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December 13, 2012
UDubNation.com's 2012 Football Awards
With only the bowl game remaining UDUBNation.com presents our 2012 team awards for the football team.
Most Valuable Player: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
This award could have easily gone to Bishop Sankey or Desmond Trufant for their stellar play throughout the season; however, the most important piece for the Huskies offense this year was Seferian-Jenkins.
The most valuable player may not be the person who leads the team in touchdowns, tackles, or yards, but more importantly the player who the offense relies on for success.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the Dawgs go-to play-maker when they need a key conversion. He is a crucial element that helped Bishop Sankey have a successful ground attack. Most importantly, ASJ is a leader.
Seferian-Jenkins did set the career record for most receiving yards by a UW tight end this season, but everyone already expected that. He has 789 total yards along with six touchdowns this season. What doesn't show up in the box score is the relevance of his catches, and the situations they came in.
In the Cal game, ASJ appeared to injure is ankle but played through it. On one particular drive he made two huge catches, including a touchdown that was necessary to win. It is these types of moments that separate him from the other candidates.
Seferian-Jenkins is a role model for older and younger players, on and off the field. The way he approaches the game, and the demeanor he has towards it is a significant reason why he is successful. His coaches, teammates, and opponents all respect him. He is a locker room guy, and these types of players are often overlooked, but in order to build chemistry throughout the team, you need an ASJ type of guy.
The success and leadership of Austin Seferian-Jenkins is what classifies him as the most valuable player for the 2012 Huskies. Maybe he can take his leadership and talents to the court and help the Husky basketball team find their rhythm.
Offensive POY: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Along with the MVP award ASJ is deserving of the offensive player of the year award as well.
Along with everything mentioned above, Seferian-Jenkins was able to be a regular on the offensive line that helped produce a break out season for Bishop Sankey. He played a vital factor in the run, and passing game.
Being consistent, and making big time plays are factors of why he is more deserving than Sankey.
Defensive POY: Desmond Trufant
Des is the obvious choice for defensive player of the year.
Des is a four-year starter; first team all Pac-12, and 2nd team All-American, who captains the defensive unit for the Dawgs.
Trufant may not have put up huge numbers in the box scores, but it's his ability to play tight cover defense, and guard high caliber receivers like Marqise Lee or Robert Woods.
Trufant was able to hold Lee to two receptions for 32 yards. That may be the most significant stat line he has put up in his whole career. Holding a first team All-American receiver to less than 35 receiving yards is incredible.
Des is the leader of a defensive backs unit that looked awful in prior seasons. His superb abilities will land him a job in the NFL.
Most Improved Player: Travis Feeney
Coming into the season there wasn't much to expect out of Travis Feeney. He red-shirted last year and bulked up to convert from a safety to a linebacker. Feeney did an amazing job this season, and with these efforts deserves the most improved player award.
Stepping in as a freshman is usually a hard task, but Feeney took the bull by its horns and rode it out all season long. Feeney finished the season with 67 total tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions.
Feeney is a hidden gym that has three more seasons ahead of him. Him and John Timu head a young linebacking core that should cause havoc in future seasons.
Feeney is a huge part of the defensive success this season, and with the coaching of Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon the future is endless.
Breakout Player: Bishop Sankey
This award was a toss up between Sankey and Shaq Thompson, but the way that everything played out Sankey is more deserving.
Shaq had really high expectations coming in as a freshman, so he was expected to perform, not breakout.
Sankey was battling for the starting position with Jesse Callier before he went down with an ACL injury in the first game. The duties and responsibilities were immediately thrown on the back of Sankey.
The Huskies were scrambling to find a back up for Sankey, trying a variety of backs, including the move of receiver Kendyl Taylor into the backfield. Sankey was able to answer all questions about the running game in week three vs Portland State.
By the end of the regular season Sankey has done everything needed to ink his name into the starting position for the remainder of his career. Even with the return of Deontae Cooper and Callier, Sankey will remain the feature back barring injury.
Sankey finished the season with 1,414 total yards rushing and receiving. That's only 1,038 fewer yards than Keith Price's total.
Sankey was able to finish the season with 15 scores, which led the team. With Sankey only a sophomore and the line being young as well, the Huskies are well prepared for the next couple seasons.
Senior Award: Drew Schaefer
There isn't a more deserving player for this award on the team. Drew Schaefer has gone through everything possible in his Husky career.
Schaefer had to watch from the sidelines in the winless 2008 season when he was redshirting. He has shifted positions on the offensive line to fill voids. He has came off the bench, and he eventually became a full time starter.
The four-year starting center is the heart and soul of the offensive line. He was fortunate enough to avoid the injury train early in the season that wiped out half of their line.
Schaefer is the vocal leader of the line and is responsible for snapping a good ball to quarterback Keith Price. Besides all the little things he has done, he is a damn good lineman at that.
Schaefer has been a mentor for the younger lineman during his tenure at UW. He has matured into an outstanding player who the Huskies will definitely miss next season. His departure may be the most significant loss.
Freshman POY: Shaq Thompson
There was no question that Shaq Thompson would win this award.
Shaq started in the first game of the season and was able to show everyone he was the real deal. Playing the nickel as a safety/linebacker Shaq was able to create plays all over the field.
Thompson was fourth on the team in tackles with 66, but he led the team with 8.5 tackles for a loss.
The thing that makes Shaq so valuable is his ability to cover a running back or receiver. His defensive back skills are impressive, which helped him secure a team high three interceptions.
Thompson was also able to block a punt, which was recovered for a touchdown. Shaq was honored as one of the best defensive freshman in the country, making second team All-American freshman team as a linebacker.
Shaq has incredible upside, and will be a huge part of the defensive unit next season.