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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA announces 2013 award winners at inaugural football banquet

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 04/25/2014
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA Football program held its first-ever awards banquet on Friday night at the Alamodome and announced its award winners from this past season.

The Roadrunners posted a 7-5 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in their inaugural campaign as a member of Conference USA. UTSA won its final five games of the season and went into the final contest of the regular season with an opportunity to play in the league title game.

Scott Inskeep and Triston Wade both earned second-team All-Conference USA honors and another 11 players — Codie Brooks, Cody Harris, Cole Hubble, Nic Johnston, Kam Jones, Steven Kurfehs, Ashaad Mabry, Bennett Okotcha, Robert Singletary, Eric Soza and Kristian Stern — earned honorable mention accolades. Brooks also was named to the league’s All-Freshman Team, while Inskeep was a preseason Lombardi Award candidate and Soza earned spots on the preseason Manning and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch lists.

There also were several honors earned away from the playing field.

Soza was one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes. He also was named to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team in addition to earning the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award and landing a spot on the conference’s all-academic squad.

Meanwhile, Nate Leonard joined his quarterback as a C-USA all-academic selection and he went on to earn second-team Capital One Academic All-America accolades to become the first Academic All-American in program history.

Below is a list of this year's honorees recognized at Friday's banquet.

Offensive Most Valuable Player
Eric Soza, Sr., QB
Connected on 236-of-377 passes for 2,719 yards, including a program-record 316 against Houston, and 12 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 369 yards and seven more scores on 97 carries. A member of both the Manning Award and inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award preseason watch lists and finished his career with 19 wins in three seasons as the squad's starting quarterback.

Defensive Most Valuable Player
Triston Wade, Jr., S
Followed his first-team All-WAC campaign with a team-leading 94 tackles and two interceptions to go along with seven pass breakups and two-and-a-half tackles behind the line of scrimmage. A starter in all 12 contests last fall, both of his picks came at Tulsa and he returned one of them 82 yards for a touchdown.

Special Teams Most Valuable Player
Jesse Medrano, Jr., DS
Helped the Roadrunners connect on all 38 of their extra-point attempts and another 11 field goals in addition to setting up their 39.2 punting average. Also added three special teams tackles.

Offensive & Defensive Scout Team Most Valuable Players
Reed Darragh, Fr., OL
Kennedy Ubabuike, So., DT

Hammer Award
Triston Wade, Jr., S
Each week of the fall, the defense presents the player that had the best hit of the game with the Hammer Award. The player who wins is given a 10-pound sledgehammer to carry onto the field the following game and the winner’s number is painted on the handle. At the end of the year, the player with the most wins is given the hammer to keep. This season, the hammer was awarded to seven different players and Wade won it three times.

Conference USA Awards
Scott Inskeep, Jr., OG
Second-Team All-Conference USA

Triston Wade, Jr., S
Second-Team All-Conference USA

Codie Brooks, Fr., DE
All-Freshman Team

Academic Awards
Nate Leonard, Jr., C
Second-team Academic All-American; Conference USA all-academic team

Eric Soza, Sr., QB
National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete; Conference USA all-academic team

Lynn Hickey Excellence Award
Eric Soza, Sr., QB
Named after UTSA's Director of Athletics, this honor goes to the player who best embodies all aspects of UTSA Football. Soza earned numerous honors both on and off the field last season, including being a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, a member of the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, a Conference USA Spirit of Service Award winner and a finalist for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy.

2013 Senior Class Recognition
Cody Berry, S (Cedar Hill, Texas)
Brandon Guerrero, LB (Lake Elsinore, Calif.)
Jarron Harris, DE (Leander, Texas)
Steven Kurfehs, LB (San Antonio, Texas)
Jeremiah Moeller, TE (New Braunfels, Texas)
Evans Okotcha, RB (Coppell, Texas)
Will Ritter, DE (Odessa, Texas)
John Simmons, WR (New Braunfels, Texas)
CheRod Simpson, RB (Oakland, Calif.)
Eric Soza, QB (Beeville, Texas)

25-Year Service Recognition
Jerry Greeson, Associate Athletics Director for Athletic Medicine
An integral part of UTSA Athletics for a quarter century, Greeson has given his heart and soul to all things Roadrunners, including the hard work and dedication it takes to make both the football program and UTSA successful.

First Student Manager Recognition
John Freeman
Freeman forever will be a big figure in the UTSA Football equipment room. Hired as the first student manager in program history back in Summer 2010, he and Equipment Manager Mike Villa were the program’s only managers for the first two months of the 2010 practice season. John helped build the program by inviting others to join the equipment staff and he immediately stood out as a leader. He understood urgency, reliability and attention to detail in addition to showing the passion of what it takes to be a successful student equipment manager. Now, after four years of exceptional service to the Roadrunners program, he will graduate next month with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship from the college of business and he recently accepted a yearlong equipment manager internship position with the Dallas Cowboys for the upcoming 2014 season.

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