Florida Atlantic University’s football program recognized 15 seniors and handed out 14 individual awards at the 2015 Football Banquet, held Sunday evening at the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center.
The event began by honoring all letterwinners followed by awards for the seniors and captains. Trevon Coley’s acceptance of the team’s MVP Award presented by Head Coach Charlie Partridge ended the event.
Coley started every game (48) while at FAU and continued to build himself into a player that not only achieved individual success, but made the players around him better. He concluded his four-year career with 195 tackles, including 21 for a loss of 109 yards. Coley tallied 4.5 sacks in 2015 and ended his playing career with 12.5 for a loss of 90 yards. He recovered two fumbles in 2015 and recorded four in his career, while forcing two more. Coley’s efforts led a defense that finished 2015 ranked No. 13 nationally in sacks and for the first time in program history led the league in sacks.
The 2015 offensive MVP as well as the offensive line’s “Hammer Award” was presented to senior offensive guard Mikingson Marsaille. Marsaille (photo left) played nearly every snap the last two seasons and led the offensive line with the top grade each week and nearly 100 knockdowns in the 2015 season. Marsaille, the only starting senior on the offensive line, helped provide gaps for a running back corps that finished with 1,977 yards, second all-time in FAU’s history.
On the defensive side of the ball the MVP honor was awarded to senior corner Cre’von LeBlanc. LeBlanc led a young unit that tallied 14 interceptions on the year, which ranked the unit No. 27 nationally. LeBlanc ended his four-year career with six interceptions and 180 tackles. In 2015, the Belle Glade native recorded four interceptions which ranked him No. 1 in C-USA and No. 32 nationally.
Punter Dalton Schomp was named Special Teams MVP after he ended the regular-season with a 48.0 yards per punt average which was tops in the nation as well as C-USA. Schomp was credited week-in and week-out with flipping the field to allow the Owls defense a chance to prevent an easy score. Opponents returned 16 punts on the year, none for a score, and averaged just 7.2 yards per return.
The coveted “Ramon Rickards Bone Award” was presented to defensive end Trey Hendrickson. While the award is presented to the individual who recorded the biggest hit, Hedrickson consistently recorded the hits that made the biggest impact. Hendickson ended his junior campaign as the program’s all-time single-season sacks leader (13.5) as well as career sacks leader (20.0). He was instrumental in the Owls tallying more sacks (35) than any other season in the program’s history.
Comeback player of the year also was awarded to a defensive lineman. Brandin Bryant, a four-year letterwinner, was on track to break the single-season sack mark in 2013 until he suffered the first of two knee injuries in the final game of the year. He returned in 2014 only to suffer the second injury five games into his junior campaign. Bryant came back in 2015 and saw action in every contest. He recorded five sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss and was instrumental in the team’s defensive elevation the final two games of his senior season. He recorded 130 career tackles and 13.5 sacks for a loss of 102 yards. Bryant, along with Coley and Hendrickson, helped to lead a defense that ended the regular season ranked No. 13 nationally in sacks and No. 1 in C-USA.
Newcomer of the Year was presented to freshman Azeez Al-Shair and junior (athletically) tight end Tyler Cameron. Al-Shair led the Owls with 94 tackles, including seven of a loss of yards. Cameron came to FAU as a graduate student seeking to bolster the quarterback unit. One week prior to the first game, he moved to tight end where he recorded 21 receptions for 257 yards for an average of 12.2 yards per catch and was a situational starter.
The team also recognized the members of the “scout team”. James Brunson earned the Offensive Scout Team MVP honor while Alfred Ansley was awarded the team’s Defensive Scout Team MVP. Both scout team units work each week to prepare and provide “looks” for the starting unit.
Iron Man of the Year was awarded to senior wide receiver Jenson Stoshak. Stoshak led the receiving corps with 57 receptions for 820 yards and two scores. He did not miss a game in 2015 and very rarely found himself on the sideline, playing on both the offensive unit and the punt return unit. Stoshak had a team leading 14 punt returns for 106 yards for an average of 7.6 yards per return.
The final two awards were bestowed to two players who both began their careers as walk-ons and who were both instrumental in the 2015 season. Adrian Sterling received the Howard Schnellenberger Community Outreach Award for his efforts as a representative of FAU in the community. He wasn’t as hospitable on the field as a key member of the special teams unit, which denied opponents field position. The Owls’ punting unit was ranked No. 1 in C-USA and No. 5 nationally. The kickoff team saw just 27 kicks returned and averaged 20.7 yards per return, with no scores. Neasman, who was awarded a scholarship prior to his junior campaign, earned the Student-Athlete of the Year Award. Neasman, a mechanical engineering major, holds above a 3.1 G.P.A. and will graduate in the spring of 2016. On the field, he finished his final season with 74 tackles, which was second on the team. He recorded three interceptions and was credited with four pass breakups.
The Owls will next congratulate their graduating seniors, who walk this Friday. The next phase for the team will be recovery during the holiday while the coaches will focus on recruiting and announce the 2016 class the first week of February. Spring Drills begin Tuesday, March 15 and the Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 16.
- Katrina McCormack