Football Bears Honored at Annual Team Banquet

Dec. 4, 2011

SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State football senior standout Jermaine Saffold (WR, Grandview, Mo.) was named MSU Player of the Year, and classmate Jordan Chiles (P, Hillsboro, Ill.) was named as the recipient of the Arthur Briggs Award Sunday at the annual MSU Football Recognition Banquet, held at Plaster Student Union.

The MSU Player of the Year award was known as the Coors Player of the Year Award from its inception in 1982 until 2008. Saffold is the first wide receiver to earn the honor since Michael Sparks in 2005. He ranks 25th nationally in receiving yards per game (83.0) and grabbed 4.09 catches per game en route to breaking Missouri State's season (913) and career (2,221) yardage records for a receiver. He was an All-MVC first-team selection and preseason All-MVFC pick this year after earning All-MVFC second-team distinction as a junior. In 2011, he finished with 45 catches for 913 yards and matched a school record with 8 receiving TDs. He set an MSU record with nine career 100-yard receiving games and was ranked in four conference categories, including scoring and all-purpose yards. He had nine catches of 20 or more yards this season, including six over 50 yards with a 207-yard game against Illinois State on Oct. 8.

The Arthur Briggs Award began in 1991 to help perpetuate the memory of the University's long-time athletics director and program's all-time winningest football coach. The honor is presented annually to a senior player for outstanding athletic performance, scholarship, leadership  and character. A three-time Academic All-MVFC performer, Chiles ranks 32nd in the nation and fourth in the MVFC in punting average (40.6). He is the MSU career leader in punting yards (8986) and second in MSU history in total punts (229). He claimed CFPA National Punter of the Week honorable mention honors twice (Sept. 3 and Oct. 15). He had eight punts of 50 yards or more this season with 21 downed inside the 20 and 12 fair caught. He was on the 2008 MVFC All-Newcomer Team and earned 2009 and 2011 All-MVFC honorable mention honors.



Coach Terry Allen's staff named Trevor Wooden (So., QB, High Springs, Fla.) as its 2011 Offensive MVP, while Mikel Ruder (Sr., DE, Lawrence, Kan.) was named as the club's Defensive MVP.  Ruder was also awarded the Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.

In his first season as starting quarterback, Wooden turned heads around the league and led the MVFC in total offense (242.0). The All-MVFC honorable mention QB ranks 16th in the nation in pass efficiency (149.66), 27th in total offense and 96th in rushing (56.70). He was a two-time MVFC Offensive Player of the Week in leading the Bears to road wins at Western Illinois (Oct. 22) and Youngstown State (Nov. 19). His 61.9-percent completion percentage ranks second in MSU history among passers with 100+ attempts. In 10 games this season, Wooden was 138-for-223 for 1,853 yards and 17 touchdowns and became the first quarterback to lead the Bears in rushing (150 attempts for 567 yards) since 1993. He accounted for 24 of team's 30 touchdowns and was second in MVFC in points responsible (14.8).

Ruder ended his career with 33 consecutive starts, including all three defensive line spots, and was MSU's top tackler on the defensive line in 2011 with 48 total stops. He was an All-MVFC second-team and notched 17 solo tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. He was an honorable mention pick for College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts against Southern Illinois on Sept. 24 and also claimed MSU Media Player of the Week honors for his efforts against the Salukis.

The Bears Team Award for excellence in leadership on and off the field was presented to seniors Stephen Johnston (Sr., RB, Mansfield, Texas) and David Ingram (Sr., ILB, Siloam Springs, Ark.) Johnston rushed for 1,625 yards and 10 touchdowns in his tenure with the Bears from 2007-11, while Ingram tallied 130 tackles in his four seasons with 7 tackles for loss and 4 pass break-ups. Johnston was also recognized by the strength and conditioning staff as its Weight Lifter of the Year and by the athletic training staff as co-recipient of the Tough Son of a Bear Award, along with Ingram.

Offensive Lineman of the Year honors went to Harrison Menke (Jr., OC, Joplin, Mo.). The Bears' starting center played every offensive down this season for Missouri State and was named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts in leading the Bears to an upset win at Youngstown State in the season finale.

Kaleb Mueller (Sr., Paola, Kan.) was named MSU's Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight season after serving all 11 games as the team's primary snapper for punts, extra points and field goals in addition to compiling four special teams tackles.

Duane Atteberry (Jr., WR, Buffalo, Mo.) was named Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year for the second season in a row, and Evan Williams (RFr., CB, Mountain Grove, Mo.) was named Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

Missouri State finished 2-9 in 2011, but ended the season with wins in two of its final four games, in addition to a double-overtime loss in that span. MSU was 2-6 in the MVFC to tie for seventh place.

Previous recipients of the top team awards are as follows:

 MSU Player of the Year yearly winners: 1982-DE Darrin Newbold, 1983-FS Mike Armentrout, 1984-RB Johnny Longstreet, 1985-RB Keith Williams, 1986-LB Ken Braden, 1987-LB Matt Soraghan, 1988-LB James Turnage, 1989-QB DeAndre Smith, 1990-QB DeAndre Smith, 1991-DT Bill Walter, 1992-FB Jonah White, 1993-RB Anthony Pegues, 1994-LB DeLaun Fowler, 1995-LB DeLaun Fowler, 1996-RB Michael Cosey, 1997-OT Brad Kubik, 1998-QB Derek Jensen,1999-QB Jay Rodgers, 2000-WR Jeff Hewitt, 2001-LB P. J. Jones, 2002-OC Crockett Ladd, 2003-TB Cody Pratt, 2004-TB Cody Pratt and WR Steven Rush, 2005-WR/KR Michael Sparks, 2006-S Mike Radon/OT Justin Williamson, 2007-TB Gerald Davis, 2008-QB Cody Kirby, 2009-TE Clay Harbor, 2010-QB Cody Kirby, 2011-WR Jermaine Saffold.

 Arthur Briggs Award yearly winners: 1991-OT Tim McDuffey, 1992-OG Matt Irvin, 1993-CB Willie Parks, 1994-OT Ryan Touhey, 1995-OT Jason Whittle, 1996-TE Corey Roy, 1997-FS Jeff Killeen, 1998-P/K Travis Brawner, 1999-P/K Travis Brawner, 2000-TE Matt White, 2001-TB Jason Ringena, 2002-OC Crockett Ladd, 2003-OC Brad Durham, 2004-OC Brad Durham, 2005-OC David Tillman, 2006-TE Payne Hall, 2007-OC David Tillman, 2008-WR Chris Geisz, 2009-WR Jared Emery, 2010-S Skylar Smith, 2011-P Jordan Chiles.

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