Dec. 9, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
University of Notre Dame junior quarterback DeShone Kizer received the 2016 University of Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player
honor tonight at ECHOES | 16 presented by Bank of America.
Kizer, who was voted MVP by his teammates, was one of 15 players honored at the 96th Fighting Irish football awards show.
Kizer completed 212 of 361 passes for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns. He rushed for 472 yards and eight touchdowns. Kizer ranked in the top 25 nationally in five different categories including TD passes (18th, 26), passing yards per completion (24, 13.80), points responsible for (17th, 204), points responsible for per game (18th, 17.0) and total offense (26th, 283.1 per game).
Kizer’s favorite target, sophomore wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, was named the Offensive Player of the Year. St. Brown led the Irish with 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the nation in receiving yards among sophomores and freshmen, while he ranked among the country’s top 40 receivers in both receiving touchdowns and receiving yards.
On the other side of the ball, senior linebacker James Onwualu was named Defensive Player of the Year. The team captain capped his career by starting all 12 games while recording 75 total tackles (38 solo), a team-best 11.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, five pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
The Next Man In award stayed in the linebacker room, going to junior Greer Martini. He played in all 12 games, making four starts. Martini totaled 55 tackles, with 29 of those of the solo variety, as well as 7.0 tackles for loss, three sacks and a pass break-up. He continued to be the team’s most valuable resource against opponents running an option attack, recording 11 tackles (one for loss) against Navy and another nine tackles (two for loss) against Army West Point.
Drue Tranquill was named the Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year, adding to the list of accolades for the 2016 CoSIDA All-American. Tranquill finished the season second on the team with 79 tackles, including a pair for loss, while also contributing an interception and two pass break-ups. In addition, the junior earned first team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America thanks to a 3.74 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering. A member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and the Rosenthal Leadership Academy, he captured Academic All-District honors from CoSIDA for the second consecutive year. Off the field, Tranquill was a candidate for the Wuerffel and Lott Trophies while participating in the Core Leadership Team for Lifeworks Ministry, the Notre Dame Christian Athletes, Team Fellowship, AWP Sports in his native Fort Wayne, indiana, and as an athlete ambassador for Dream Teams.
The Nick Pietrosante Award, given to the student-athlete who best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride, was awarded to Cole Luke. The cornerback started all 12 games while his role evolved throughout the season before finishing with 48 tackles, a pair of interceptions and six pass break-ups. In addition to interceptions against Stanford and Miami, Luke scored his only career points against Syracuse, returning a blocked point-after attempt on the Orange’s first touchdown of the game in a 50-33 Irish win.
Senior defensive lineman Isaac Rochell won Lineman of the Year, presented by the Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Rochell started all 12 contests, recording 55 tackles, seven for a loss and a sack on the season. The senior capped his career with 167 total tackles (83 solo), 22 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Offensive Lineman of the Year was awarded to junior Quenton Nelson, who started all 12 games at left guard. He ranked eighth in the Football Bowl Subdivision by Pro Football Focus among offensive guards with a grade of 20.5. Nelson did not allow a sack and allowed just one QB hit in 2016 (on 456 pass attempts).
Long snapper Scott Daly was named the Special Teams Player of the Year following a four-year career without an errant snap.
Newcomers of the Year went to junior offensive tackle Alex Bars and junior linebacker Nyles Morgan on offense and defense, respectively. Bars started all 12 contests at right tackle, while Morgan recorded a team-high 94 tackles, including 6.0 for loss and four sacks.
(offense) and Jonathan Jones (defense) were named the Scout Team Players of the Year. Offensive lineman Mark Harrell won
the Father Lange Irish Cross Award and punter Tyler Newsome was named the Irish Around the Bend Award winner for his community service
Scout Team Player of the Year: Offense – Ben Suttman
Scout Team Player of the Year: Defense – Jonathan Jones
Newcomer of the Year: Offense – Alex Bars
Newcomer of the Year: Defense – Nyles Morgan
Special Teams Player of the Year – Scott Daly
Offensive Lineman of the Year – Quenton Nelson
Irish Around the Bend – Tyler Newsome
Moose Krause Lineman of the Year – Isaac Rochell
Father Lange Iron Cross – Mark Harrell
Pietrosante Award – Cole Luke
Rockne Student-Athlete – Drue Tranquill
Offensive Player of the Year – Equanimeous St. Brown
Defensive Player of the Year – James Onwualu
Next Man In – Greer Martini
Most Valuable Player – DeShone Kizer