Hardy selected MVP

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana junior wide receiver James Hardy earned the 2007 Anthony Thompson MVP Award, head coach Bill Lynch announced at the team banquet on Sunday afternoon at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center. Lynch also recognized the team’s 16 seniors, including captains Josiah Sears (fullback) and Tracy Porter, while handing out 12 additional season-ending awards.

A semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, Hardy shattered career and single-season receiving marks in 2007. Hardy is the Hoosiers’ all-time receiving leader in touchdowns (36), yards (2,690) and receptions (186). He is the only wide receiver in Indiana history to surpass 2,500 career yards, 175 career receptions and 35 career touchdowns.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native completed the 2007 regular season with 1,075 yards, 16 touchdowns (second nationally), 74 receptions, 89.6 yards per game and 14.5 yards per grab. Hardy set new single-season school records in touchdowns and receptions while finishing second in yards and becoming just the fourth Hoosier to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He caught a TD grab in 11 of 12 games, which is a school record, and finished tied for third on the Big Ten’s single-season list with his 16 TDs.

Hardy’s 14-career 100-yard games and 10 multi-TD games are each school records, and he was the lone wide receiver in the country to record a touchdown in each of his first eight games this season. His nine-game touchdown streak (dating back to the 2006 finale) set a new school record. Hardy held the previous record of six along with Jade Butcher (1967-69). He opened the 2005 season with a scoring grab in each of the first six games as well and is the only receiver in school history to collect a scoring strike in six straight games on two separate occasions.

Fifth-year senior offensive lineman Charlie Emerson was named the Pete Schmidt “Team Above Self” Award winner. This award is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of former Indiana Assistant Head Coach Pete Schmidt, most specifically to the individual who places the Indiana Football program above himself. One of the most highly successful coaches in college football history, Schmidt passed away on September 29, 2000, after a year-long battle with lymphoma. “There is no such thing as a bad day,” Schmidt would often say, and it best describes the manner in which he lived his life.

A consummate team player, Emerson came to the Hoosiers as a defensive lineman before moving to right tackle in training camp last season. Emerson played in all 11 games on the defensive line in 2005 before starting 11 times on the offensive side of the ball in 2006. Battling injuries the entire 2007 regular season, Emerson started at right tackle seven times and even received two starts at right guard.

Fifth-year senior middle linebacker Adam McClurg garnered the Al Barsch “Hang Tough” Award, given to the player who has hung tough and fought through adversity. Al Barsch was an alumnus from Ohio who helped Indiana in recruiting and assisted players in finding jobs in the Cleveland area. He died of cancer in the mid-1980s.

The fifth-year senior and Greenwood, Ind., native finished the regular season third on the team with a career-high 95 tackles at middle linebacker. McClurg also shared second with 11.5 tackles for loss and closed with 47 solo stops. In addition, he added 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry. McClurg started all 12 games in the middle and has played in 43 games in his career.

Fifth-year senior John Sandberg is the Don Howell “Outstanding Offensive Lineman” Award recipient, given to the outstanding offensive lineman in memory of Don Howell. Howell was a two-way lineman from Hobart, Ind. He played for the Hoosiers from 1954-57 and served as the team’s captain in 1957. After graduation he returned to his hometown and later served as the head coach at Hobart High School, where he won over 300 games to rank as one of the state’s all-time winningest high school head coaches.

The most versatile offensive lineman on the Hoosiers, Sandberg started all 12 games during the regular season. He opened the year with nine straight starts at right guard before moving to center for two games and then back to right guard vs. Purdue. Sandberg had not taken a snap at center his entire career, but moved to the spot for the injured Ben Wyss against Ball State and at Northwestern. The fifth-year senior has appeared in 37 contests in his career.

Sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton took home the Chris Dal Sasso “Outstanding Defensive Lineman” Award, given to the defensive lineman who exemplifies the qualities of Chris Dal Sasso, a three-year letterman and captain in 1936. Following graduation, Dal Sasso spent 15 years at South Bend Central High School as an assistant coach, head coach and athletic director. His tenure there was interrupted by a four-year stint in the Air Force. Dal Sasso joined the Indiana coaching staff in 1952 as an assistant coach, where he served in that capacity until taking over an assistant administrator position in 1957. In this position, he handled the Big Ten financial aid program.

The Indianapolis native carded 2.5 sacks as the Hoosiers defeated rival Purdue, 27-24. With his 2.5 sacks, Middleton, who ranked in the top five nationally in sacks all season, set a new single-season school record with 16. He eclipsed the previous mark of 14 set by Van Waiters back in 1987. The total is also tied for fourth place in a Big Ten single season.

Middleton also finished the regular season with 17 tackles for loss (tied for sixth in an IU single season), which is the most since former Hoosier great Adewale Ogunleye collected the same total in 1997. He anchored a defense that set a new school record with 42 sacks this season and ranked in the top five nationally all year.

Senior cornerback Tracy Porter earned the Corby Davis Memorial Award, which was established by the family and friends of Corby Davis to honor a senior player whose conduct on campus, in the classroom and on the football field most closely exemplifies the qualities of former Big Ten MVP Corby Davis. Davis, a 1992 inductee into the IU Hall of Fame, earned letters in football in 1934, 1935 and 1937 and lettered in track in 1935. He was the Big Ten MVP and a first team All-American in 1937. The fullback was a first round pick of the Cleveland Rams. His four-year professional career was broken up because he served in the War prior to retiring in 1942.

A four-year starter at cornerback and team captain, Porter etched his name into the Hoosier record book. Porter finished the regular season with a team-high six interceptions. He is tied for third on IU’s single-season list with his career-high six picks and is the first Hoosier since Mark Sutor in 1982 to reach the six-interception mark. Tim Wilbur holds the Indiana record with eight picks back in 1979.

Wilbur (1978-82) also leads Porter by three for the school’s career interceptions lead. The Port Allen, La., native does hold the top spot on the career interception return yardage list with 413 yards, breaking Wilbur’s mark of 360.

Fifth-year senior fullback Josiah Sears is this year’s Ted Verlihay “Mental Attitude and Loyalty” Award winner. The honor is bestowed upon the player who has demonstrated the best mental attitude and loyalty to Indiana Football. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Ted Verlihay earned a letter following the 1967 football season. He was a physical education major at IU.

The Greenfield, Ind., native ended the regular season appearing in all 12 games, rushing for 109 yards, hauling in 147 receiving yards and finishing third on the team with five scores (three rushing, two receiving). Sears played in at least 11 games in each of the last four seasons. A standout in the classroom as well, Sears earned Academic All-District V honors this year and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Senior kicker Kevin Trulock won the Ted Whereatt Senior Academic Excellence Award, which is given to the senior who has excelled academically. Ted Whereatt was a long-time resident of the Indiana University community. He served as an Assistant to the Dean of University Division. In his capacity, he counseled student-athletes with their educational program.

A 4.0 biology major, Trulock was a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy earlier this season. The Draddy recognizes the top student-athlete in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.

Junior kicker Austin Starr collected the Terry P. Cole “Impact Player” Award. This award is given to the player who makes the biggest impact in the Old Oaken Bucket Game and is in memory of former Hoosier great Terry Cole (1965-67). Cole, who played running back and fullback, saved the best performance of his career for his final game at Memorial Stadium. He recorded a 63-yard touchdown run and a 48-yard dash to set up another score, as Indiana defeated Purdue, 19-14, to bring the Bucket back to Bloomington. The win gave the Hoosiers a share of the Big Ten championship and punched their ticket to Pasadena – the school’s only Rose Bowl appearance. Cole finished his brilliant career with 1,059 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Starr gave the Hoosiers their first victory in the Bucket Game since 2001 when he connected on the game-winning field goal from 49 yards out with 30 seconds remaining. The kick gave Indiana a 27-24 victory and sent the crowd of 50,741 fans – the first sellout at Memorial Stadium for the Bucket Game since 1989 – into a frenzy. Starr also added a 42-yarder in the second quarter and hit all three of his extra-point attempts.

Senior center Ben Wyss received the Howard Brown Award. This award is given to a player who exemplifies the qualities of former IU assistant coach Howard Brown. Brown demonstrated compassion, courage, understanding, humor, sportsmanship and a strong competitive spirit as a player, coach and as a man. He was the team MVP in 1945 and again in 1947 and captained the squad in 1946 and 1947. Brown played as a freshman in 1942 before joining the Infantry. He won three Purple Hearts while serving in Europe and returned to Bloomington after the start of the 1945 season.

The fifth-year senior solidified a question mark entering the season, starting 10 games at center during the regular season. After missing the previous two games with several injuries, Wyss returned for the season finale and helped the Hoosiers knock off rival Purdue, 27-24.

Sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis, sophomore linebacker Will Patterson and junior kicker Austin Starr collected the Hoosier Big Play Maker Awards on offense, defense and special teams, respectively.

Lewis threw for 216 yards against Purdue to set a new school record with 2,839 yards passing on the year. He also moved into second place on IU’s single-season attempts list with 399. The Jacksonville, Fla., native furthered his school record in total offense, advancing to 3,492 yards this year. That total is the 11th highest in Big Ten history. Lewis set single-season records in passing touchdowns (26), total touchdowns by a quarterback (34) and completions (243) as well.

He is also moving up the career charts this season. Lewis joined Antwaan Randle El (1998-01) as the only quarterbacks in school history with 5,000 career passing yards (5,060 – fifth all-time), 400 career completions (433 – third), 700 career attempts (745 – fourth), 40 career passing touchdowns (40 – second) and 6,000 career total yards of offense (6,154 – fourth).

Patterson is second on the team with a career-high 99 tackles (42 solos). He leads the team with three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and has one interception. Patterson’s seven tackles for loss rank fourth on the club and he has two sacks and three pass breakups. For the third time in four games, Patterson either set or matched a career high in tackles at Northwestern. The Indianapolis native set a new high with a team-best 14 stops against the Wildcats. Patterson set his previous career high of 13 tackles and forced a fumble against Penn State before matching his career mark and recovering a fumble a week later at Wisconsin.

Starr matched his career long, picked up the third game-winning kick of his career and his first of the season when he connected from 49 yards with 30 seconds left to beat Purdue, 27-24. He finished the game hitting two field goals to set a new school record with his 19th field goal of the season, topping former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich’s 17 in 1988. He also extended his school record by making his 15th attempt in a row in the first half before missing a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter. Starr tied Stoyanovich’s record for single-season extra points with his 45th of the year. The Logansport, Ind., native finished the season a perfect 45-for-45, as Stoyanovich did back in 1988. Starr also moved up the single-season points list, finishing the regular season with 102, good for fourth place. He has hit 19-of-21 field goals this regular season (a school record 90.5 percent) and has nailed 10-of-11 from 40-plus yards (90.9).

Freshman Dan Rutigliano earned the Offensive Scout of the Year honor, while freshman defensive lineman Fred Jones and freshman cornerback Donnell Jones shared Defensive Scout of the Year accolades.

Lynch instituted the One Play Warrior Club for the 2007 season. The club is reserved for players who make outstanding contributions on special teams each week. Junior James Bailey, senior Tim Bugg, sophomore Justin Carrington, freshman Mitchell Evans, senior Michael Hines, junior Joe Kleinsmith, senior Leslie Majors, sophomore Matt Mayberry, senior Tracy Porter, junior Austin Starr and senior Josiah Sears each earned entry into the club this season.

Senior Managers
Tim Brunton
Jon Rybolt
Nick Sprunger
Derrick Weiler

2007 Scout of the Year Awards
Offense – Dan Rutigliano
Defense – Fred Jones, Donnell Jones

Hoosier Big Play Maker Award
Offense – Kellen Lewis
Defense – Will Patterson
Special Team – Austin Starr

One Play Warrior Club
James Bailey, Tim Bugg, Justin Carrington, Mitchell Evans, Michael Hines, Joe Kleinsmith, Leslie Majors, Matt Mayberry, Tracy Porter, Austin Starr, Josiah Sears

Pete Schmidt “Team Above Self” Award – Charlie Emerson

Al Barsch “Hang Tough” Award – Adam McClurg

Don Howell “Outstanding Offensive Lineman” Award – John Sandberg

Chris Dal Sasso “Outstanding Defensive Lineman” Award – Greg Middleton

Corby Davis Memorial Award – Tracy Porter

Ted Verlihay “Mental Attitude and Loyalty” Award – Josiah Sears

Ted Whereatt “Senior Academic Excellence” Award – Kevin Trulock

Terry P. Cole “Impact Player” Award – Austin Starr

Howard Brown Award – Ben Wyss

Hoosier Captains 2007
Josiah Sears and Tracy Porter

Anthony Thompson MVP Award – James Hardy


  1. I’ve been wondering with all the records this team and the players have set. Do the stats from a bowl game count in season and/or career totals? Sorry, don’t really know how this bowl thingy works, haha.

  2. Hoosier Hound, I’m with you. I’m learning some of this bowl stuff on the fly. I just looked it up and bowl game stats do count as part of a player’s season and career totals. Prior to the 2002, this was not the case, but the NCAA changed the rule that year, making the bowl stats count the same as those in other games and allowing schools to change the stats from previous years to include the bowl games, if they wanted.

  3. Congrats to all the Hoosier players on their awards, and to all the players who did not get a special award. The guys who went above and beyond could not have done it without you. Hardy was amazing, but without Andrew Means, Ray Fisher, and others he would not have had that same impact, as they would have just doubled him all year long. This was a team effort for everything that got done, and the team will play 13 this year. Congrats and thank you for making us Hoosier fans proud!

  4. I am so happy that an award to the student athlete who has worked hard to succeeded has been given in by brother’s name. “Bert” as the family called him loved Indiana University and had planned to retire in Bloomington. Unfortunately I lost my brother and best friend and Indiana lost a loyal alumni….Albert Barsch – my dear brother…..

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