Starks named UW's MVP

Badger football team doled out end of season awards Friday night

Senior cornerback Scott Starks was voted the team's most valuable player at the 2004 Badger football banquet Friday night at the Marriott West Hotel in Middleton, the university announced Friday evening. The senior corner received the Jimmy Demetral MVP Award, after tearing it up on the field throughout the regular season. The St. Louis native had 41 tackles, a sack for a loss of 10 yards, four tackles for loss for minus–16 yards, a fumble return for 40 yards and an interception with a 16-yard return.

Quarterback Craig Meier, a true freshman walk-on from Madison Edgewood High School, was named Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year. True freshman linebacker and Detroit native Nick Sutton earned Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year.

Linebacker Andy Crooks and defensive lineman Jamal Cooper were named co-rookies of the year for their performance throughout the season on one of the top defenses in the nation. Crooks, a Wausau native, appeared in all 11 games, finishing with 31 tackles, a pass defended, a sack and a quarterback hurry.

Cooper also played in all 11 games and had 17 tackles, five for loss for minus-34 yards, two sacks and three quarterback hurries. Cooper, a redshirt freshman, is from St. Louis Hazelwood East High School, the same school Starks attended.

Redshirt freshman punter Ken DeBauche earned the Special Teams Award for his work on the field. From Bay Port High School in Green Bay, DeBauche averaged 41.4 yards per punt, pinning opponents to the end zone six times and inside the 20 16 times.

Senior free safety Jim Leonhard put his brains to the test when he received Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award. The award is given annually to an athlete who has excelled in both scholarship and sportsmanship.

Sophomore defensive back Zach Hampton earned the Tom Wiesner Award. He recorded four tackles in 11 games.

Senior defensive end Erasmus James earned the Jay Seiler Coaches Appreciation Award, which goes to the defensive player who has contributed to the team's success, based on the athlete's improvement, attitude and willingness to advance the program. James, named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, had 34 tackles, 11.5 for loss (minus 76 yards) and eight sacks for 68 yards. Senior guard Dan Buenning received the offensive version of the award, the Wayne Souza Coaches Appreciation Award.

Finally, Associate Athletic Director John Chadima brought home the Captains' Cup for his dedication to the football team. The award goes to someone associated with the football team who is not a player or a coach.

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