Nick Leaders Named ISU Football's MVP

Iowa State nose guard Nick Leaders, a first-team all-Big 12 Conference selection by the league's coaches, was named the school's third recipient of the Pete Taylor MVP Award at the team's banquet Sunday at the Gateway Hotel. The award is named for the former 33-year radio voice of the Cyclones. The honor was bestowed on Leaders by a vote of his teammates.

Iowa State nose guard Nick Leaders, a first-team all-Big 12 Conference selection by the league's coaches, was named the school's third recipient of the Pete Taylor MVP Award at the team's banquet Sunday at the Gateway Hotel. The award is named for the former 33-year radio voice of the Cyclones. The honor was bestowed on Leaders by a vote of his teammates.

Leaders, a senior, has made 259 career tackles and blocked five kicks over the past two seasons for the Houston Bowl-bound Cyclones. The Omaha, Neb. native also earned a share of the Al and Dean Knudsen Award as the team's outstanding defensive player. Leaders was co-winner with all-Big 12 defensive tackle Brent Curvey of the Arthur Floyd Scott Award, which is presented to the top Iowa State linemen on both sides of the ball.  Aaron Brant was the offensive lineman honored. Leaders was a co-recipient of the Winners Performance Award, given to players who excel in techniques, consistency, production, effectiveness and discipline.

Leaders and 11 teammates were the co-winners of the Al and Dean Knudson Award as every starter on the record-setting Iowa State defense earned the honor.  Iowa State's defense allowed only 99.7 rushing yards per game, nearly 40 yards under the school record set in 2004. The Cyclones allowed just 18.2 points per game this season, the lowest total since 1980. Also recognized were defensive tackle Jason Berryman, linebacker Jamarr Buchanan, Curvey, linebacker Tim Dobbins, cornerback LaMarcus Hicks, cornerback DeAndre Jackson, defensive end Cephus Johnson, defensive end Shawn Moorehead of Mason City, strong safety Nik Leaders of Fort Dodge, free safety Steve Paris and linebacker Matt Robertson.

ISU quarterback Bret Meyer of Atlantic and wide receiver Todd Blythe of Indianola, both sophomores, shared the Ray Scott Award as the team's outstanding offensive players.  Meyer ranks fourth in career yards, fifth in career completions, third in career TD passes, third in single-season yards and second in single-season total offense in the Iowa State record books. Blythe, the school record-holder with 16 career TD receptions, was a first-team all-Big 12 wide receiver on the coaches team and The Kansas City Star all-league unit. Blythe ranks second nationally among wide receivers with at least 4.1 receptions per game this season, averaging 19.46 yards per catch. His 1,728 career receiving yards ranks fifth all-time.  Meyer and Blythe have accomplished these feats despite playing in just 23 career games.

The Durwood "Dury" Moss award, honoring the Cyclones' top newcomer, went to center Scott Stephenson. He was a first-team all-Big 12 selection on the conference's AP unit. Stephenson, who moved from the defensive line to the offensive line, had never played center before 2005 fall drills and ended up as the AP all-Big 12 first-team center.

Punter Troy Blankenship of Cedar Rapids, placekicker Bret Culbertson of Des Moines and deep snapper Landon Schrage of Parkersburg were co-winners of the Jim Doran Award, given annually to the outstanding performers on special teams.

Junior wide receiver Austin Flynn and Paris. the free safety, won the Ennis Haywood Award from the team's coaches for effort in games, practice and off the field on behalf of ISU football. LaMarcus Hicks and Buchanan were presented the Bill Dailey Award as players who made a great contribution to the team with little public recognition.

Defensive back Broc Bebout of Thurman and offensive lineman Seth Zehr of Fort Dodge were recognized for having the team's top two cumulative grade-point averages after finishing at least four semesters of academic study. Bebout earned the honor for the second straight season. Moser and offensive lineman Kory Pence of Story City were given the Reuben J. Miller Award as Cyclone student-athletes whose conduct on and off the field has brought honor and distinction to the University.

Middle linebacker Tim Dobbins, who was voted first-team academic all-Big 12 on the AP poll, won the Don Holder Award for the second straight season. The honor is bestowed on a team member who handles life's challenges and adversities while competing for Iowa State.

Freshman wide receiver Euseph Messiah of Bettendorf was honored as the offensive scout team player of the year. Sophomore linebacker Tyrone McKenzie was named the defensive scout team player of the year. Junior wide receiver  Nick Campbell of Marion earned gold team scout team recognition.

Dobbins, Leaders, Meyer and Pence were recognized for receiving the Ralph Aulmann Memorial Awards as team captains. LaMarcus Hicks was presented the Consideration Award as voted by the program's student trainers and managers for being most considerate of both groups on and off the field.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVERS
Eleven Cyclones were named Academic All-Big 12 in 2005 ...  eight of them were first-team selections:

First-Team Honorees
Broc Bebout     Sr.     Accounting/Finance
Caleb Berg      So.     Health and Fitness Management
Brett Jarvis    Sr.     Finance
Shawn Moorehead Jr.     Mechanical Engineering
David Rahe      Sr.     Construction Engineering
Matt Robertson  Jr.     Sociology
Tony Yelk       Sr.     Exercise and Sport Science
Seth Zehr       Jr.     Finance
Second-Team Honorees
Korey Smith     Sr.     Sport Management
Kyle Smith      Sr.     Sport Management
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Biology

WITH HONORS
Several Cyclones have earned all-Big 12 mention from the league's coaches, media, and other services:

All-Big 12 (Coaches)
First Team
Todd Blythe     So.     Wide Receiver
Nick Leaders    Sr.     Nose Guard
LaMarcus Hicks  Sr.     Cornerback
Second Team
Brent Curvey    Jr.     Defensive Tackle
Tim Dobbins     Sr.     Linebacker
Steve Paris     Sr.     Safety
Honorable Mention
Jason Berryman  So.     Defensive End
Aaron Brant     Jr.     Offensive Line
Ryan Kock       Jr.     Fullback
Bret Meyer      So.     Quarterback
Nik Moser       Sr.     Safety
Troy Blankenship        Sr.     Punter
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Offensive Line

All-Big 12 (Associated Press)
First Team
Tim Dobbins     Sr.     Linebacker
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Offensive Line
Second Team
Todd Blythe     So.     Wide Receiver
Brent Curvey    Jr.     Defensive Tackle
Nick Leaders    Sr.     Nose Guard
LaMarcus Hicks  Sr.     Cornerback
Honorable Mention
Aaron Brant     Jr.     Offensive Line
Stevie Hicks    Jr.     I-Back
Jason Berryman  So.     Defensive End
DeAndre Jackson Jr.     Cornerback

All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star)
First Team
Todd Blythe     So.     Wide Receiver
Brent Curvey    Jr.     Defensive Tackle
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Offensive Line
Second Team
Nick Leaders    Sr.     Nose Guard

All-Big 12 (Dallas Morning News)
Second Team
Todd Blythe     So.     Wide Receiver
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Offensive Line
LaMarcus Hicks  Sr.     Cornerback

All-Big 12 (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)
Second Team
Todd Blythe     So.     Wide Receiver
Scott Stephenson        Jr.     Offensive Line
LaMarcus Hicks  Sr.     Cornerback
DeAndre Jackson Jr.     Cornerback


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