Lions let late lead slip away, fall to Vikings

MSU's Kenny Willekes becomes first defensive player to win team MVP twice

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Fifth-year senior defensive end Kenny Willekes was named Michigan State’s most valuable player on Sunday at the team’s annual awards banquet at the Kellogg Center on MSU’s campus.

Willekes became the first defensive player and just seventh overall in program history to win the Governor’s Award twice. The last player to win the award a second time was running back Javon Ringer in 2007 and 2008.

A former walk-on, Willekes became Michigan State’s all-time leader in tackles for loss during Saturday’s victory over Maryland as his 2.5 tackles for loss gave him 49.5 for his career, surpassing the 48 of Julian Peterson. Willekes leads Michigan State and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a career-high nine sacks. He also leads all active FBS players in career tackles for loss, is a Burlsworth Trophy finalist and was named the 2018 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Kenny Willekes

Willekes was also named the Outstanding Defensive Player by the Downtown Coaches Club, earned the Biggie Munn Award for the most inspirational player and shared the Iron Man Award with senior defensive tackle Raequan Williams.

Here’s a list of all the awards:

Downtown Coaches Club Award — Outstanding Defensive Player: Senior DE Kenny Willekes

Downtown Coaches Club Award — Outstanding Offensive Player: Senior QB Brian Lewerke

Downtown Coaches Club Award — Outstanding Special Teams Player: Junior Dominique Long

President's Award (Senior Player for Perseverance)

Offense: Senior TE Matt Seybert

Defense: Senior LB Tyriq Thompson

Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman)

Offense: Junior OT Jordan Reid

Defense: Senior DT Mike Panasiuk

Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational — voted on by teammates)

Offense: Senior WR Darrell Stewart

Defense: Senior DE Kenny Willekes

Clarence Underwood Jr. Sportsmanship Award: Senior DT Raequan Williams

MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award: Senior P Jake Hartbarger

Potsy Ross Scholar-Athlete Award: Senior OT Cole Chewins

Outstanding Underclass Lineman

Offense: Freshman J.D. Duplain

Defense: Junior DE Jacub Panasiuk

Outstanding Underclass Back

Offense: Redshirt freshman RB Elijah Collins

Defense: Junior LB Antjuan Simmons

Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes)

Offense: Junior offensive lineman Luke Campbell

Defense: Junior CB Josiah Scott

Tommy Love Award (Most Improved)

Offense: Junior WR Cody White

Defense: Sophomore LB Noah Harvey

Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): Junior WR Cody White

Iron Man Award: Senior DT Raequan Williams and senior DE Kenny Willekes

Captains Award: Senior LB Joe Bachie, Senior QB Brian Lewerke, Senior DE Kenny Willekes, Senior DT Raequan Williams

Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): Darrell Stewart

Twitter: @mattcharboneau