The players' other top honor – Hustle Award – went to Hunter, one of the squad's top special team members. The Vanderbilt Dedication Award, the top honor presented by Johnson's coaching staff, was given to Dunning and Burns. Dunning developed into an All-SEC receiving target while Burns, a walk-on from New Orleans, became of the team's top blocking receivers and a leading special teams player.
Dunning was one of seven Commodores to earn all-conference honors in the last week. Other All-SEC Commodore selections were senior quarterback Jay Cutler, senior linebacker Moses Osemwegie, junior offensive tackle Brian Stamper, freshman receiver Earl Bennett, freshman kicking specialist Bryant Hahnfeldt and freshman safety Reshard Langford. Cutler was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year on both ballots.
During the banquet, Coach Johnson gave special tribute to the 21-member senior class, including former All-SEC performer Kwane Doster, who died Dec. 26, 2004 from gunshot wounds in his hometown of Tampa, Fla. Doster's No. 1 jersey was positioned at the podium during the banquet. Johnson also recognized the first Commodore Football Leadership Council comprised of seniors Cutler, Dunning, receiver Erik Davis, offensive tackle Ryan King, defensive end Herdley Harrison, linebackers Moses Osemwegie and Otis Washington, and safety Kelechi Ohanaja.
Cutler, who set virtually every Vanderbilt senior passing record en route to establishing numerous Commodore career offensive marks and earning consensus All-SEC status, was recognized as the team's Most Valuable Offensive Back. Osemwegie, another two-time First Team All-SEC selection and the league's active career tackles leader, captured the Most Valuable Linebacker Award.
Other individual awards went to Harrison, Most Valuable Defensive Lineman; Holloway, Most Valuable Offensive Lineman; Bennett, Most Valuable Receiver; Langford and Andrew Pace, co-recipients of Most Valuable Defense Back; and Hahnfeldt, Most Valuable Special Teams Player. Lifter of the Year honors went to junior offensive tackle Brian Stamper.
Following is a complete list of Vanderbilt football award winners:
• Offensive Back Award* – Jay Cutler, senior quarterback
• Receiver Award* – Earl Bennett, freshman wide receiver
• Offensive Lineman Award* – Trey Holloway, senior center
• Defensive Lineman Award* – Herdley Harrison, senior defensive end
• Linebacker Award* – Moses Osemwegie, senior linebacker
• Defensive Back Award* – Andrew Pace, senior cornerback, and Reshard Langford, redshirt freshman safety
• Specialist of the Year Award* – Bryant Hahnfeldt, freshman punter/placekicker
• Hustle Award* – Funtaine Hunter, junior safety
• Captain's Award* – Trey Holloway, senior center
• Dedication Award – Dustin Dunning, senior tight end; and Jason Burns, senior receiver
• Strength & Conditioning Award – Brian Stamper, junior offensive tackle
• Offensive Scout MVP Award – Bradley Vierling, freshman offensive line
• Defensive Scout MVP Award – Bo Baggerly, freshman linebacker
* - selected by vote of teammates