Quarterback André Woodson (Radcliff, Ky.), one of the Southeastern Conference’s most prolific all-time passers, commanded two of the top University of Kentucky football team awards for the 2007 season, Coach Rich Brooks announced Wednesday.
Woodson, who is leading the SEC in passing for the second straight year, was voted the Wildcats’ most valuable player in balloting of the Kentucky team members, one of two awards elected by the players. He also was selected by his coaches as the year’s most valuable offensive player.
Woodson has thrown for 3,351 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in spearheading the Wildcats’ second consecutive 7-5 regular-season campaign. He became one of eight SEC quarterbacks to throw at least 75 career touchdown passes and just one of 12 to account for more than 9,000 yards through the air.
Andre’s 36 scoring throws in 2007 is bettered only by Kentucky’s Tim Couch with 37 in 1997 and Danny Wueffel of Florida, who connected on 39 during the 1996 season. Woodson is three touchdown passes shy of the UK career record of 78 by Jared Lorenzen in 2000-03. He also only trails Lorenzen in career passing yardage as well.
The winners of the other award based on the team’s vote, the squad’s Most Inspirational Player, are senior tight end Jacob Tamme (Danville, Ky.) and senior linebacker Wesley Woodyard (LaGrange, Ga.), one of two awards each captured for the 2007 season.
Tamme also was bestowed with the Jerry Claiborne Award as the player who best exemplifies the ideals associated with one of UK’s most popular head coaches, a commitment to academics and the display of a team-oriented attitude. Jacob is one of 15 winners of the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award and the only player with SEC ties so honored.
Tamme is fifth on the Wildcats’ all-time receptions list with 130 catches and is UK’s all-time leading pass-catching tight end. He hauled in a career-best 53 aerials this season for 584 yards and five scores, also personal records.
Woodyard shared the team’s most valuable defensive player plaudits with sophomore defensive end Jeremy Jarmon (Memphis, Tenn.), who leads UK with nine quarterback sacks and 13.5 tackles for 70 yards in losses among 58 total stops, third on the squad this fall. It was the second straight year Woodyard has garnered this award.
Woodyard ranks in the top 25 nationally in tackles in 2007 with a career-high 124 stops, the third straight year he has reached the 100-tackle plateau. Wesley has not missed a starting assignment in the last three seasons and hiked his career total to 380 tackles (eighth-best in school history), 26 for lost yardage and 6.5 quarterback sacks.
Junior Tim Masthay (Murray, Ky.) was selected as most valuable performer on the Wildcats’ special teams after contributing in all three phases of the kicking game. He averaged 39.8 yards per punt, the best average of his career. He also handled Kentucky’s kickoff chores with an SEC-leading 20 touchbacks and assisted kicker Lones Seiber as a reliable holder.
Among the team’s winners of other top awards, senior guard Jason Leger (Brodhead, Ky.) was the most outstanding offensive lineman recipient and freshman tailback Derrick Locke (Hugo, Okla.) was selected as the team’s top first-year player.
Locke finished as the Wildcats’ No. 2 rusher and scored five touchdowns on the ground, tops on the squad, and was a significant factor in victories over Arkansas, LSU and Vanderbilt in spelling UK’s top three tailbacks who all spent time on the sidelines with injuries.
Other award winners were senior wide receiver Steve Johnson (San Francisco, Calif.) and sophomore defensive tackle Corey Peters (Louisville, Ky.), who shared the most improved player honor and redshirt junior quarterback Curtis Pulley (Hopkinsville, Ky.) and true freshman linebacker Ronnie Sneed (Tallahassee, Fla.) as most valuable scout team players.
Johnson, who caught just 12 passes for one score in his first season at Kentucky, was instrumental to the Wildcats’ 2007 success with 54 catches for team highs in yardage (928), touchdowns (11) and yards per catch with a 17.2-yard mark. Peters has 41 tackles in his first season as a starter, including four for lost yardage, and 2.5 quarterback sacks.