WSU team football awards: The envelope please

WASHINGTON STATE recently handed out its team football awards the school said in a release, honoring the senior class and standout performers of the 2014 season. The award winners included junior o-lineman Joe Dahl (pictured above).

Redshirt-junior offensive lineman Joe Dahl was named the team’s Mike Utley Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Dahl earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention this past season after starting all 12 games at left tackle. He allowed just one sack despite WSU attempting an FBS-leading 771 passes last year (the next closest was ECU with 637 attempts and that included a 13th game). Dahl also earned a team-high six WSU “Bone” Awards, given by the coaching staff to the top offensive lineman performer after each game.

Redshirt-junior defensive lineman Xavier Cooper was named the team’s Leon Bender Defensive Lineman of the Year after leading the team with 9.5 tackles-for-loss. Cooper started all 12 games and posted 37 tackles including five sacks. Cooper is in Indianapolis this week for the NFL combine after forgoing his senior season.

Senior linebacker Cyrus Coen was presented the Tim Petek Strongest Man. Coen started the final 12 games at SAM linebacker and posted 62 tackles, 6.5 for loss including one sack and also picked off one pass.

Redshirt-senior quarterback Connor Halliday was presented the Randall Simmons Award (also recognized as the WSU Coaches Award) named in honor of the former Cougar and Los Angeles SWAT team member who was killed in the line of duty in 2008. Halliday closed his record-setting career earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention after leading the country, despite playing in only nine games, in passing yards per game (430.3), total offense per game (415.8) and throwing for the second-most yards in the Pac-12 (3,873) and fourth-most touchdowns (32). The Spokane native threw for 300-plus yards seven times including three 500-yard games. His 734 passing yards against California is an NCAA record. Halliday continues to rehab from his broken leg injury and though he won't compete, he is at the combine interview with NFL teams.

Defensive lineman Lyman Faoliu and wideout Isiah Myers shared the Frank Butler Award, given to a senior member of the team who exemplifies the Cougar spirit made famous by the Spokane booster. Faoliu appeared in all 12 games, mainly on special teams, and finished his WSU career aa two-year letterwinner after arriving in 2013 as a junior college transfer.

Myers finished his final campaign in Pullman second on the team and fifth in the Pac-12 with 78 receptions, third-most in WSU single-season history. The Orlando, Fla. native posted 972 receiving yards and caught 12 touchdown passes, tied for the most in the Pac-12 and tied for second-most in WSU single-season history.

Senior linebacker Mitch Peterson earned the J. Fred Bohler Award, given to a member of the team by vote of the team who best exemplifies the inspiration of the former WSU athletic direction and basketball coach. Peterson appeared in 10 games, was named a team captain twice and tallied 21 tackles, including a career-high 16 tackles against Rutgers.

Wide receiver Vince Mayle was presented the Laurie Niemi Award, given to the senior who best shows courage, spirit and attitude of the former Cougar assistant coach. Mayle, an All-America honorable mention selection by Sports Illustrated and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, finished the regular season tied for the national lead with 106 receptions and posted a Pac-12-best 1,483 yards, both WSU single-season records. Mayle hauled in nine touchdowns, led the Pac-12 with six 100-yard games and was the only player in the country with two 250-yard games (263-Cal, 252-Arizona State). Along with Halliday and Cooper, he is also in Indy this week for the NFL combine.

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