Bulls Football Hands Out Awards
BUFFALO, NY – After a record-breaking season in which he broke four school single-season records, sophomore tailback Branden Oliver left the annual University at Buffalo Football Awards banquet Sunday at the Millenium Hotel with an armful of hardware.
Oliver, the Miami, FL native, was named the team's Most Valuable Player, earned the Offensive MVP award and the UBelieve offensive backfield award to headline the honorees, who were voted on by their peers.
Oliver, an All-MAC first-team selection, set new school records in rushing attempts (306), rushing yards (1,395), 100-yard rushing games (8) and all-purpose yards (1,760). Oliver also received the first "Athlete of the Year" award given out by the UB Sports Performance Department.
That department also gave out the initial "Lifter of the Year" trophy that was claimed by senior nose tackle Richie Smith, who also earned several honors. Smith was chosen as the UBelieve top player on the defensive line and with fellow seniors Chazz Anderson, John Syty and Fred Branch earned the team's Captains Award and were tabbed as permanent captains of the 2011 team.
Another multiple winner was sophomore linebacker Khalil Mack, another first-team All-MAC selection. Mack was chosen as the team's top linebacker as well as the Defensive MVP.
The team's Special Teams MVP was sophomore Brandon Murie, while the Community Service Award went to senior Josh Copeland. The Compete Team awards – given to those players who helped prepare the starters on the scout teams – were given to Trevor Sales (offense), Jake Stockman (defense) and Dan Gold (special teams).
Here is a list of all winners:
UBelieve Awards – Top Performers at Each Position
Offensive backfield: Branden Oliver, sophomore
Wide receivers: Alex Neutz, sophomore
Offensive line: Graham Whinery, junior
Tight ends: Aaron Connacher, senior
Defensive line: Richie Smith, senior
Linebackers: Khalil Mack, sophomore
Defensive backs: Najja Johnson, sophomore
Special Teams: Jacob Schum, senior
Compete team offense: Trevor Sales, sophomore
Compete team defense: Jake Stockman, redshirt freshman
Compete team special teams: Dan Gold, sophomore
Manager of the Year: Ed Harof
Trainer of the Year: Mike Wild
Community Service Award: Josh Copeland, senior
Lifter of the Year: Richie Smith, senior
Athlete of the Year: Branden Oliver, sophomore
Captains Awards: Richie Smith, Chazz Anderson, John Syty, Fred Branch
Offensive MVP: Branden Oliver, sophomore
Defensive MVP: Khalil Mack, sophomore
Special Teams MVP: Brandon Murie, sophomore
Team MVP: Branden Oliver, sophomore