Gray wins second Bronko Nagurski Award
NOV 25, 2012 4:27p ET
Senior wide receiver/quarterback MarQueis Gray was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Award as the team's Most Valuable Player. Gray began the year as the starting quarterback but later transitioned to wide receiver -- the position he spent two years playing as a freshman and sophomore. As a quarterback, Gray completed 58.9 percent of his passes and threw for five touchdowns. He added 12 catches for 121 yards as a receiver.
Gray also received that same award last season, the first Gopher to win it in back-to-back years since running back Laurence Maroney in 2004 and 2005. In addition, Gray won the Paul Giel award, which is given to the player "deemed to have the most unselfishness and most concern about the University of Minnesota."
The Gophers also awarded outstanding offensive and defensive players, and those honors went to running back Donnell Kirkwood and cornerback Michael Carter, respectively. Kirkwood led the team in rushing yards with 849, along with five touchdowns. Carter has two interceptions, a team-high 14 pass break-ups and 42 total tackles.
Wide receiver Connor Cosgrove, who is currently battling leukemia, was awarded the Tony Dungy Character and Community Service Award. Earlier this year, Cosgrove organized an event in which 60 football players shaved their heads to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
The Gophers also handed out an inaugural Gary Tinsley Award, named for the late linebacker who died this past April. The award, given to a player who "best embraced Tinsley's underdog persona," was won by linebacker Keanon Cooper. Tinsley and Cooper were good friends both on and off the field.
Linebacker Aaron Hill won the Butch Nash Award, which honors a player who is "competitive on the field and in the classroom." It's the second straight year in which Hill won that award.
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