The Northwestern Wildcats and their head coach Pat Fitzgerald were very proud to present some very deserving individuals with the honors of their team awards. The Wildcats may have had some big disappointments in 2013, but there was also plenty for the Wildcats to be proud of. Battling back from the major letdowns that were the losses to the Wisconsin Badgers and the Ohio State Buckeyes at the early onset of the season, proved to be very difficult to do. Add that to an extremely disappointing loss by hail Mary to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on a last-second play in Lincoln coach Fitzgerald’s Wildcats had display a great deal of resolve to continue to battle the way they did in 2013. The team and its players are well deserving of some accolades after what they endured.
Tyler Scott was the recipient of the team’s top honor as he was named the team’s MVP. The honor was well deserved for the senior defensive end who hails from Warren Ohio. Scott was a team co-captain this season and the MVP award is one step up from being awarded defensive MVP one year ago. Scott was a second team all-Big Ten selection at defensive end this season and was the anchor of the Wildcats defense, a defense that finished fourth in the Big Ten for tackles for a loss. Scott was also the recipient of the Bryan Paynter award. The Bryan Paynter award is affectionately referred to as the Ultimate Wildcat Award and given to a player for their passion for the program and their competitive spirit.
Stephen Buckley was awarded the offensive newcomer of the year award. An exciting future could be in store for Buckley, especially after learning that running back Venric Mark will be granted a fifth year of eligibility via medical red shirt. This extra year for Mark will give him a season be a mentor for Buckley and tutor the promising young ball carrier who like mark hails from Texas. Buckley averaged over five yards per carry this season.
The defensive newcomer of the year was given to Matthew Harris. Harris a cornerback from nearby LaGrange Highlands decided to provide his services to an instate school and made a good decision when he selected Northwestern University as school of choice. Harris recorded 36 tackles in his first year of play and was also a key special teams contributor.
The Caring Manasian Citizenship Award was given to one of the teams most iatrical players in Jeff Budzien. This was just another of many awards the senior kicker has received throughout his illustrious career in Evanston. Budzien has twice been named the Bakken-Anderson Big Ten award for kicker of the year. Along with this award Budzien has also been named to the Big Ten team as a first team kicker. He is a 2013 All American and an Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Member. Budzien was a Lou Groza semifinalist for the second consecutive season.
The Wildcat Warrior of the year award was given to two individuals for their performances in 2013. Senior Kain Colter who lined up at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver was a very deserving recipient. As was wide receiver Mike Jensen.