Paulson, DAT Share MVP Honors

EUGENE – Senior tight end David Paulson, as well as freshman De'Anthony Thomas, were honored as the University of Oregon's Most Outstanding Players at the school's annual football awards banquet Sunday afternoon at the Eugene Hilton.

In addition, seniors Eddie Pleasant and Ramsen Golpashin were voted the team's Most Inspirational Players.

Recipients of both awards were determined in a vote by their Oregon teammates.

Paulson started all 13 games this year and ranks as the Ducks' third-leading receiver with 30 catches for 428 yards and six touchdown receptions. Encountering his best season of his career from a statistical standpoint in 2011, the two-year starter often was viewed as one of the team's primary options in crucial situations when Oregon was in need of advancing the football downfield. The second-team Pac-12 all-conference choice accumulated single-game bests of eight receptions for 105 yards in the regular-season finale vs. Oregon State, and scored touchdowns in each of his last two games.

He also was the recipient of the Elmer Sahlstrom Award as the senior maintaining an outstanding academic record who has demonstrated an exemplary attitude as well as tremendous contribution on the field. The Auburn, Wash., senior is a three-time first-team academic all-conference choice as well as an academic all-district choice.

The impact of multi-purpose standout De'Anthony Thomas was unprecedented on numerous fronts as he becomes the program's first true freshman on record to ever claim team outstanding-player acclaim. In addition to earning Pac-12 Conference honors as co-offensive freshman of the year, he was named the league's first-team return specialist.

Oregon's receiving leader (42 catches, 571 yards, 9 touchdowns) led the Pac-12 in kickoff returns (31 att., 858 yards., 27.7 avg., 2 TDs) in addition to serving as the Ducks' third-leading rusher (440 yards.). His 16 touchdowns not only set a school record for most TDs by a freshman, he leads all of the nation's freshmen in the Football Bowl Subdivision in trips into the end zone.

Pleasant helped solidify the Oregon secondary while pacing the team in interceptions (3 interceptions, 90 return yards.). The rover also ranks as the squad's fourth-leading tackler (60).

Golpashin made the most of his opportunities after serving in a reserve role in 2010, emerging last spring to earn a starting role at right guard in the 2011 season opener vs. LSU before being sidelined since early in the year due to injuries.

In addition, redshirt freshman center Hroniss Grasu was honored with the Len Casanova Award, given to the Ducks' first-year player who best exemplifies the athletic ideals and inspiration of the University's former head coach and athletic director, Len Casanova.

Additional team honorees included junior running back LaMichael James as the recipient of the Duane J. Cargill Memorial Award as Oregon's outstanding offensive impact player as determined by the coaching staff; junior Dion Jordan with the Gordon E. Wilson Award as the program's outstanding special teams player; senior linebacker Dewitt Stuckey as the recipient of the Dudley Clarke Memorial Award as Oregon's most improved player; senior offensive lineman Darrion Weems with the Bob Officer Award, presented to the player who excels in spite of physical adversity; senior defensive end Terrell Turner with the Joe Schaffeld Trophy as the team's outstanding defensive lineman; senior offensive lineman Mark Asper as the recipient of the Oregon Ed Moshofsky Trophy as Oregon's outstanding offensive lineman award; and junior offensive lineman Carson York as the winner of the Pancake Club Award for knocking down the most opposing defensive linemen.

Seniors Anthony Gildon and Brandon Hanna were named recipients of the Todd Doxey Award, given to the player who exemplifies the traits of dedication associated with being outstanding teammates, and qualities possessed by the Ducks' former defensive back, who drowned prior to the start of the 2008 season.

In addition, sophomore quarterback Dustin Haines and Dane Ebanez were acknowledged for their contributions as the season's offensive and defensive Scout Team Players of the Year, respectively, while redshirt freshman Grant Thompson was named special teams Scout Team Player of the Year.

Oregon concludes its season Jan. 2 with its second Rose Bowl Game berth in three years after accumulating an 11-2 record and its third consecutive conference championship.

eDuck Top Stories