Kenny Willekes named Michigan State football MVP

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes led the Big Ten in tackles for loss with 20.5 for 84 yards.

East Lansing – Junior defensive end Kenny Willekes named Michigan State’s most valuable player on Sunday evening, earning the Governor’s Award the team’s annual banquet at the Kellogg Center.

Willekes becomes the first defensive end to win the award after leading the Big Ten in tackles for loss (20.5 for 84 yards), which ranks seventh in FBS. He is also fourth in the Big Ten in sacks (8.5 for 60 yards) and leads all conference defensive linemen with a career-high 76 tackles.

The Downtown Coaches Club Award for the outstanding defensive player went to junior linebacker Joe Bachie. He leads MSU and ranks tied for 10th in Big Ten with 94 tackles. The team captain has 8.5 tackles for loss, five pass break-ups, three forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Sophomore running back Connor Heyward earned the Downtown Coaches Club Award on offense. He is one of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player. He leads the team in all-purpose yards (1,056), rushing yards (520), rushing TDs (5) and kick returns (287), while ranking third with 32 receptions for 249 yards.

Sophomore kicker Matt Coghlin was named the Downtown Coaches Club’s outstanding special teams player. The Lou Groza Award semifinalist has made 16-of-19 field goals and ranks among Big Ten leaders in field goals made (third with 16), field-goal percentage (third at .842) and scoring (ninth at 7.0 ppg).

Other awards

President's Award (Senior Lineman/Senior Back Perseverance)

Offense: Senior TE Matt Sokol

Defense: Senior DT Gerald Owens

Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman)

Offense: Junior OL Tyler Higby

Defense: Junior DE Kenny Willekes

Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational)

Offense: Senior WR Felton Davis III

Defense: Senior S Khari Willis

Clarence Underwood Jr. Sportsmanship Award / Potsy Ross Scholar-Athlete Award

Junior OT Cole Chewins

MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award

Senior S Khari Willis

Outstanding Underclass Lineman

Offense: Sophomore OT Jordan Reid

Defense: Junior DT Raequan Williams

Outstanding Underclass Back

Offense: Sophomore RB Connor Heyward

Defense: Junior CB Justin Layne

Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes)

Offense: Redshirt freshman OL Blake Bueter

Defense: Junior DT Mike Panasiuk

Tommy Love Award (Most Improved)

Offense: Junior WR Darrell Stewart

Defense: Senior LB Andrew Dowell

Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): Junior LB Tyriq Thompson

Iron Man Award: Junior DT Raequan Williams

Captains Award: Junior LB Joe Bachie, Junior QB Brian Lewerke, Senior S Khari Willis

Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): Darrell Stewart