Seniors Honored At 2011 Highland Hundred Post-Season Banquet
Dec. 2, 2011
MEMPHIS, TENN. -
The Highland Hundred football booster organization honored 16 Tiger seniors for their commitment and dedication to the University of Memphis at the annual Senior Banquet at the Holiday Inn on campus Friday evening.
Each senior was presented a commemorative canvas action shot, and a highlight video, produced by the Athletic Video Department, was shown to the crowd of Tiger supporters. In addition to honoring the seniors, post-season awards were presented by members of the coaching staff.
Senior offensive lineman Ronald Leary was presented both the Most Valuable Player and the Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. Many of the top awards were named this season in honor of former Tiger greats as the MVP is named in honor of DeAngelo Williams and the Offensive Lineman of the Year Award is named after Harry Schuh. Leary has played in 44 career games at Memphis and made 36 consecutive starts on the offensive line. He saw action on 781 offensive plays in 2011 and ended his career having worked 2,296 offensive plays from 2008-11. Leary earned a Leadership Award from the coaching staff at the last two spring games and was selected in 2008 to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Junior defensive lineman Dontari Poe received two big honors at the banquet. He joined Leary in receiving a DeAngelo Williams MVP Award and earned the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year Award. Poe tallied 33 tackles, including 18 solo stops, and was third on the team in TFL with eight for minus 26 yards. Poe also posted a sack, three pass breakups, five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. He started all 12 games on the defensive line this season, and has made 30 starts for the Tigers. Poe matched his career high in tackles with eight against Marshall.
The Offensive Player of the Year Award, which carries the name of former standout receiver Isaac Bruce, was presented to both seniors Tannar Rehrer and Billy Foster. Foster, who worked both at running back and receiver, led the Tigers in rushing with 479 yards and six touchdowns on 132 carries. He led the Tigers with 94 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries against Middle Tennessee. He caught one receiving touchdown, which was a 93-yard play against Austin Peay, to finish the 2011 season as the leading offensive scorer with 42 total points. He hauled in at least one reception in 10 of the 11 games he played in, logging 299 yards on 22 catches.
Rehrer led the Tigers in receiving this season with 70 receptions for 593 yards and four touchdowns, and it is fitting that he is receiving an award that is now named after Isaac Bruce as Rehrer is second to the former receiver all-time in receptions in a season. Bruce tallied 74 catches in 1993. Rehrer ended his two-year stint at Memphis on a 16-game receiving streak, while also posting at least five catches in nine of the 12 games in 2011. He tallied a career-best 11 receptions against Rice, which ties for third all-time at Memphis in single-game receptions. Rehrer also posted a double-digit effort against Middle Tennessee with 10 receptions.
Senior Frank Trotter was selected as the Defensive Lineman of the Year for 2011. Trotter, who has started 36 of his 49 career games with the Tigers, led the line in tackles this season with 61 and was the team leader in TFL with 13 for minus 46 yards. Trotter has posted 46 solo stops while also leading the squad in sacks with five. He also logged three pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He made an 18-yard return on the recovery against Marshall for one of the Tigers' four defensive touchdowns this season. Trotter ends his four-year career ranked third all-time at Memphis with 36.5 tackles for loss.
Senior Dasmine Cathey was presented the Special Teams Player of the Year Award, which is named after former kicker Joe Allison. Cathey, who also works with the linebackers, was second on the team in special teams tackles with 13. He made eight of his tackles on punt returns and five on kickoff returns. For the year, Cathey totaled 19 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In the Mississippi State game, he recovered a muffed punt return by MSU for his first career recovery. Cathey's aggressive play set up the Tigers for a six-play, 32-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Against Arkansas State, Cathey forced a fumble on an ASU punt return that was recovered by Reggie Travis.
The Role Player of the Year Award was presented to safety Mitch Huelsing. Huelsing is a candidate for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented to the nation's top former or current walk-on. He started five of the 12 games this season in the secondary and ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 64. Huelsing posted a fumble recovery in the last three games and hauled in interceptions in the final two games. His recovery against Southern Miss was in the endzone and marked the fourth time this season that a defender had put points on the board for the Tigers. Huelsing was credited with five or more tackles in nine games this season, and tied his career high with 11 stops in the season finale versus USM.
Junior Cannon Smith earned the Black and Blue Award, which is presented annually to a player for his toughness on the field and for playing through injury. Smith, who was in his first season at safety after playing seven games at quarterback in 2010, adjusted well to his new position and led the team in pass breakups with six. He started 11 straight games at safety before being forced to miss the season finale with a shoulder injury. Smith was sixth on the team in tackles with 51, including 32 solo stops. He also registered a forced fumble against Middle Tennessee. In just his second game on defense for the Tigers, Smith set a season high in tackles with 10 against Arkansas State. He posted five or more tackles in five games, and was credited with a season-high eight solo stops against UAB.
Four Tigers were chosen as permanent captains to represent the 2011 season. The Offensive Captain Award is named after former quarterback Billy Fletcher and was presented to receiver Curtis Johnson and offensive lineman Jordan Devey, while defensive back/linebacker Akeem Davis was selected as the Defensive Captain, which is now named after former linebacker Keith Butler. The Special Teams Captain Award, which is named after defensive back Ken Irvin, was presented to senior Dasmine Cathey.
Also honored for their commitments each and every day as vital members of the scout team were Alan Cross, who was picked as the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year, and Clarence Marshall, who earned Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honors.
DeAngelo Williams Most Valuable Players - Ronald Leary and Dontari Poe Isaac Bruce Offensive Players of the Year - Tannar Rehrer and Billy Foster John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year - Dontari Poe Joe Allison Special Teams Player of the Year - Dasmine Cathey Harry Schuh Offensive Lineman of the Year - Ronald Leary Defensive Lineman of the Year - Frank Trotter Role Player Award - Mitch Huelsing Black and Blue Award - Cannon Smith Billy Fletcher Offensive Captain Awards - Curtis Johnson and Jordan Devey Keith Butler Defensive Captain Award - Akeem Davis Ken Irvin Special Teams Captain Award - Dasmine Cathey Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year - Clarence Marshall Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year - Alan Cross