The highlight of the program was the announcement of the team's annual awards. Junior quarterback Mitch Leidner was honored with the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given annually to the team's most valuable player.
Leidner also received Bruce Smith Award (outstanding offensive player) and the Neil Fredenburg Award (courage and love of the game).
Eric Murray collected the Carl Eller Award (outstanding defensive player) and was also named defensive back of the year.
Punter Peter Mortell won the Bobby Bell Award (outstanding special teams player) for a third straight season.
Safety Adekunle Ayinde received the Gary Tinsley Award for best embracing the underdog persona of Gary Tinsley, who played for the Gophers from 2008-11 and passed away in April 2012.
Senior offensive lineman Jon Christenson collected three awards, as he was honored with the Paul Giel Award (unselfishness and most concern for Minnesota), Tony Dungy Character and Community Service Award (great character on and off the field) and the Butch Nash Award (competitive on the field and in the classroom) for the third straight season.
Freshman running back Shannon Brooks was named the Bob McNamara Offensive Back of the Year and also received the Outstanding Offensive Freshman of the Year Award.
Jonah Pirsig was named Offensive Lineman of the Year, while Theiren Cockran collected Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.
KJ Maye was voted Wide Receiver of the Year and Brandon Lingen received the Tight End of the Year award.
Cody Poock was feted with Linebacker of the Year honors, while freshman KiAnte Hardin earned Outstanding Defensive Freshman of the Year accolades.
The Offensive Work Team Player of the Year was Conor Rhoda, while Gary Moore and Winston DeLattiboudere shared Defensive Work Team Player honors.
2015 GOLDEN GOPHER FOOTBALL BANQUET AWARD WINNERS
Bronko Nagurski Award (Team MVP) – Mitch Leidner
Bruce Smith Award (Outstanding Offensive Player) – Mitch Leidner
Carl Eller Award (Outstanding Defensive Player) – Eric Murray
Bobby Bell Award (Outstanding Special Teams Player) – Peter Mortell
Gary Tinsley Award – Adekunle Ayinde
Neil Fredenburg Award – Mitch Leidner
Paul Giel Award – Jon Christenson
Butch Nash Award – Jon Christenson
Tony Dungy Award – Jon Christenson
Offensive Lineman of the Year – Jonah Pirsig
Bob McNamara Offensive Back of the Year – Shannon Brooks
Wide Receiver of the Year – KJ Maye
Tight End of the Year – Brandon Lingen
Defensive Lineman of the Year – Theiren Cockran
Linebacker of the Year – Cody Poock
Defensive Back of the Year – Eric Murray
Outstanding Offensive Freshman of the Year – Shannon Brooks
Outstanding Defensive Freshman of the Year – KiAnte Hardin
Offensive Work Team Player of the Year – Conor Rhoda
Defensive Work Team Player of the Year – Gary Moore and Winston DeLattiboudere
Row the Boat Culture: Video Recap
12/15/2017 - Football
Check out some of the best off-the-field moments from Gopher Football in 2017 with this video recap!
Ski-U-Mah Weekly: Episode 14
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Former Gopher Basketball player Spencer Tollackson joined Justin Gaard on Ski-U-Mah Weekly Dec. 11 to talk Minnesota Basketball and more!
Vote O’Brien for Uplifting Athletes Award
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Gophers walk-on holder and two-time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien is one of four finalists for Rare Disease Champion Award.