football Edit

Fall Camp Awards

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Throughout fall camp, covered every angle of every practice. With camp now in the rearview mirror, our attention will fully turn to the Illinois game over the next 48 hours. But first, we take one last look back at camp with our fall camp awards:
Best Offensive Player
It depends on how you hand out the award. If you simply go with, who is the best player on the offense, I'd hand it to Derrick Washington and move on. But I prefer to go with who had the best three weeks of practice while I was watching. And that has to go to Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was 42-of-70 in the three scrimmages with three touchdowns and he didn't throw a pick. He had a few dropped in there too, including a 40-yard TD in the second scrimmage. If Gabbert can complete 60% of his passes and have a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio, I think Tiger fans would put that in the bank right now.
Also considered: Wes Kemp, Danario Alexander, Michael Egnew
Best Defensive Player
Sean Weatherspoon probably has to get this award. I thought about giving it to other guys, but then I realized I'd only be doing it because the standard for Spoon is so high. There's no doubt he's the leader of this defense both on the field and off of it. As I said before camp started, he looks like he could be a WWE wrestler...and he's still got the speed.
Also considered: Kevin Rutland, Andrew Gachkar, Aldon Smith, Jacquies Smith
Biggest Offensive Surprise
Although Jack Meiners is a candidate, I'm going to go with another freshman. The first day I looked at LDamian Washington, I figured he had to add 25 pounds to have a chance to see the field. After watching practice, I changed my mind. The kid just kept making plays. He's got very good hands and he's fast. He can play this year. I'm not sure if he will, but he can.
Also considered: Jack Meiners, J.T. Beasley, Jayson Palmgren, Beau Brinkley
Biggest Defensive Surprise
Donovan Bonner came out of nowhere and immediately jumped out. He has drawn plenty of comparisons to Sean Weatherspoon as a freshman. I don't know if that's fair, but like Spoon, he comes in as a two-star out of Texas and there was no doubt after about four practices that he was going to play.
Also considered: Robert Steeples, Gachkar
Big Hitter Award
This goes to the player who made the most hits that made me say "ouch." It actually goes to two. Got to split it between Hardy Ricks and Will Ebner. They'll both make some opposing offensive players pay this season.
Biggest Question Mark Left
I'm not going to give this to a player, but to a position. It's got to be kicker. We just don't know. You can't know until you get into a game, but we don't even have an idea. Three years ago, Jeff Wolfert made everything in practice. You didn't know he was going to be good in games, but you had a pretty good idea. After three weeks of practice, I can't even tell you who Missouri's starting kicker is going to be, much less if he's going to be any good.
Also considered: Backup Quarterback, Defensive Tackle
Keep An Eye On Him
This is going to a player on each side of the ball who isn't likely to start, but who could make significant contributions this season and could make a name for himself. It's also reserved for a player who, right now, not many people are talking about. Offensively, I'm going with De'Vion Moore. Moore just quietly goes about his business. He's impressed me in practice for two years now. This is the year we'll see it on the field. Defensively, I'll take the duo of Steeples and Trey Hobson. They're second-team corners right now, but they're going to play a lot. And I wouldn't rule out one of them being a starter at some point this season.
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Nobody will cover the 2009 season like We will have analysis, interviews, photos and video every week throughout the season. To get your free trial membership going today, just click right here.