Redbird Coaches Hand Out Spring Football Awards
May 1, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State head football coach Brock Spack and his coaching staff have handed out team awards following the completion of the 2012 spring practice session.
Senior offensive lineman Pete Cary was selected as the team's most improved player on offense. Cary, the team's only senior on the offensive line, played in 10 games last year and will look to be a leader for the group that lost six seniors from 2011. During spring camp, Cary spent time at center and at tackle for the Redbirds while different line combinations were being formed.
Senior linebacker Mike Zimmer earned the same award on the defensive side of the ball, after taking over middle linebacker duties for the Redbirds. Zimmer, a three-year letterwinner for ISU, played outside linebacker during his previous three seasons and will look to fill the spot inside that was vacated by two-year starter Josh Howe.
After transferring to ISU prior to the start of the spring semester, Ball State transfer Phil Dudley showed that he will be a big contributor for the offense in 2012 and beyond. For his efforts throughout spring camp, the wide receiver was named the top newcomer on offense.
Sophomore safety Dontae McCoy earned the top newcomer award on defense, after becoming a key contributor in the secondary and on special teams for the Redbirds. McCoy played in all 11 games last season, mostly on special teams, but recorded 10 tackles for the Redbirds.
Other awards included the "Pit Bull Awards," which were presented to the most tenacious players on each side of the ball. Junior H-back and lead blocker Jordan Neukirch earned the honor for the offense and junior defensive end Colton Underwood claimed the award for the defense. The final award presented was the "Hammer Award," which also went to Underwood for his hard hits and consistent effort on the defensive line throughout the workouts and scrimmages.
Illinois State will begin fall training camp Aug. 4, before opening up the 2012 season Sept. 1, against Dayton.
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