WSU held its football banquet on Thursday, and there were some big two-time award honorees among the winners
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was named team MVP for the second-straight year at the Cougars’ end-of-season banquet Thursday night at Martin Stadium.
Falk finished his junior season second in the Pac-12 in passing yards (4,468), completion percentage (.700) and passing touchdowns (38). He opted to return to WSU for his senior season instead of leaving school early for the NFL draft.
For the second-striaght year, senior receiver Gabe Marks was named WSU’s offensive MVP while senior safety Shalom Luani was named defensive MVP. Marks, who was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, set a new Pac-12 record for career receptions (316) and led the Cougars’ receivers with 89 catches for 894 yards and 13 touchdowns. Luani also made the All-Pac-12 first team, and tallied 68 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, four interceptions and six pass break ups.
Colton Teglovic, a former walk-on, was name special teams MVP, while another former walk-on, Parker Henry, earned the Randall Simmons Award for the second year in a row. Due to injury, Henry only played in 10 games during his senior season, but was awarded the Simmons Award for his leadership.The Simmons Award is named after a former Cougar and Los Angeles SWAT team member who was killed in the line of duty in 2008.
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Junior offensive lineman Cody O’Connell, the second consensus All-American in school history, was awarded the Mike Utley Award that goes to the best offensive lineman. Hercules Mata’afa was honored with the Leon Bender Award for defensive lineman of the year.
Isaac Dotson, a junior linebacker, won the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award, junior running back Jamal Morrow got the offensive captain award, while junior linebacker Peyton Pelluer got the defensive captain award and Nick Begg earned the Cougar Academic Excellence Award.
Senior receiver River Cracraft was named the named the recipient of the Laurie Niemi Award, given to the senior who best depicts the courage and attitude of former Cougar assistant coach Laurie Niemi. Cracraft’s senior season was cut short when he tore his ACL in WSU’s win against Cal in November, but he still wound up his Cougars career second all-time with 218 receptions.
Offensive guard Eduardo Middleton got the Frank Butler Award that goes to a senior on the team who exemplifies the Cougar spirit of its namesake, and the Fred Bohler Cougar Inspiration Award went to senior center Riley Sorenson.
Receiver Brandon Arconado was named offensive scout team player of the year, while lineman Taylor Comfort was named defensive scout team player of the year.