ASU Football: Sun Devils honored with team awards on Saturday night

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

A number of the top Sun Devil football players received superlative awards for their efforts this season.

The Arizona State football team celebrated the 2013 season with the annual Sun Devil Club Football banquet on Saturday night.

Arizona State awarded superlative awards to many of its team leaders including quarterback Taylor Kelly, running back Marion Grice, and Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton.

Kelly was the first Sun Devil to receive an honor on Saturday night as he earned the Pat Tillman Outstanding Academic Achievement award. The redshirt junior posted a 3.17 grade point average and represented the Sun Devils as the Pac-12's Second Team All-Academic quarterback.

Alden Darby was the next Sun Devil recognized as the senior safety received the Tim Landers Iron Man award for his work ethic on the field, in the weight room and in the community. Darby is one of just a handful of Sun Devils who has worn the Pat Tillman "PT42" camouflage practice jersey at times during his career.

The Babe Alex Demon Special Teams MVP was an obvious selection as true freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez took home the hardware. Gonzalez is 22 of 26 on field goal attempts this season and was the First Team All-Pac-12 kicker this season.

Left tackle Evan Finkenberg followed up Gonzalez by receiving the Randall McDaniel Outstanding Offensive Lineman honor. Finkenberg was the lone Sun Devil offensive lineman recognized as a First Team All-Conference selection.

The Wilford "Whizzer" White Outstanding Running Back honor was conferred upon senior Marion Grice who finished the season four yards short of 1,000 rushing yards. Grice added 50 catches for 438 yards and his 20 total touchdowns are just two short of the single-season Arizona State record held by the man the award is named after.

The John Jefferson Outstanding Receiver Award was the next award dished out and the announcement was just a formality as Jaelen Strong was the clear choice. Strong's 71 receptions, 1,089 yards and seven touchdowns helped him earn a spot on the Second Team All-Conference team as well.

The final offensive award of the evening was the Danny White Offensive MVP award which was bestowed upon quarterback Taylor Kelly. Kelly's 3,983 total yards are the second most total yards in a single-season in school history and he needs just 143 yards from scrimmage in the Holiday Bowl to pass Brock Osweiler as the school record holder.

On the defensive side of the football, the first award of the evening was the Curley Culp Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award which went to redshirt junior Devil backer Carl Bradford. Bradford was a Second Team All-Pac-12 selection and he leads the team with 18.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks this year.

The Ron Pritchard Outstanding Linebacker award was another obvious selection as versatile senior Chris Young earned the honor by racking up more than 100 tackles this season. Young is the second Sun Devil since 2007 with more than 100 tackles in a single season and he joined Bradford as a Second Team All-Conference player.

Even though Robert Nelson finished with more interceptions, it was senior corner Osahon Irabor who took home the Darren Woodson Outstanding Secondary award. The Second Team All-Pac-12 corner led all Sun Devil secondary players with 5.5 tackles for loss this year.

After Bradford snagged the top defensive lineman honor, it was only a matter of time before the heart of the defensive line, Will Sutton, took home an award of his own. Sutton earned the Mike Haynes Defensive MVP award after compiling 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks this year.

The final individual award of the evening went to Zane Gonzalez who brought home the Bill Kajikawa Freshman of the Year honor. The award was Gonzalez's second of the evening and he added to an already impressive list of postseason recognition.

The last honor of the night was the Frank Kush Captains award which went to six different Sun Devils. Taylor Kelly, Evan Finkenberg, Osahon Irabor, Alden Darby, Will Sutton and Chris Coyle all earned the Captains award in a season in which Todd Graham said he had the best leaders he's ever coached.

The Sun Devils still have one more trophy they would like to add to their case this year as they have their eyes set on winning the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.

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