Spring Football Banquet Features Rings And Awards

The Oklahoma State Cowboy football team took time out on the eve of spring practice to celebrate the 2003 Cotton Bowl season. The entire squad, coaches, support staff, and a gathering of fans were treated to a big meal, lots of awards, highlight tape, and a final message from Les Miles.

Each player received two ceremonial balls, one detailing the 9-4 season and vanquished foes and the other an orange ball featuring their name and the Cotton Bowl logo. Each player received their Cotton Bowl ring which had the Cotton Bowl logo on one side with an OSU helmet and the player's name on the other side. The top of the ring was circled by diamonds with a black stone in the middle and a raised "O" on top. The top panels read 2004 Cotton Bowl.

Assistant head coach Mike Gundy honored Rashaun Woods and Greg Richmond with the Captain's Award, the highest honor for any player at OSU since it is voted on by the squad.

Wide receivers coach Todd Monken presented Rashaun Woods with the Thurman Thomas Award as the team's offensive MVP. Defensive coordinator Bill Clay announced Greg Richmond as the Leslie O'Neal Award winner as team defensive MVP.

Offensive line coach Chuck Moller presented tight end Billy Bajema as the L.L. Boger Award winner signifying academic achievment.

Tight ends coach Josh Henson announced tight end Charlie Johnson as the Barry Sanders Award winner which goes to the player who performs the best with the least amount of credit. Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest awarded Jamar Ransom the plaque for Special Teams Player of the Year and then gave special awards to both Cole Farden and Luke Phillips. Safeties coach Doug Mallory presented Vernon Grant the Mike Johnson Award for team spirit.

Les Miles gave special awards to seniors Tim Burrough, Tatum Bell, and Antonio Smith. Miles had another special award for quarterback Josh Fields, who missed the banquet because of a test.

Finally, Miles announced that two-time All American wide receiver Rashaun Woods was the overall team most valuable player and recipient of the Bob Fenimore Award. Fenimore was in the audience to see Woods accept the prestigious award. Following a team highlight video, Miles closed the event by challenging the returning squad. he told the story of meeting with defensive tackle Kevin Williams in his office last spring and Williams asking of Miles if the returning players understood that his class had raised the bar. Miles said this class of seniors did their part and raised the bar further. He looked at the players where they were seated and asked them to rededicate themselves and prepare to take the bar higher, as high as the Big 12 Championship.

The Cowboys will wrap up offseason tomorrow in front of the pro scouts and coaches with Pro Timing Day. They will begin spring football with a practice at 3:10 p.m. on Friday

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