Gophers running back Rodney Smith received the Bronko Nagurski Award, as the team’s most valuable player Sunday at the team’s annual banquet.
Smith, a third-year sophomore from Georgia, tied Penn State’s Saquon Barkley for the Big Ten lead in rushing touchdowns (15) and also ranked fourth in the conference in rushing yards (1,084) and all-purpose yards (1,477).
The Gophers also honored Smith with the Bruce Smith Award (outstanding offensive player) and Bob McNamara Award (offensive back of the year).
Senior safety Damarius Travis took home three awards — Carl Eller Award (outstanding defensive player), defensive back of the year and the Tony Dungy Character and Community Service Award.
Sophomore kicker Emmit Carpenter won the Bobby Bell Award (outstanding special teams player), and linebacker Blake Cashman received the Gary Tinsley Award (underdog).
Senior quarterback Mitch Leidner received the Paul Giel Award (unselfishness and most concern for Minnesota) and the Neil Fredenburg Award (love of the game). Leidner shared the Neil Fredenburg Award with Nick Rallis and Jack Lynn.
Other honorees included:
• Senior DT Scott Ekpe (Butch Nash Award — competitive on field and in classroom)
• Senior WR Drew Wolitarsky (wide receiver of the year)
• Junior TE Nate Wozniak (tight end of the year)
• Senior RT Jonah Pirsig (offensive lineman of the year)
• Junior DT Steven Richardson (defensive lineman of the year)
• Junior LB Jonathan Celestin (linebacker of the year)
• Freshman S Antoine Winfield Jr. (outstanding defensive freshman of the year)
• Freshman WR Tyler Johnson (outstanding offensive freshman of the year)
• Freshman QB Seth Green (offensive work team player of the year)
• Sophomore DT Gary Moore (defensive work team player of the year)