Most Valuable Player: Yvenson Bernard
This one was easy as the three year starter assaulted the school's and the
conference's record books finishing his career as one of the best rushers in
the Pac-10's illustrious running back history.
Despite missing two games with injuries he topped the 1,200 yard mark for the
third consecutive year. In seven of his eleven starts he rushed for over
100 yards while scoring at least one touchdown in nine of the contests and scoring
multiple touchdowns in four of them.
While his rushing statistics are impressive he also chipped in with the passing
game catching 36 passes, good for second on the team, for 179 yards and one
touchdown. He earned second team All-Pac-10 honors only due to the fact he missed
two games with injuries.
His blocking ability is impressive and often overlooked as he saved Sean Canfield
or Lyle Moevao several times from an oncoming linebacker. Another overlooked
factor was his intense, but lighthearted attitude. He was constantly smiling
on the field and truly enjoyed playing football in Corvallis.
The Florida native concluded his career with 3,932 yards moving him into
sixth place on the Pac-10's career rushing list. He topped 100 yards in 19
of his 35 career starts as the Beavers won 11 of their last 13 games when he
topped the century mark.
Bernard was voted once again a team captain by his teammates as he was named
to the Doak Walker and Walker Camp Foundation watch lists.
Mike Riley said time and time again that Bernard was one of the toughest, if
not the toughest, player he has ever coached. It's scary to think what
Bernard could have done if he ever went a whole season without an injury.
Improved Player: Victor Butler
Butler showed flashes of his play making ability as a sophomore grabbing 3.5
sacks in 14 games a year ago. This year he blew up as he harnessed 25 tackles,
including 12.5 for loss and a team high 10.5 sacks, good for third in the Pac-10.
The pass rushing specialist also added one interception that he athletically
returned for 30 yards against Washington State, four pass breakups, third on
the team, a team high four quarterback hurries and a co-team high two fumbles
forced and recovered.
Biggest Surprise: Slade Norris
The OSU offensive lineman gushed about Norris during practice, but few would
have guessed the walk-on would have led the Pac-10 in sacks for several weeks.
In 12 games the Jesuit graduate grabbed 16 tackles, including 10 for loss and
nine sacks, good for sixth in the conference.
Player of the Year: Brandon Hughes
The defense now has a lockdown corner and a great player at supporting the
run to boot. Hughes committed himself to the weight room in the off season and
his time spent hammering away at the weights paid off.
In 13 games the Illinois native grabbed 57 tackles, fifth on the team, seven
tackles for loss, two interceptions and a team high 12 pass breakups, seventh
in the Pac-10, along with one forced fumble.
He was fantastic at stopping the run fighting through almost any block to make
a tackle. At the end of the year teams rarely threw Hughes way.
Freshman of the Year: James Rodgers
Oh baby! There hasn't been this exciting of a player on the Oregon State roster
since Tim Alexander made the switch from quarterback to receiver in the late
nineties under Mike Riley.
The true freshman far exceeded anyone's wildest dreams as he provided a much
needed lift to an offense without game breaker Sammie Stroughter.
He was second on the team in carries with 50 touches for 586 yards and three
touchdowns, for a team best 11.7 yards per rush. Rodgers also chipped in on
the passing game catching 19 passes for 208 yards, 10.8 yards per catch, with
The 5-foot-7, 179-pound player is also a tenacious blocker and is already giving
Pac-10 defensive coordinators nightmares.
Starter of the Year: Tim Clark
When Keenan Lewis inevitably went down and Tim Clark was called into the game
early in the season, it would be safe to say that much of Beaver Nation was
But the sophomore turned in a fine year tallying 32 tackles, 1.5 for loss,
one interception and eight pass breakups, second on the team, in 13 games with
He got beat bad a few times, but overall was tough against receivers and by
the end of the year was playing better than the more experienced Lewis.
Mr. Steady(s): Roy Schuening and Derrick Doggett
There's a reason why the Pride of Pendleton is receiving a ton of post-season
press. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound player was a rock for the offensive line
switching back and forth from guard and tackle without skipping a beat.
His 50 straight starts is a testament to his toughness along with him playing
while suffering from walking pneumonia. Schuening earned First Team All-Pac-10
Doggett was everywhere his senior year grabbing a team high 93 stops, including
a team best 14 for loss, 10th in the conference.
The second team All-Pac-10 recorded at least one stat in each defensive category,
except the subjective quarterback hurry category, as he pulled down three sacks,
a team high four interceptions, one fumble forced and recovered, one pass breakup,
one blocked kick and one safety.
Unsung Hero Award: Howard Croom, Curtis Coker, William
'Akau'ola Vea, Brandon Powers, Taylor Kavanaugh
It's not surprising that this category filled out quickly since the Beavers
pride themselves on being a blue-collared team.
In his first year as a starter Croom did an superb job, mainly in the blocking
game, but he showed flashes of play making ability in the passing game hauling
in 20 catches for 188 yards and three touchdowns.
Coker was a rock in the middle and is one of those players that is integral
to a team's success although it does not show up in the box score. A big reason
why the team finished No. 2 in the nation against the run is because of this
old man of the ball club 'Akau'ola Vea was a pass rushing specialist who had
his finest year as a senior. I can vividly remember him sliding pass the center
and guard several times throughout the season as he seemingly was in the backfield
before the ball was snapped. He finished with 10 tackles for loss, fifth on
the team, along with 3.5 sacks and 23 tackles.
Powers' numbers dropped from his junior and senior year as he caught less passes (31)
which equaled less yards (312) and no receiving touchdowns, though he rushed for a TD vs. ASU. But, much like Coker, his worth
can't be found in the box score. His blocking ability helped the ground game
click and gave the quarterbacks extra time to throw. A BF.C reader also notes he was the leading OSU receiver in the Civil War -- 5 catches, 80 yards -- and threw a key block on James' winning TD run.
Although he was never really a threat to break a punt return for a touchdown
Kavanaugh did a fantastic job fielding ball as he rarely fumbled and almost
always made the right decision to fair catch the ball or not. He also did a
great job as the team's holder.
Warrior Award: Alexis Serna
The senior had one of his roughest years kicking as he missed his last five
of six field goals while struggling with punting for the entire year averaging
a conference worst 35.4 yards per kick.
But he ended up making a Pac-10 record 144 consecutive extra points and was
clutch in several games including the match up with Washington and the Civil
Serna ended up as the Pac-10's second career and Oregon State's leading scoring
leader with 383 points. He also made a school record 80 career field goals and
140 extra points while matching school records in longest field goal (58) and
consecutive field goals made (15).
Player of the Year: Anthony Brown
The often misaligned athlete finally put together a full year without getting
into trouble and as a result led the team in receptions (39) and yards (550).
Unfortunately he played just one snap in the Emerald Bowl as he injured his
quadriceps muscle during bowl practice. But he did keep his 42 game streak of
starts alive, 10th all-time at OSU, and finished his career as the school's
seventh all-time reception leader with 133 catches.
Next Big Thing on Offense: James Rodgers
As a sophomore Rodgers will be one of the featured offensive weapons.
Teams know what he can do, but can they stop him?
Next Big Thing on Defense: Keaton Kristick
Kristick received his first real bulk of playing time recording 15 tackles
and one pass breakup in 13 games as a backup.
With no seniors in front of him and the valuable game experience he received
this year, it's time for the coaches to let the beast run wild.
Did we miss a player that should be recognized? Have
an idea for an award category? Think we're full of crap?
Talk about it on
the message board with other Beaver football fans.