2009 Football Awards Handed Out

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior Daniel Thomas and senior Jeffrey Fitzgerald were named Kansas State's 2009 offensive and defensive MVPs and junior Corey Adams took special teams MVP honors as the Wildcat football program held its annual awards ceremony Sunday at McCain Auditorium on the K-State campus.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone involved with this football program, including our coaches, players and their families," head coach Bill Snyder said to those in attendance. "This senior class is truly a special group. Fourteen of them went through graduation this past weekend, while the others will do so this spring. These young men, who will always be Wildcats, are special young men who will do special things in their lives."

Thomas, a first team All-Big 12 selection at running back and the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, was named the Wildcats' offensive Most Valuable Player in just his first season at K-State. This past year, the Doak Walker Award candidate led the Big 12 in rushing yards (1,265), attempts (247) and yards per game (105.4) while also running for 11 touchdowns.

On defense, Fitzgerald received the unit's nod as MVP after collecting 40 total tackles from his defensive end position, 10.0 of which went for losses. The Richmond, Va., native also led the team in sacks with 7.0, forced three fumbles while recovering two and also returned one interception for a touchdown.

Safety Tysyn Hartman earned K-State's most improved player award on defense, with sophomore lineman Clyde Aufner taking home the squad's most improved offensive player honor.

MVP honors on special teams went to Adams, who was flawless from his long-snapper position this past season, after guiding the Wildcats to a third-place conference ranking in net punting and a fifth-place finish in field goals during league play.

On the academic side, senior tight end Jeron Mastrud, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and a three-time first team Academic All-Big 12 pick, received the Wildcats' annual Scholar-Athlete award. A first team All-Big 12 choice by the league's coaches for his outstanding performance on the field, the senior also served as a team captain for the Wildcats in 2009.

2009 K-State Football Team Awards
Overachiever Award (top freshman in strength and conditioning) - Braden Wilson (FB)
Red Raider Award (top contribution on scout squad) - Sammuel Lamur (QB)
Scholar-Athlete Award - Jeron Mastrud (TE)
Purple Pride Award (walk-on displaying quality play, leadership and work ethic) - Nick Ward (OL)
Ken Ochs Courage Award - Zach Kendall (OL)
Kevin Saunders (Never Give Up) Award - Grant Gregory (QB)
Nancy Bennett Memorial Award (representing fight, spirit and positive nature) - John Houlik (LB)
Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award (promoting team unity and unselfishness) - Ulla Pomele (LB)
Joan Friederich Award (represent team concept through unselfishness and commitment) - Carson Coffman (QB)
Jim "Shorty" Kleinau Award (representing loyalty, hard work and commitment) - Collin Klein (WR)
Coaches Appreciation Award - Frank Tracz, Director of Marching Bands
Most Improved Defense Player - Tysyn Hartman (DB)
Most Improved Offensive Player - Clyde Aufner (OL)
Outstanding Offensive Lineman - Nick Stringer (OT)
Defensive Front Seven Defensive Player of the Year - Jeffrey Fitzgerald (DE)
Special Teams Player of the Year - Corey Adams (LS)
Most Valuable Player-Defense - Jeffrey Fitzgerald (DE)
Most Valuable Player-Offense -  Daniel Thomas (RB)