Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Bishop Sankey, Justin Wilcox, Desmond Trufant and Shaq Thompson take home top honors in 2012.
Offensive MVP - Bishop Sankey So. RB
Sankey quietly had one of the best seasons ever by a Husky running back as he basically matched Chris Polk's production from 2011 with a similar running style where he perpetually broke tackles and milked out yards form limited blocking. Had it not been for an incredible surplus of great backs in the conference, Sankey would have been first team all-league and competed for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Defensive MVP - Justin Wilcox Defensive Coordinator
I know that awards like these are usually reserved for players, but no one was more crucial for the Huskies complete turnaround on defense than Wilcox. From the opening game, the Huskies were a different animal when other teams had the ball, especially at home, and much of that has to be contributed to Wilcox. The Huskies need to do whatever they can to keep Wilcox in Seattle for at least a couple more years so we get to see what he can do with his young defense as it matures.
Special Teams MVP - Justin Glenn Sr. S
An underrated player throughout his Husky career, Glenn will be missed for all of the little things that he did, especially on special teams. Glenn always seemed to be wherever the ball was and then rarely ever missed the tackle when provided the opportunity.
Freshman MVP - Shaq Thompson LB
Thompson adjusted to playing a kind of linebacker/safety hybrid position exceptionally well for a true freshman. He grabbed big interceptions against Oregon and Cal and was as tough as a hitter as the Huskies have had in recent history. This is going to be one fun player to watch for the rest of his career as a Husky, which might only be for two more years.
Assistant Coach of the Year - Peter Sirmon LBs
No one unit on the Huskies went from liability to strength from 2011 to 2012 more than the linebackers and much of that credit has to go to Wilcox' right hand man Sirmon. John Timu who had struggled mightily in 2011 suddenly became stout and made some big plays while Thompson and redshirt freshman Travis Feeney quickly became two of the best players on the defense under Sirmon.
Most Improved Player - Desmond Truftant Sr. CB
I initially was going to give Trufant the Defensive MVP award but it was just too hard to pass up Wilcox. After a couple of frustrating seasons, Trufant finally lived up to the enormous potential he flashed as a freshman. Trufant took on a bevy of talented receivers all season and had one of the best one-on-one performances by a Husky cornerback ever against USC as he basically shut down Marqise Lee who is one of the best receivers to ever play in the Pac-12.
Senior Award (Unheralded guy who I'm sad to see go) - Cody Bruns WR
Bruns deserves this award if for nothing more than running down Washington State's Toni Pole in the Apple Cup and sparing the Huskies the embarrassment of losing on one of the craziest/most comical plays ever in college football. I don't think Bruns ever dropped a pass or a punt return in his career and he had the Huskies only two big returns of the season at perfect times. Bruns probably could have transferred to a smaller program and been a major contributor at receiver but stuck it out as a Husky.
Play of the Year- Kasen Williams touchdown against Stanford
Catching the bubble screen at about the line of scrimmage, Kasen did it all by himself pretty much as he broke a tackle and raced to the end zone for the decisive touchdown in the Huskies biggest win in years which looks even bigger after seeing Stanford nearly run the table the rest of the way. The play is a testament to Kasen's strength as he simply ran through the tackle on his way to the end zone.
Performance of the Year - Bishop Sankey in the Las Vegas Bowl
It says a lot when the Player of the Game award is given to a guy on the losing end and Sankey truly deserved it as he tore up Boise State for more than 200 yards on the ground and a touchdown and also had more than 70 yards receiving. It was the best performance by a Husky back since Chris Polk's Apple Cup explosion in 2010 and he did it against a pretty good defense.