2010 Season Superlatives Part III
We conclude our look back at the 2010 season with the Unsung Heroes, and Freshman & Coach of the Year…
For a guy who often bailed the offense out in many situations and won the game of field position, punter Mickey Groody hasn’t been given enough credit. Goody led the conference with his 45.80 yard average and finished sixth nationally with that mark. His 73-yard boot against FIU was a school-record and his 72-yard kick versus Troy almost broke it. Without the junior, the defense would have been put in a lot more difficult scenarios, and FAU’s special teams would have been even more of a sore spot.
Unsung Hero Part II
Instead of listing others considered for the “Unsung Hero” category, safety Ed Alexander is going to get just as much recognition. FAU’s pass defense went from a disaster in 2009 to a respectable area in 2010, and Alexander was a key contributor. Many people didn’t value the experience the senior had brought to the table with 34 career starts until he was injured in the Texas game and missed the following week as well. In the contests he was held out, opponents passed for 421-yards and four touchdowns, which was one of the worst spans all season long. Alexander isn’t a player who will get a lot of credit but he proved to be vital to the secondary.
Unsung Hero Part III
The Marching Owls. Is there a group that promotes more Esprit De Corp during a game day? Enough said.
Freshman of the Year
Not often do freshmen have a chance to play and make an impact in their first season with FAU, but defensive end Cory Henry did. The spring-enrollee climbed his way up the depth chart throughout the season and by the end of it had notched four starts. Finishing with a team-leading five sacks and three quarterback hurries, Henry became the defense’s primary pass rusher in his true freshman campaign.
Others considered: Linebacker Randell Johnson (41 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, 1 sack), Corner Keith Reaser (26 tackles 1 INT)
Assistant Coach of the Year
It was Kurt Van Valkenburgh’s first year in his new role as the defensive coordinator, and for a man who was asked to fix one of the conferences worst defenses, he fared well enough. FAU’s defense showed signs of life throughout the season, and improved its passing defense which had plagued all of last year. Although he did surrender a lot of yards and points to some opponents, it was often the defense that kept the team in games.
Others considered: Wide receivers coach Jarred Allen, Secondary coach Dick Hopkins