By Andy Andersen
The 91st Annual University of Michigan Football Bust sponsored by the M Club of Greater Detroit is history, being held the evening of December 12, 2011 at Livonia’s Laurel Manor.
The purpose of the event is to remember highlights of the past season and senior careers, to assign awards honoring players for outstanding athletic and academic achievements, and to present M rings.
The function presents an opportunity for fans to place a face and personality with the names of players, and to observe first-hand some of the emotions that apply to the experience of playing Michigan Football. By the intense nature of the sport, players and coaches are hugely invested in the Michigan experience.
Last night the atmosphere was positive in all respects and on all fronts. I have talked to no one who did not appreciate the atmosphere, and the appreciation of team and players. The team spirit that is evident this year is genuine.
Among those present and or honored were QB Elvis Grbac, and former Coaches Lloyd Carr and Gary Moeller. Carr is now a Hall of Famer and received a standing ovation, and Moeller was also was fondly received with a nice ovation.
Junior QB Denard Robinson was designated the BO SCHEMBECHLER MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD for the second straight year. We all know why. The team accomplishment of a 10-2 season record, and 6-2 in the B1G, with participation in a post season BCS Bowl, depended heavily on Denard’s contributions.
That is combined with outstanding individual accomplishments like the completion of 133 of 237 passes for 2,056-yards and 18 TDs. He rushed 201 times for 1,163-yards and 16-TDs. The statistical list of accomplishments goes on and on. He has earned every accolade received, as did the other award winners listed below.
Fifth- year senior defensive lineman Will Heininger was awarded the ARTHUR D. ROBINSON SCHOLARSHIP AWARD. He is a four time B1G academic award winner, among other accomplishments.
Fifth- year senior David Molk won the best offensive lineman award, THE HUGH H. RADER, JR. AWARD. This is not surprising since he earned the Rimington trophy this year, and Walter Camp All American honors. Molk has it all together at the podium too, as he is one of the better presenters on the team. He is an interesting young man to hear.
Kenny Demens won the ROGER ZATKOFF AWARD for linebackers. Demens had a career high 86 tackles.
Fifth-year senior defensive lineman, Ryan Van Bergen, and tight end Kevin Koger shared the ROBERT P. UFER BEQUEST as seniors who demonstrated the most enthusiasm and love for Michigan. Van Bergen represented his team well in numerous press conferences, and had his best year on the football field. Koger also presents well at the podium, and will be missed blocking as well as receiving next year.
Last but certainly far from least, Senior defensive tackle Mike Martin earned the RICHARD KATCHER AWARD as U-M’s top defensive lineman for the third consecutive year. Martin had 54 tackles, 5.5 for losses, three sacks and a safety. The defensive team captain was also named All-Big Ten second team by the league’s coaches and media. He has gotten better and better every year and played through injuries. Who could ask for more?
This year’s award banquet was without the oppressive “drama” of last year’s event, which included widespread speculation that there soon would be new program management under the auspices of other than the incumbent coach. My last year’s article on this event included a 2010 Coaching Speculation Carousel section, but that has no place here in this this year’s article. There were no plaintive tributes to Josh Groban at this event. It appears that the Brady Hoke era has firmly taken root, and is here to stay.
This event reflected a program that is in good health and growing in stature on all fronts.