April 28, 2014
Minnesota running back David Cobb was named Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year at tonight’s Golden Goldys. The annual event is a student-athlete awards gala and was held at TCF Bank Stadium. This year’s Golden Goldys were held in conjunction with the scholar-athlete banquet.
Cobb is the third football player to be awarded a Golden Goldy since the banquet’s inception in 2008, joining Eric Decker (2009 Male Athlete of the Year) and Ben Kuznia (2009 Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year).
Cobb was not listed on Minnesota’s season-opening depth chart, but the junior ended the year rushing 237 times (tied for 10th most in program history) for 1,202 yards (12th in program history) and seven touchdowns (tied for team lead). Prior to the 2013 season, Cobb had carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards in two seasons.
The Killeen, Texas, native, who became Minnesota’s first 1,200-yard back since Amir Pinnix rushed for 1,272 yards is 2006, finished the season with 1,376 all-purpose yards (1,202 rushing and 174 receiving), which is the most for a Gopher since 2009 (Troy Stoudermire also had 1,376 yards) and is tied for 16th all-time in program history.
Cobb had six 100-yard rushing games (team was 5-1 in those games), which was the most by a Gopher since Laurence Maroney had eight in 2005. He posted five 100-yard Big Ten rushing games, which was the most by a Gopher since Marion Barber III also had five in 2003. Cobb rushed for more than 100 yards in wins against Northwestern, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State to become the fourth Gopher back in the modern era to rush for more than 100 yards in four straight league games, joining Tellis Redmon in 2000, Thomas Hamner in 1999 (did it five straight Big Ten games) and Paul Giel in 1951.
Cobb finished third on the team in receptions (17) and fourth in receiving yards (174) and led the Gophers with nine plays of 25 yards or more (seven rushing, two receiving). At the team’s banquet, he received the Bruce Smith Award (Most Outstanding Offensive Player), the Gary Tinsley Award for best embracing the underdog persona of Gary Tinsley and was also named the team's offensive back of the year.
Chris Hawthorne and Cedric Thompson also were recognized during the banquet. Hawthorne, who exhausted his playing eligibility last season, was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award in Leadership and Service. The award is presented to one male and one female student-athlete who are accomplished in the areas of leadership and volunteerism.
Thompson received the Richard "Pinky" McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award. This award is given to a student-athlete who has inspired all by making an extraordinary effort to succeed despite difficult circumstances, preserving during a time of tremendous adversity and/or overcoming a great challenge (read about Thompson’s journey in this July 2013 Star-Tribune article). Thompson is the second straight Gopher football player to win the award, as he follows teammate Connor Cosgrove in being recognized (BTN The Journey’s profile on Cosgrove).
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