While it was an easy call on the offensive side of the football, picking a top Bearcat defender on the defensive side of the ball was such a hard choice to make. Several players were deserving of this honor as many will leave their mark on the program when they finish their careers.
When it was all said and done there was no way to name just one member of the Bearcats defense as our Player of the Year. So we named two well deserving members of this year's defense for our top honors.
Haruki Nakamura will leave a mark on the Bearcats football program just as he's done to so many offensive players during his four year career. A hard hitting safety willing to put his body at risk for the betterment of the team, Haruki Nakamura posted some great defensive numbers this year to earn his spot as one of our Defensive Players of the Year winners.
A senior from Lakewood St. Edward High School, Nakamura was more than just a hard hitting safety during his career. As a team leader teammates had no problems following, Nakamura was a player willing to risk it all on every play for the chance his team would earn a victory.
On the season Nakamura would lead the Bearcats in total tackles with 95, included in those were 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles, 4 pass breakups and 4 interceptions.
The Bearcats coaching staff will have to work hard this spring in hopes of finding a player capable of taking the place of Haruki by the time the season starts.
While Nakamura was handing out punishment from the defensive backfield it was the play of senior defensive end Anthony Hoke that paced the Bearcats in the trenches. Hoke, who saved his best for his senior season enjoyed a breakout year posting some very impressive numbers.
The native of Warren, Ohio would record 58 total tackles while posting 16.5 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback sacks on the season. But while that would be enough for most Hoke also had 3 pass breakups and 7 quarterback hurries to go along with 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
Bearcat Insider would like to congratulate both Haruki and Anthony on being named Bearcat Insider Co-Defensive Players of the Year.
We'd be mistaken if we didn't also mention the great season posted by several other members of the Bearcats defense. Corey Smith, Anthony Williams, Terrill Byrd, Mike Mickens, DeAngelo Smith and Angelo Craig all had seasons worthy of being considered as Defensive Player of the Year winners.
BCI Co-Defensive Players of the Year
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