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January 25, 2008

Football hands out year-end awards

KENT, Ohio-- The Kent State football team doled out its annual postseason awards at its recent season-ending banquet. To the surprise of no one, sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and junior linebacker Derek Burrell (Richmond, Va.) were named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year for their respective performances during the 2007 campaign.

A first team All-MAC selection, Jarvis led the conference and was fifth in the nation in rushing at 139.1 yards per game. He rushed for a school-record 1,669 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season while posting nine 100-yard games, including a career-high 230-yard outburst at Ohio. Jarvis, who was named honorable mention All-America by SI.com and CollegeFootballNews.com, also led the team with 306 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Burrell recorded a career-high 112 tackles (52 solo) en route to garnering third team All-MAC accolades. The only linebacker to start all 12 games for the Flashes, he capped off the year with four straight double-digit tackle efforts, including a career-high 16 stops in the season finale against Buffalo. Burrell's 9.3 tackles per game ranked eighth in the MAC and 41st nationally.

Senior defensive back Fritz Jacques (Naples, Fla.) earned the Dick Scsesniak Award for battling through a mid-season ACL injury. The award is presented annually to the player who is forced to overcome obstacles and is named after the former KSU head coach who died while coaching on the practice field. Jacques appeared to suffer a career-ending torn ACL at Ohio, but opted to wear a brace and rehab the injury instead, returning for the Flashes' final three games—two of which he started. The gutsy decision earned Jacques a spot on the All-May Day team which is selected at the end of the year by ESPN college football analyst Mark May.

Voted on by the players, the Captains Award was handed out to senior defensive lineman Colin Ferrell (Hamilton, N.J.), Jarvis, Jacques and senior defensive back Jack Williams (Norfolk, Va.).

Garnering the Laing Kennedy Award for exemplifying the Kent State spirit were senior defensive lineman Larry Brown (Washington, D.C.) and senior offensive lineman Jon English (Ashland, Ohio).

Offensively, Jarvis won the Outstanding Offensive Skill Award while junior Augustus Parrish (Temple Hills, Md.) claimed the Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award. Parrish earned second team All-MAC accolades for his work in the trenches.

On the defensive side of the ball, Ferrell earned the Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award while Williams was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Back.

Ferrell garnered first team All-MAC honors after posting 56 stops, 16 tackles for loss and five sacks from his spot at nose tackle. Meanwhile, Williams was a second team All-MAC selection after recording a career-high 93 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions despite missing a game-and-a-half due to injury. Included in his performance was a career-best 19 tackles against Central Michigan.

The honorees for Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year were running back Andre Flowers (Ridgely, Tenn.) and defensive lineman Monte Simmons (Swissvale, Pa.), respectively. Flowers was third on the team with 279 yards rushing, adding 51 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns to his freshman resume. Simmons made 19 stops on the year, including 5.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks. He moved into the starting line-up for the last two games of the season.

Picking up Most Improved Awards were sophomore wide receiver Phil Garner (Coral Springs, Fla.) on offense and junior defensive back Rico Murray (Cincinnati, Ohio) on defensive. Garner emerged as the top target amongst the receiving corps, grabbing a team-high 27 receptions for 284 yards and a touchdown. Murray started 11 games at cornerback, finishing third on the team with 75 tackles (45 solo) while leading the team with nine pass break-ups.

Sophomore kicker Nate Reed (Wadsworth, Ohio) and freshman linebacker Howard Bowens (LaVerne, Calif.) were the recipients of this year's Outstanding Special Teams Award. Reed broke the school record with his 52-yard field goal against Central Michigan, while matching the school marks for field goals in a season (18) and in a game (4 - at Ohio). Meanwhile, Bowen finished the season with 10 special teams tackles for the Flashes.

Receiving the Offensive Scout Award was freshman running back Jamar Cromwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.), while freshman defensive lineman Lee Stalker (Butler, Pa.) was presented with the Defensive Scout Award.

Defensive Scout Award
Offensive Scout Award
Outstanding Special Teams Awad
Outstanding Special Teams Award
Most Improved Offense Award
Most Improved Defense Award
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award
Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award
Outstanding Offensive Skill Award
Outstanding Defensive Back Award
Dick Scesniak Award
Laing Kennedy Award
Laing Kennedy Award
Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year
Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year
Captains Award
Captains Award
Captains Award
Captains Award

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