Seven Seniors, Two Freshmen Earn Team Awards For Contributions to 2002 Commodore Football Squad 1/7/02

Nashville, Tenn. - Seven seniors and a pair of true freshmen were recognized by Vanderbilt football players and the coaching staff for their contribution to the 2002 Commodore season.

Nine awards were announced during a recent team dinner involving players and coaches. The players selected winners of eight awards, while Head Coach Bobby Johnson and his staff picked the Commodore Dedication Award.

Award winners were Kwane Doster, MVP-Offensive Back; Dan Stricker, MVP-Receiver/Tight End; Jamie Byrum, MVP-Offensive Lineman; Chuck Losey, MVP-Defensive Lineman; Hunter Hillenmeyer, MVP-Linebacker; Justin Giboney, MVP-Defensive Secondary; Greg Johnson, MVP-Special Teams; Mike Martin, Hustle Award; and Bara Cola, Dedication Award.

Kwane Doster, Freshman Tailback (MVP-Offensive Back)
• Voted Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by Coaches.
• Rushed for 798 yards, a Vanderbilt record for freshmen running backs, and had four 100-yard rushing games.
• Finished season as SEC’s sixth leading rusher.
• Set Southeastern Conference kickoff return record with 243 return yards vs. Ole Miss.
• Amassed 344 total yards vs. Ole Miss, the SEC’s highest individual performance this season.
• Kickoff return average of 25.7 yards was highest by Vanderbilt player since 1958.

Dan Stricker, Senior Wide Receiver (MVP-Receiver/Tight End)
• Named Second Team All-SEC this season for third consecutiive year.
• Had team-high 44 receptions for 620 yards and six touchdowns in 2002.
• Had at least one reception in every start. Finished career with consecutive streak of 34 games with a catch, ranking among NCAA. Top 10.
• Surpassed 100-yards receiving in two games this season. Holds Vanderbilt career record of 11 100-yard receiving games.
• Concluded career with 182 receptions, Third all-time among Vanderbilt receivers and tied for eighth all-time among SEC receivers.
• Ended Vanderbilt career with 2,880 receiving yards, 2nd all-time among Commodores and 5th all-time among SEC receivers.
• Career total of 21 touchdown catches is all-time Vanderbilt record.

Jamie Byrum, Senior Center (MVP-Offensive Lineman)
• Byrum served as center in 98% of Vanderbilt’s offensive plays (729 of 746 snaps) this season.
• Earned “winning” grade (80% of higher) in 11 of team’s 23 games during 2002.
• Best grade by coaching staff (91%) came in narrow loss to Florida.
• Started every game since sophomore season, span of 34 games.
• Named captain by teammates in 2001 and 2002.
• Shared or earned Vanderbilt “Offensive Lineman of the Week” honors following 10 games in 2002.

Chuck Losey, Senior Defensive End (MVP-Defensive Lineman)
• Only senior to start every game on defensive front.
• Had 31 total tackles, the highest among defensive linemen.
• Led team with eight quarterback hurries.
• Is team leader with five career forced fumbles.

Hunter Hillenmeyer, Senior Linebacker (MVP-Linebacker)
• Named First Team All-SEC by Coaches, first Commodore selection since LB Jamie Winborn in 2000.
• Led SEC with 168 total tackles, which was also third in NCAA. It is the fourth highest at Vanderbilt in last 30 years.
• Posted 116 solo tackles, also first in the SEC and second in NCAA. It is the third highest by a Commodore in last 30 years.
• Achieved at least 10 tackles in 11 of 12 games.
• Accomplished career-high 19 tackles in season finale vs. Tennessee despite elbow injury.
• In 2002, Set season highs in primary tackles, total tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, defensed passes and quarterback hurries.
• Was named First Team Academic All-American, first Commodore selection in 19 years.
• Was one of six 1-A players named “National Scholar Athlete” by College Football Hall of Fame and National Football Foundation.

Justin Giboney, Senior Safety (MVP-Defensive Back)
• Led all SEC safeties with 143 total tackles.
• 2002 tackle total is the most by a Commodore secondary player since 1973.
• Produced season/career highs of 13 solo tackles and 19 total tackles versus Florida. The effort is an SEC high for safeties.
• Posted 17 total tackles in season finale vs. Tennessee.
• Achieved at least 10 tackles in eight of Vanderbilt’s 12 games.
• Earned best production ratio among Vanderbilt safeties in every game this season.
• Has started all but three games since his sophomore season.
• Has compiled 256 total tackles during career, including at least 52 tackles in each of the last three seasons.

Greg Johnson, Freshman Punter/Kicker (MVP-Special Teams)
• All-American punting candidate who was selected to First Team All-SEC Freshman.
• Leading freshman punter in NCAA, averaging 43.8 yards per effort. Ended season ranked fifth in NCAA.
• Had punt of more than 50 yards in 11 of 12 games.
• Concluded season with 38.8-yard Net Punting Average, fourth best in NCAA.
• Averaged more than 50 yards per punt twice during 2002 season - vs. Middle Tennessee and Tennessee.
• Set Vanderbilt freshman punting record, bettering achievements of former Commodore All-Americans Jim Arnold and Bill Marinangel. • Made all 27 extra point attempts, and was successful on 61.3% of field goals (8 of 13).
• Made season long 46-yard Field Goal against Georgia.

Mike Martin, Senior (Hustle Award)
• Valuable reserve cornerback/safety in defensive secondary.
• Had 11 tackles on special teams, highest total on team.

Bara Cola, Fullback (Dedication Award -voted by Coaching Staff)
• A walk-on, he returned for fifth season despite not playing in 2001 and having two severe knee injuries earlier in career.
• Earned first playing time as a Commodore in season opener against Georgia Tech.
• Finished the season with three starts in the offensive backfield.
• Rushed for two touchdowns and 23 yards on 11 carries.



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