|Toomer is the MVP|
Senior Korey Toomer, a linebacker from Las Vegas, Nev., was heralded Saturday night as the Most Valuable Player for the Idaho Vandals at the team’s annual awards ceremony and banquet at the University Inn-Best Western.
Toomer also earned the team’s Defensive Player of the Year honor after leading the team in tackles for loss (10.5) and quarterback sacks (four). He finished the season with 68 total tackles – fifth on the team, and had one pass interception, four breakups, three hurries, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery.
Where he garnered additional attention was in his late-season role at fullback where he scored one two-point conversion and three touchdowns on nine carries totaling 27 yards.
Also honored Saturday night were: Kama Bailey (Offensive Player of the Year and co-Wayne Anderson Coaches Award), Bobby Cowan (Special Teams Player of the Year), Michael Cosgrove and Matt Cleveland (Wayne Walker Ironman awards), Tre`Shawn Robinson (Vandal Pride Strength Award and Hec Edmundson Most Inspirational Award), Quin Ashley (co-Wayne Anderson Coaches Award), Daniel Micheletti (Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete), John McKinley and Tyler Brooks (Special Teams Ironman awards), Dominique Blackman (Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year), Quinton Bradley (Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year), and Jake Manley (Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Year).
The team also acknowledged its captains – Robinson and Cosgrove on defense, quarterback Brian Reader and offensive tackle Tyrone Novikoff on offense, and Brooks on special teams.
Bailey, from Honolulu, Hawai`i, was recognized for his versatility after finishing the 2011 campaign with a career-high rushing season (99 carries for 441 yards) to go with 34 receptions for 256 yards and five punt returns for 55 yards. He wraps up his Vandal career ranked eighth on Idaho’s all-time all-purpose yardage list and the No. 1 kick returner in school history with 76 returns for 1,725 yards.
Cowan, from Vancouver, Wash., continued this year to make his mark as one of the best punters in Idaho football history. In 2011, his 88 punts tied Ron Davis (1970) for the single-season record, while his 4,084 punting yards set a Vandal single-season mark. His average of 46.4 per kick is second best for a single-season. He also has the school’s third- and seventh-best single-season averages. His 2011 average was second best in the NCAA. He moved to the top of Idaho’s career punting average list at 45.2 – 2.6 yards longer than the previous career mark set by Steve Hunter (1971-72). His 189 career punts are fourth all-time and his 8,552 career yards are third all-time.
Robinson, a senior from Upland, Calif., led the Vandals with 117 total tackles (59 solo and 58 assists) and had 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in addition to two pass breakups, four hurries and four forced fumbles. He finished tied for 25th nationally in total tackles and 19th in forced fumbles. He also was recognized for his tireless work in the weight room in earning the Vandal Pride Strength Award.
Ashley joined Bailey in earned the Wayne Walker Coaches Award after careers that involved whatever it took to best contribute to the team. Ashley, from Paris, Texas, joined the team as a quarterback, played some receiver along the way before wrapping up his Vandal career at safety where he had 78 total tackles (fourth best on the team) and a team-high three interceptions. Bailey spent time on special teams, at running back and as a slot receiver.
Cosgrove, from Las Vegas, Nev., and Cleveland, from Kent, Wash., were honored for their toils in the trenches. Cleveland started 38 consecutive games on the offensive line and Cosgrove started 38 straight and played in 49 as a defensive tackle.
Brooks, from Orofino, Idaho, and McKinley, from Arimo, Idaho, initially walked on as freshmen and were consistent performers on special teams throughout their careers.
The scholar-athlete award goes to Micheletti, from Meridian, Idaho, who is majoring in Electrical Engineering and caught seven passes for 83 yards in 2011.
The scout team honored Blackman, a quarterback from Carson, Calif.; Bradley, a defensive end from San Antonio, Texas, and Manley, a tight end from Riggins, Idaho.