Dec. 10, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut football team held its annual awards ceremony Sunday evening at The Burton Family Football Complex, honoring 10 senior student-athletes.
Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Edinboro, Pa.) was named the Team Most Valuable Player. A second team All-BIG EAST selection, Wreh-Wilson provided a steady presence in the UConn secondary as a four-year starter. He started 11 games in his final season and produced one crucial interception in overtime to set up an eventual game-winning field goal at No. 18 Louisville on November 24. For his career, Wreh-Wilson collected eight interceptions, totaling 171 return yards and ran back a pair for scores in 2010.
Tight end Ryan Griffin (Londonderry, N.H.), who earned his second-straight second team honor from the BIG EAST and was on the Mackey Award Watch List to start the year, was honored as the Huskies’ Offensive Player of the Year. Griffin assaulted the UConn record book for receptions by a tight end throughout his career and after catching 29 passes; six for touchdowns and 484 yards in 2012, his 10 career and 116 receptions are both second all-time by a tight end.
Defensive end Trevardo Williams (Bridgeport, Conn.) was honored with the Defensive Player of the Year award after being named a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selection last week. He leaves Connecticut as the all-time sacks leaders with 30.5 as he led the BIG EAST with 0.96 sacks per game as a senior.
Wide receiver and kick returner Nick Williams (Windsor, N.J.) took home the honor of Special Teams Player of the Year. A second team selection, Williams was twice named the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week in 2012. He ran back punts for touchdowns of 58 yards at Maryland (Sept. 15) and 80 yards against Pittsburgh (Nov. 9).
The Jasper T. Howard Award, given to a strong team player who best exemplifies a “battle to the end” spirit, was awarded to defensive tackle Ryan Wirth (Medford, N.J.). The award is named in honor of former Husky Jasper Howard, who passed away in October 2009. Wirth, who played primarily on special teams in his first three seasons, started all 12 games for the Huskies this year. He totaled 51 tackles, 3.5 sacks and was fourth on the team in tackles for a loss with 10 after earning the starting job and filling the spot of 2012 NFL second round draft pick Kendall Reyes.
Offensive Guard Adam Masters (Bethesda, Md.) was honored with the Football Alumni Award. Masters earned a nod to the All-BIG EAST Second Team, despite playing just seven games this season; all starts at right guard. He started 30 games over the course of his career, playing in 37 overall.
The Kendall Madison Award, given to a strong player whose dedication, hard work and outstanding citizenship best exemplify the strong spirit of the UConn Huskies, was awarded to linebacker Sio Moore (Apex, N.C.). The award is named for the former Husky who passed away in the mid-1990s. Moore, who earlier was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, finished second on the team with eight sacks and second in the league at 0.67 per game. At outside linebacker, he was second on the team with 15.5 TFLs and second in the league with a 1.29 average.
The Joseph M. Gianelli Unsung Hero Award, named in honor of the former UConn assistant football coach, head golf coach and athletic administrator, went to tight end John Delahunt (Ottawa, Ont.). Delahunt started 23 games in his career and had a career year offensively as a senior with 18 receptions for 223 yards and a touchdown.
Linebacker Jory Johnson (Mobile, Ala.) was named the winner of the John L. Toner Scholar Athlete Award. The award is named in honor of the former NCAA President, UConn athletic director and head football coach. In his final season at Connecticut, Johnson played opposite Moore at linebacker and finished second on the team with 95 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss.
The Brian Kozlowski Award, given to the player that is the most courageous, hard-working and productive, was awarded to cornerback Dwayne Gratz (Piscataway, N.J.). Playing opposite of Wreh-Wilson, Gratz had a superb senior season, leading the UConn defense with three picks, including a 37-yard run back for a score in the season-opener against Massachusetts (Aug. 30). In 41 career starts, he totaled eight interceptions for 152 return yards, including a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown against Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.