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BSU Announces Season Awards

MVP Drew Duffin and Stan Parrish at the Football Banquet

It’s that time of the year when programs who aren’t going Bowling are celebrating each other, the seniors, and the scout team rather than making travel plans or pregaming for a Bowl opponent. Following suit, Ball State did just that on Sunday evening, recognizing those that were deserving of it through the season-o-doom. From the BSU release (emphasis added by us):

MUNCIE, Ind. — Drew Duffin (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.), a fifth-year defensive tackle for the Ball State University football team, was selected by his teammates to receive Ball State’s John Magnabosco Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player.

The Magnabosco Award is named in honor of Ball State’s head football coach from 1935-52, and was presented at the team’s annual Honors Banquet Sunday at Ball State’s Worthen Arena. Magnabosco is the winningest football coach in Ball State history with 68 victories.

Duffin, who played in 48 games in his four seasons and started 22 outings for the Cardinals, registered 129 total tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss in 2009. He also tallied one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as a senior.

Duffin and Alex Knipp (Amherst, Ohio/Steele H.S.) were co-recipients of the team’s Ray Louthen Award, which is given in honor of Ball State’s former football coach and athletics director for outstanding contributions to the team on and off the field.

Knipp, a senior free safety, played in all 52 games in his four-year career and started the final 22 contests. He managed nine career interceptions, and ranked third on the team in 2009 with 82 total tackles.

Travis Freeman (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville H.S.) and Eric Williams (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central H.S.) were selected as co-recipients of the John Hodge Award as Ball State’s Most Valuable Freshmen.

The Hodge Award is given in memory of the 1974 Cardinal Varsity Club Chairman who died in 1977. The CVC is an organization of benefactors to Ball State’s intercollegiate athletics program.

Freeman started the final 11 games of the season as a true freshman linebacker. He ranked second on the team and is 15th in the Mid-American Conference in tackles with 93. Freeman led the Cardinals with 10 tackles at Temple and with seven at Eastern Michigan plus tied for team-high honors with nine tackles vs. Ohio. He managed a career high 11 tackles at Army and at Auburn.

Williams, a true freshman H-Back for the Cardinals, rushed for a career high 88 yards vs. Bowling Green and rushed a career high 12 times at Northern Illinois. He rushed for 362 yards and four touchdowns on 64 carries in 2009. Williams recorded the first rushing touchdown of his career on a 30-yard run with 12:16 remaining in the third quarter vs. Bowling Green. He was also Ball State’s top kick returner with 34 for 812 yards and a 23.9 average.

Kyle Kuntz (Vandalia, Ohio/Butler H.S.), a fifth-year free safety, and Ian McGarvey (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.), a junior placekicker, were named co-recipients of the Bill Reynolds Special Teams Award.

The Bill Reynolds Special Teams Award is named in memory of Reynolds, who spent 31 years as a volunteer in the Ball State athletics department with an emphasis on the football program prior to his death in the summer of 2000.

Kuntz played in all 12 games as a senior and in 46 games in his career. He tallied the first fumble recovery of his career as a part of Ball State’s special teams vs. Toledo. Kuntz blocked the first punt of his career vs. New Hampshire, and tallied a career high four tackles vs. Central Michigan.

McGarvey connected on 18-of-21 field goals and 14 extra points to lead the Cardinals in scoring with 68 total points. Against Toledo, he connected on his 81st consecutive extra point dating back to Nov. 13, 2007, shattering the previous Ball State record of 40 by Brian Jackson in 2003-04, before missing on his next attempt. McGarvey made a career long 48-yard field goal vs. New Hampshire plus made a 47-yard attempt against the Wildcats and vs. Toledo. He tied his career high with three field goals made in a game vs. New Hampshire, at Auburn, vs. Toledo and at Western Michigan.

Brandon Crawford (Fort Wayne, Ind./South H.S.), a 33-year-old senior defensive end, received the Mark Hays Inspiration Award, which is given to the person who demonstrates the greatest ability to motivate and inspire his teammates. The award is given in the memory of the late son of Kermit and Mary Ellen Hays, who are longtime fans and supporters of the Ball State athletics program.

Crawford, who along with teammate Madaris Grant (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Healthy H.S.), was also honored for serving as a team captain for the Cardinals in 2009, started his final 39 games at Ball State after completing a career in the Marines. He was second on the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks on the season. Crawford ranks eighth in the MAC in tackles for loss.

Ball State’s football team presented three players with the Bill Meitzler Scout Team Player of the Year Award, which is given in honor of the former Cardinal Varsity Club Board member and longtime fan and supporter of Ball State football.

Otis Brown (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville H.S.), a true freshman wide receiver who redshirted for the Cardinals this season, received the Meitzler Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year award. On defense the award was given to co-recipients Harold Hogue (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.), a true freshman defensive lineman, and Zac Jordan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder H.S.), a sophomore free safety.

Tanner Justice (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.), a fifth-year senior quarterback who started the final five games of the season, received the Ball State Football Academic Award. He graduated from Ball State last May with a degree in business and a 3.54 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale. Justice spent his final season working on his MBA at Ball State. He completed 51-of-105 passes for 594 yards with two touchdowns on the season.

Big congratulations are in order for the award recipients. While it’s sad to see guys like Drew Duffin, Brandon Crawford, and Alex Knipp leave the program after 4 good years, it’s some level of comfort that extremely young players were recognized as well. Players like Williams, Freeman, and Brown will be the future of this program, and it’s good to see them get the recognition sometimes needed to keep a young player inspired and hungry.

We’ll have a bit more on the 09 campaign through this week, but this season is officially in the books and over. Thank God.

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