OWith the 2015 season officially in the books, it is time to take a look back at the individual performances from throughout the year and hand out awards, as voted on by the Maize n Brew staff.
A nice, big banquet was not in the budget this year, so this will have to do.
Here we go:
Jake Rudock, Quarterback
Michigan needed a quarterback in the worst way coming into this year. Not necessarily a savior, but someone who could come in as a stop gap and simply manage and not lose games.
Rudock was just that early in the year and then stepped up in a big way down the stretch.
Rudock finished with 3,017 yards 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. His total yardage number was good for second all-time in Michigan football history behind only John Navarre.
Others Receiving Votes: Jourdan Lewis, Jehu Chesson
Offensive Player of the Year
Jehu Chesson, Wide Receiver
It is no coincidence that Rudock's emergence down the stretch coincided with Chesson's breakout.
The Wolverines lacked a proven wide receiver that could take the top off of a defense. Chesson gave them just that, finishing the season with 50 catches for 764 yards and nine touchdowns.
Others Receiving Votes: Jake Rudock, Jake Butt, DeVeon Smith
Defensive Player of the Year
Jourdan Lewis, Cornerback
Michigan's secondary was arguably the strength of its defense in 2015, headlined by the play of All-American Jourdan Lewis.
Lewis set a school record for pass breakups in a single season with 19 to go with two interceptions and 52 total tackles (3.5 for loss).
He will return to anchor the back end of the Wolverine defense in 2016.
Others Receiving Votes: Jabrill Peppers, Chris Wormley
Special Teams Player of the Year
Jabrill Peppers, Safety
Peppers did everything short of line up in a three-point stance this season for the Wolverines, but his value in the return game was huge.
He averaged over 11 yards per punt return and a fraction under 28 yards per kick return. He was never able to take one to the house, but his ability to flip field position and allow the offense to start in favorable spots lands him this award from the MnB staff.
Others Receiving Votes: Blake O'Neill, Kenny Allen, Dymonte Thomas
Most Improved Player
Jehu Chesson, Wide Receiver
Chesson walks away with his second award on our prestigious list (heh).
It's pretty amazing how much better Chesson got throughout the season. He's always had the skill set, but was finally able to put it together in 2015. His strides make him arguably the best wideout in the Big Ten in 2016.
Others Receiving Votes: Jake Butt, Amara Darboh, Jake Rudock, Drake Johnson, Dymonte Thomas
Sione Houma, Fullback
Everybody loves the fullbacks!
Houma emerged as a fan favorite this season with his personality and knack for making plays when the opportunities presented themselves. He scored five touchdowns on the ground this season and started getting more touches as the season went on.
This is a Jim Harbaugh team. Of course we'd highlight one of these guys.
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Glasgow, Kenny Allen, Jake Rudock, Graham Glasgow, Jarrod Wilson, Tim Drevno
Offensive Lineman of the Year
Mason Cole, Left Tackle
Any functioning offense has a good blindside protector for its quarterback, and Mason Cole is exactly that. The sophomore has started every game he has played in Ann Arbor and has looked good doing so. It is not a glamorous job, but it's one that he does quite well and the MnB staff agrees.
Others Receiving Votes: Graham Glasgow
Defensive Lineman of the Year
Wormley was one of many monsters on the front line of Michigan's defense this past season, but he was arguably the most improved and made the biggest impact.
He had 6.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in 2015.
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Glasgow, Maurice Hurst, Willie Henry
Freshman of the Year
Who else could it have been?
It was technically his second season with the program, but he counts here as a redshirt freshman. As stated above, Peppers did a little bit of everything for the Wolverines in 2015. On defense, he tallied 45 tackles (5.5 for loss) and ten pass breakups. On offense, he had 18 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns along with eight catches for 79 yards.
Others Receiving Votes: Grant Perry
Most Valuable Assistant Coach
Greg Jackson and Mike Zordich, Secondary
Jackson and Zordich's fingerprints were all over a secondary that was vastly improved this season, mostly due to the breakouts of Lewis and Peppers. Channing Stribling, Jeremy Clark, Jarrod Wilson, Delano Hill and Dymonte Thomas all were key contributors on defense on a unit that was great all season long.
Others Receiving Votes: D.J Durkin, Tim Drevno, John Baxter, Jedd Fisch, Jay Harbaugh
What do you think of our list of award winners? Would you have given out any other awards? Let us know and sound off in the comments below!