Highlights of Michigan's football banquet

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
9:15
AM ET
The Michigan football team held its annual banquet on Monday night. There were laughs, shots fired and awards given out. Here’s a recap of the evening.
    THE OFFICIAL AWARDS
Schembechler MVP: WR Jeremy Gallon
2012 winner: S Jordan Kovacs

Hugh H. Rader O-lineman Award: Taylor Lewan
2012 winner: Lewan

Dick Katcher D-lineman Award: Frank Clark
2012 winner: Craig Roh

Zatkoff Linebacker Award: Jake Ryan
2012 winner: Ryan

Ufer Spirit Award: LB Cam Gordon, WR Drew Dileo, WR Joe Reynolds
2012 winner: Kovacs

Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship Award (Academics): Reynolds
2012 winner: OL Patrick Omameh
    THE UNOFFICIAL AWARDS
Best dressed: RB Fitzgerald Toussaint. The senior’s coat stole the day, even getting a comment from Brady Hoke (“I was going to wear that coat”). Basically, it was a dark blue suit coat with a gold metallic design laid over it -- very lovely in the light. But he paired that with a gold dress shirt, blue vest and a blue tie with gold dots.

Biggest surprise: Devin Gardner entered on crutches. There wasn’t any availability following the event, but Hoke said that Gardner had turf toe last Monday and was wearing a walking boot following the Ohio State game.

Most honored: Jon Falk, the team manager of 40 years. From guest speaker Brian Griese to Hoke to nearly every senior who spoke, everyone had something to say about Falk. He was also honored with the distinguished alumni award.

Most touching moment: DL Quinton Washington getting a standing ovation. Washington began his speech talking about how his father underwent triple bypass surgery last July but still made it to every game (a 13-hour drive from their home in South Carolina). However, in the middle of his speech he began to open up about his stuttering problem that he came to Michigan with -- one that prevented him from making phone calls or ordering food at restaurants. He thanked Dr. David Daly, who helped him get over his stuttering problem, saying that Daly “gave [him] a voice.” Washington wasn’t 100 percent comfortable in front of the room, but for a kid who once couldn’t even introduce himself, it was a tremendous accomplishment worthy of the ovation.

Most surprising stat: Gordon has had seven position coaches during his time at Michigan (counting the coaching changes as well as several position changes). He came in as a wide receiver and was moved to strong safety before he settled in at SAM linebacker this season.

Quote of the night: Lewan, talking about his freshman year of high school: “I was fat, out of shape. I was kind of the awkward skinny fat with the skinny arms and the belly, like Mike from Monsters Inc.”

It should come as no surprise that Lewan had the best quote. He has so much personality that many thought (and hoped) he might go much longer than his five minutes. He started his speech by admitting that he didn’t plan it or write it down and then thanking his mother “who has been the loudest woman here all night.” But it was a nice speech, touching on the fact that he was glad to be back and wouldn’t change anything for the world.

Chantel Jennings | email

Oregon/Pac-12 reporter

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