Notre Dame Hands Out Awards At 2018 Echoes
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Notre Dame hosted its annual football awards show on Friday night with the 2018 Echoes.
In total, 20 members of the Irish team were honored for the play on the field and efforts off the field as well.
Here is a list of the award winners for the 2018 Notre Dame football team.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Junior Quarterback Ian Book
The junior took over the starting quarterback role going into the fourth game of the season (Wake Forest) and never looked back.
Book finished the regular season throwing for 2,468 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 70.4 percent of his passes. He became the first FBS quarterback to win his first five starts of a season while completing over 70 percent of his passes since Russell Wilson at Wisconsin (2011).
Book currently ranks sixth in completion percentage and eighth in pass efficiency in the FBS.
The MVP is voted by the Irish team.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior Wide Receiver Miles Boykin
Boykin led Notre Dame during the first 12 games with 54 catches and 803 yards. The senior had a stretch of six-straight contests with a receiving touchdown, which made him the first Irish player to do so since Will Fuller.
The Illinois native had three games of at least six catches for 100 yards with his best coming in an 11 reception performance for 144 yards and a touchdown in a 38-17 win over the Stanford Cardinal.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior Linebacker Te’von Coney
On the other side, Coney went home with the Defensive Player of the Year honor. Coney led the team in tackles with 107, including 59 solo stops. Coney is the first Irish player to record back-to-back 100-tackle seasons (116 in 2017) since Manti Te’o did the same in 2011 and 2012.
Coney had five games of at least 10 tackles during the 2018 regular season with his best coming at 14 against both Ball State and Navy. Coney was named to the Pro Football Focus All-American Team for his play this season.
NEXT MAN IN: Senior Quarterback Brandon Wimbush
Wimbush earned the award due to replacing an injured Book during the Florida State contest on Nov. 10. The Irish won the game 42-13 behind Wimbush’s three touchdown passes to keep Notre Dame unbeaten.
Wimbush started the first three games of the season and finished the regular season throwing for 719 yards, four touchdowns while adding 256 yards and a score on the ground.
ROCKNE STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Senior Linebacker Drue Tranquill
For the third consecutive season, Tranquill claimed the Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year award. This came just one day after Tranquill was awarded the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors the FBS player with “exemplary community service.”
Tranquill is third on the team in tackles with 75 stops, including 9.0 for loss.
NICK PIETROSANTE AWARD: Senior Punter Tyler Newsome
Given to the student-athlete who “best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride,” the Nick Pietrosante Award went to the senior punter.
Newsome averaged 44.4 yards per punt on 45 attempts during the regular season. Fifteen of those traveled at least 50 yards and 16 downed inside the 20-yard line. In a win over Vanderbilt, Newsome set the Notre Dame record for a single-game average of 59.6 yards on five punts, with three going over 60 yards.
MOOSE KRAUSE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Senior Defensive Tackle Jerry Tillery
Tillery record a team-high eight sacks during the regular season to go with 30 tackles, 10.5 stops for loss, five quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. Tillery leads all interior defensive linemen in the FBS with eight sacks.
During a win against Stanford, Tillery recorded four sacks and a forced fumble to win Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Senior Center Sam Mustipher
Mustipher was a finalist for the 2018 Rimington Trophy after starting each of the 12 regular season games for the Irish, which he has done for 36 games in a row. Per the Notre Dame release, Mustipher allowed just one sack and seven quarterback hurries in 833 offensive snaps this season.
Mustipher was a team captain for his final year in South Bend.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior Kicker Justin Yoon
It was a historical year for the senior kicker. Yoon became the all-time leading scorer in Notre Dame history during the season with the previous record standing at 321. Yoon also has the record for most career field goals made in an Irish uniform with 58.
For the season, Yoon has made 16 of 20 field goals and 41 of 43 PATs for a total of 89 points on the season.
OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Senior Running Back Dexter Williams
Williams missed the first four games of the season, but still came just 59 yards short (941) of an 1,000-yard year during the regular season. The senior also led the team with 12 rushing touchdowns.
In his first game of the year, Williams rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, including going 45 yards to the end zone on his opening carry. Williams rushed for at least 100 yards in four games with his season-high coming in a blowout win over Florida State going for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams’ 97-yard touchdown in a win over Virginia Tech broke the Lane Stadium record for the longest rush.
DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Junior Safety Alohi Gilman
After sitting out for one season following a transfer to Notre Dame from Navy, Gilman made quite the impression in his first year in South Bend.
Gilman is second on the team with 76 tackles to go with three pass breakups and two interceptions, with both coming in a win over then-No. 12 Syracuse. Gilman closed the regular season with a season-high 10 tackles. He is a finalist for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.
IMPACT PLAYER ON OFFENSE: Junior Wide Receiver Chase Claypool
Claypool is second on the team in all three of receptions (48), yards (631) and receiving touchdowns (four). The junior’s best game of the regular season came in a road win over Northwestern where he caught eight passes for 130 yards.
Claypool caught 11 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown in the team’s final two contests against Syracuse and USC.
IMPACT PLAYER ON DEFENSE: Junior Defensive End Julian Okwara
Okwara leads the Irish in tackles for loss with 11.5 to go with his 37 total tackles and seven sacks. His sack total is second on the team behind Tillery.
The junior had 21 quarterback hurries in the regular season with seven coming in a win over Pittsburgh. He notched his second-career interception in the season opener against Pittsburgh.
BACK OF THE YEAR: Junior Cornerback Julian Love
A finalist for the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award, Love has earned multiple All-America honors including most recently being named to the Walter Camp All-America team at cornerback.
Love leads the nation with 15 pass breakups and became the all-time leader in the category for Notre Dame with 38 total so far. He is the lone player nationally with at least 10 pass breakups.
Pro Football Focus ranks Love as the second-highest graded corner in the country with just two missed tackles in 815 defensive snaps. Love has 61 total tackles, one interception and three fumble recoveries this season.
HUMBLE & HUNGRY AWARD: Senior Defensive Tackle Jonathan Bonner
Notre Dame described this award as "the most selfless man on the team who puts his head down and works every single day earns the Humble and Hungry Echo." Bonner recorded 20 tackles during the regular season.
OFFENSIVE SCOUT TEAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Junior Wide Receiver Mick Assaf
DEFENSIVE SCOUT TEAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Freshman Linebacker Ovie Oghoufo
FATHER LANGE IRISH CROSS AWARD: Senior Guard Alex Bars
IRISH AROUND THE BEND WINNER: Senior Tight End Nic Weishar
Recognizing community service and work outside of on the field, the Irish Around the Bend honor went to Weishar for the second-straight season. Weishar's work with The Andrew Weishar Foundation is well-known helping battle cancer.
WALK-ON PLAYER’S UNION PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior Wide Receiver Chris Finke
No surprise that Finke went home with the WOPU Player of the Year. Finke finished third on the team during the regular season with 47 catches for 547 yards and two touchdowns. His two scores came in the opener versus Michigan and the regular season finale against Southern California.
Finke also had 19 punt returns on the season for 195 yards, including a long of 52 yards.