Dec. 14, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State All-American running back Ronnie Hillman (La Habra, Calif.) was named the 2011 Aztec football MVP at the team's annual banquet held Sunday at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island. The sophomore, who has run for over 1,600 yards this season, was one of eight SDSU student-athletes to receive awards on the afternoon.
Senior linebacker Miles Burris (Granite Bay, Calif.) left with the most hardware, earning three honors as the team's defensive player of the year and was also singled out for his work in the classroom with the President's Award for High Academic Achievement. Burris shared the Dr. R. Hardy/C.E. Peterson Memorial Trophy will fellow team captains defensive end J.J. Autele (Waipahu, Hawaii) and quarterback Ryan Lindley (Alpine, Calif.).
Autele, who started in the regular-season finale against Fresno State despite sitting out two games with a dislocated elbow, also was tabbed the squad's most inspirational player. Lindley, meanwhile, received the Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy as the Aztecs' offensive player of the year for the fourth consecutive season. The four-year starter broke the school and the Mountain West Conference records for career passing yardage with 12,277 yards.
Seniors Tommie Draheim (Lakeside, Calif.) and Jerome Long (Los Osos, Calif.) were named the offensive and defensive linemen of the year after both picking up all-conference accolades last week. Sophomore Chad Young (La Verne, Calif.) garnered the outstanding special teams player honor and starting middle linebacker Jake Fely (Oceanside, Calif.) received the outstanding freshman award.
Scout Team Player of the Year Awards were presented to freshman running back Chase Price (Diamond Bar, Calif.) for offense and junior linebacker Chris Gordert (Honolulu, Hawaii) for defense. Student manager Jessica Vara Gomez also grabbed the A.Z.T.E.C. Student Equipment Manager Award and Hiroto Kawaguchi earned the Student Athletic Trainer Award.
Long-time San Diego State play-by-play announcer Ted Leitner presided over the event as the master of ceremonies, which was also attended by the Aztec coaching staff, athletic administration and the players' families and friends.
San Diego State arrived in New Orleans late Tuesday evening and will take on Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT for the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
John Simcox Memorial Award
Most Inspirational Player
President's Award for High Academic Achievement
Offensive Lineman of the Year
Defensive Lineman of the Year
Outstanding Freshman Award
Special Teams Outstanding Player of the Year
A.Z.T.E.C. Student Equipment Manager Award
Student Athletic Trainer Award