Its awards season in Hollywood and while Hollywood may not be very close to Down the Drive HQ, its award season here as well. Well, at least football award season. As we’ve continued our postmortem of the 2016 season, its time for you, yes you, to participate. For the next week, voting will be open for the first annual Down the Drive Football Awards. We are still coming up with a better name. Suggestions are welcome.
Now, anyone is eligible to vote and we can mostly promise that Russia will not hack the process, but take a read through of each category, which will include your nominees and then get to voting. Diddy believes in you.
Offensive Player of the Year
Most of these awards will be self explanatory and this one is no different. This one should go to the most productive and impressive offensive player on the roster. We know that might be tough to come up with considering how terrible the offense was this past season, but there were still a few guys who stood out.
Devin Gray, WR
Tion Green, RB
Kahlil Lewis, WR
Nate Cole, WR
Defensive Player of the Year
Take everything I said above, and insert defense or defensive for offense and offensive.
Eric Wilson, LB
Zach Edwards, S
Kevin Mouhon, DE
Mike Tyson, LB
Rookie of the Year
Even though UC leaned on mostly upper classmen and proven players in 2016, there were still a pair of new faces that really improved throughout the year and ended up being more than just promising youngster for the future.
Devin Gray, WR
Perry Young, DB
Play of the Year
When your team wins 10 games and claims a conference title, its difficult to single out one play as the best of the year. UC doesn’t have that problem.
The trick play against Tulsa
Tyrell Gilbert’s pick-six against Tennessee-Martin
Kahlil Lewis’ big catch against Miami-Ohio
Gunner Kiel’s absolute dime against East Carolina
Batman kicks a field goal
Game of the Year
Far too many of UC’s games were horrible walks through drudgery, but hidden in the muck and grime were a few gems where you might have thought “OH. This is what football looks like.”
Gunner Kiel leads Bearcats to first conference win against ECU
Tulsa and UC give us an overtime thriller on the day after Thanksgiving
Individual Performance of the Year
Football is a team game. Unlike basketball, an overwhelming effort from one player can’t always make up for shortcomings by the rest of the squad. With that written, there were some games in which a UC player absolutely dominated. Which one was best?
Kahlil Lewis sets career-highs in receptions (11), receiving yards (150) and touchdowns (3) against East Carolina.
Gunner Kiel throws for 348 yards and four touchdowns in 31-19 win over East Carolina.
Eric Wilson records 15 tackles and two sacks in opening game against Tennesee-Martin.
Mike Tyson hauls in three interceptions against Purdue.
BONUS: Best Luke Fickell Hashtag
All of the 2016 season culminated in the departure of Tommy Tuberville and the hiring of Luke Fickell. The new head guy has been doing a great job so far, which doesn’t mean much since its so early, but still. As 2017 continues we need an official hashtag for the new head coach. What should it be?
#FickellDownEffect (thanks to PhillyEagles2011 for this one)
That’s it folks. Now get to voting.