April 28, 2010

FSU Announces Spring Football Award Winners

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football coaching staff has announced the 2010 Bulldog football team's spring practice award winners upon the conclusion of the team's annual spring drills.

This spring represents the fourth consecutive year that the FSU spring football awards have been issued after they debuted in 2007. The honors will continue to be awarded on an annual basis and serve for recognition purposes only as no trophies or plaques are to be distributed to the recipients at this time.

Ferris State held its annual Crimson and Gold Spring Game last Friday (April 23) at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Crimston Team, which was made up of the number one offense and number two defense, posted a 26-12 win over the White Team in a controlled format.

Sophomore defensive back Antwian Windmon and sophomore offensive lineman Taylor Sprague were named the recipients of the Most Improved Player Award for showing the most improvement in spring practice. Windmon displayed the ability this spring to be an all-league caliber performer and improved his play-making skills with a solid all-around effort, according to FSU defensive coordinator Duane Wilson.  Meanwhile, Sprague was honored after developing both his pass and run-blocking skills this spring with improved technique.

The Bulldog Award went to sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss on defense and sophomore offensive lineman Taylor Phillips on offense. The Bulldog Award is presented to both an offensive and defensive player who exemplifies and sustains tenacity along with intense play throughout spring ball. First-year FSU offensive coordinator Chris Boden noted that Phillips brought intensity to each practice, was focused and worked to improve.  Moss' solid spring effort helped him climb into the picture for playing time at linebacker and he's expected to be a valuable contributor on special teams along with being productive at linebacker when the Bulldogs utilize a 3-4 scheme.

The Newcomer Award, which is given to both an offensive and defensive player in their first year who makes the most progress in spring practice, was handed out to redshirt freshman safety Jon Flynn and senior fullback Leon Curry. Flynn, who's a strong contender to start at safety this fall, developed into a solid tackler who can play both the run and pass.  Curry moved to fullback from the defensive side of the ball and became an outstanding blocker with good hands this spring.  He also made some nice runs near the end of spring camp, including a TD run in the spring game, besides learning to pick up FSU's new offensive system.

Finally, senior linebacker Kyle Fitzpatrick and sophomore back Tyler Thomas were named the winners of the Crimson and Gold Spring Game Players Award. The award honors both an offensive and defensive player who were selected as the most outstanding players in the annual spring gridiron contest. Wilson noted that Fitpatrick had numerous tackles in the spring game and created big plays in scrimmages throughout the spring. On the offensive side, Thomas unofficially ran for 137 yards and a TD in his first scrimmage action last Friday night.  His score came on a 77-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and he added three receptions in the contest.

Ferris State kicks off its 102nd season of varsity competition this fall by venturing to HC's Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium for a non-conference tilt in week one on Friday, Sept. 3, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EST).  FSU and Hillsdale are not scheduled to play each other as part of the GLIAC schedule this season.

The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open GLIAC action the following week against Saginaw Valley State in their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Top Taggart Field.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (EST).

The Bulldogs' 2010 schedule features alternating home and away games throughout the year as FSU will not play consecutive contests either at home or on the road at any point during the campaign.

Ferris State has registered five winning seasons in the last seven years along with nine winning campaigns overall in 15 years under head coach Jeff Pierce. Overall, FSU has put a winning stamp on 14 seasons over the last 21 years.

The Bulldogs will open fall camp in early August.

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