. 7 Oregon; with just over a minute remaining in the game and Oregon facing third-and-6 on the MSU 33 and trailing 31-28, was credited with a half sack along with Lawrence Thomas to help force a fourth-and-16.

CAREER NOTES: Two-year letterwinner has 42 tackles in 27 career games.

Tommy Love Award (Most Improved)

Offense: Offensive lineman Benny McGowan

Played multiple positions on the offensive line in 14 games of action, including eight starts . . . started four games at right guard (Air Force, Central Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers) and four games at left guard (Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State) . . . had 40 knockdowns during the regular season . . . saw action at center on MSU’s game-winning, 22-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter vs. No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . had 3.5 knockdowns and played 67 snaps in his first career start at left guard in win at No. 12 Michigan . . . named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week after recording 8.5 knockdowns in 51 snaps at Rutgers . . . delivered a career-high 9.5 knockdowns and played 56 snaps against Central Michigan . . . earned his first career start at right guard vs. Air Force and played 49 snaps; had four knockdowns.

CAREER NOTES: Two-year letterwinner has played in 28 career games, including eight starting assignments . . . two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Defense: Linebacker Jon Reschke

Started all 14 games at Sam linebacker . . . made the position switch from Mike to Sam during preseason camp following the season-ending injury to fifth-year senior Ed Davis . . . ranked fifth on the team with 75 tackles (5.4 avg.), including 5.5 for losses (16 yards) and 2.0 sacks (10 yards) . . . ranked fifth on the team with 126 production points during the regular season . . . tied for second on the team with eight QB hurries . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches and media) . . . named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week after recording six tackles, including an 8-yard sack and a quarterback hurry, in MSU’s 17-14 win at No. 2 Ohio State; collected 15 production points and was named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Co-Player of the Week against the Buckeyes . . . named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week vs. Indiana after tallying a team-best 16 production points against the Hoosiers; had six tackles, a pass break-up and a QB hurry in the game . . . compiled 19 production points at No. 12 Michigan; delivered four tackles and broke up a pass against the Wolverines . . . named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week against the Boilermakers . . . tallied a career-high 11 stops and two QB hurries in the victory vs. No. 7 Oregon; had 16 production points against the Ducks . . . in his first career start, recorded nine tackles in the season opener at Western Michigan.

CAREER NOTES: Two-year letterwinner has 88 tackles in 22 career games, including 14 starts.

Iron Man Award: Linebacker Darien Harris

Started all 14 games at Star linebacker . . . third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches; honorable mention by the media . . . MSU’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award . . . ranked second on the team with a career-high 90 tackles (6.4 avg.) . . . ranked third on the Spartans with a career-best 9.0 tackles for loss (19 yards) . . . ranked tied for third on the team with 127 production points during the regular season . . . tied a career high with two tackles for loss (2 yards) and had eight stops overall in the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic vs. No. 2 Alabama . . . led the team with nine tackles, including 1.5 for losses (4 yards), vs. No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . had six tackles and 10 production points in the win at No. 2 Ohio State . . . recorded career-highs in tackles (13), tackles for loss (2.0) and production points (35) at Nebraska . . . collected six tackles and 12 production points at Michigan . . . led team for the second game in a row with eight stops, including a 2-yard loss, vs. Purdue; had 15 production points against the Boilermakers . . . led team with eight tackles vs. Central Michigan . . . recorded 12 tackles in the win over No. 7 Oregon and compiled 13 production points.

CAREER NOTES: Started two seasons at Star (weakside) linebacker . . . voted a co-captain by his teammates in 2015 . . . four-year letterwinner collected 154 tackles, including 13 for losses (28 yards), in 54 career games, including 25 starts . . . ranked among college football’s strongest players (No. 5) in 2015 in a list compiled by Chase Goodbread of NFL.com; Harris can put up 450 pounds on the bench and 650 on squats . . . graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in May 2015 . . . currently pursuing a second degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science – human capital and society.

Potsy Ross (Scholar-Athlete): Quarterback Tommy Vento

Graduated with a 3.61 grade-point average . . . earned his bachelor’s degree in finance in December 2015 . . . earned his first letter in 2015.

Captains Award: Jack Allen, Shilique Calhoun, Darien Harris

Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): Aaron Burbridge / Lawrence Thomas

Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): Riley Bullough

Cowing Award (Senior Manager Award): Dan Kalchik

Con Demos Scholarship (Manager): Dan Kalchik