St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 31, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team announced its 2017 award winners at its annual Dinner with the Bears. The players and the coaches voted on the awards.
Darryl Sharp Memorial MVP Award, Offense; Scott Swofford Award (Special Teams MVP) – Johnny Davidson – D3football.com Third-Team All-America and Second-team All-South Region at punter ... Honorable-mention all-UAA at quarterback and punter ... Ranked fourth in NCAA Division III in punting average (41.9) ... Started final seven games at QB and completed 195-of-295 pass attempts for 2,035 yards and 16 touchdowns ... Also ran the ball for 288 yards and three TDs ... Ranked first in UAA in completion percentage (66.1) and second in passing yards per game (226.1) ... Threw for a career-high 380 yards and four TDs vs. Bridgewater (11/11) ... Bears' punt team ranked seventh in NCAA Division III (37.76) ... Punted 37 times for 1,550 yards with a career-best 73-yarder at Washington and Lee (10/7) ... Landed 11 punts inside the 20 and had six of 50 yards of more ... D3football.com Team of the Week on Oct. 10 and Oct. 31 ... UAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week on Oct. 9 and Oct. 30 ... Academic all-UAA.
Darryl Sharp Memorial MVP Award, Defense – Nate Lowis – First-team all-UAA ... Started seven of eight games played ... Made 23 tackles with six pass break-ups ... Recorded a season-high six tackles vs. UW-Whitewater ... Team captain ... Academic all-UAA.
Dean's Award, Most Valuable Freshman – Nick Cione – UAA Rookie of the Year ... Led the team and was seventh in UAA in all-purpose yards per game (69.0) … Had 18 punt returns for 224 yards, which ranked second in the UAA and 21st in NCAA Division III punt return average (12.4) ... Third on the team with 28 receptions for 316 yards (11.3 avg.) ... Had career-high six receptions for 65 yards and a TD vs. Bridgewater (11/11) ... UAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week on Oct. 17.
Most Improved Player (2)– Michael Mehaffy – First-team all-UAA ... Started all nine games at left guard ... Offense averaged 27.2 points and 390.4 yards per game, and scored 20 or more points in eight of nine games played ... WashU also led the UAA in passing offense (274.8). – Jason Singer – Started five of nine games played … Second on the team with 32 catches for 496 yards … Led the team and second in the UAA with seven receiving TDs … Had six catches for a career-high 157 yards and a TD at Washington and Lee (10/7) … Hauled in a career-best seven catches for 130 yards and three TDs vs. Buena Vista (10/14) … UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week on Oct. 9 ... CoSIDA Academic All-District 5 ... Academic all-UAA.
Bruce Melin Battling Bear Courage Award – Hank Michalski – Started all nine games at center … The Bears' offense averaged 27.2 points and 390.4 yards per game, and scored 20 or more points in eight of nine games played … WashU led the UAA in passing offense (274.8) … CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America ... CoSIDA Academic All-District 5 ... Academic all-UAA.
Most Inspirational Player – Andrew Ralph – Started nine games at defensive back … Was fifth on the team with 55 tackles … Added four tackles for loss and two sacks … Recorded a season-high nine tackles, two sacks and a tackle for loss at Wartburg (9/23) … Team captain ... CoSIDA Academic All-District 5 ... Academic all-UAA.
WU Old Bear Award – David Nees – Appeared in all nine games, making two starts at running back … Led the team with four rushing TDs … Ran the ball 32 times for 88 yards … Team captain ... Ran for career-best 38 yards on six carries and a TD vs. Bridgewater (11/11) … Carried the ball five times for 19 yards and first-career TD vs. Carnegie Mellon (9/2) ... Academic all-UAA.