LEXINGTON – Cornerback Trevard Lindley (Hiram, Ga.), who leads the Southeastern Conference in passes defended, was voted the top University of Kentucky football team award for the 2008 season, Coach Rich Brooks announced Saturday.
Lindley was voted the Wildcats’ most valuable player in balloting of the Kentucky team members, one of two awards selected by the squad.
Lindley leads in the SEC in defended passes with 15, including 11 pass breakups and a team-high four interceptions, increasing the junior’s career total to nine thefts. He has started all 38 games of his Kentucky career. Trevard scored his second collegiate touchdown this season with a 28-yard interception return against South Carolina and holds the UK record for pass breakups with 34.
The winner of the other award based on the team’s vote, the squad’s Most Inspirational Player, is senior tailback Tony Dixon (Parrish, Ala.), who led the Wildcats in rushing this season with 341 yards and seven touchdowns this fall. He has amassed 1,299 yards and 15 touchdowns in his Kentucky career.
Punter-kicker Tim Masthay was the only team member to win more than one medallion. Masthay was bestowed with the Jerry Claiborne Award as the player who best exemplifies the ideals associated with one of UK’s most popular head coaches, and was selected as the team’s most valuable performer on special teams.
Masthay was honored for his commitment to academics and the display of a team-oriented attitude. In addition to his outstanding work on kickoffs, he is currently ranked fifth nationally in punting with a 45.3-yard average, the second-best one-season mark in Kentucky history. He was also a first-team Academic All-America selection based on his 3.81 overall grade average.
Two other seniors captured top awards as selected by the coaching staff. Dicky Lyons (New Orleans, La.) was picked as the most outstanding offensive player despite playing only six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Braxton Kelley (LaGrange, Ga.) earned the most outstanding defensive player after leading the Wildcats in tackles in 2008.
Lyons was the UK leading receiver with 33 catches in his six appearances and also averaged 12.4 yards on 20 punt returns. Dicky finished his career with 141 catches and 18 touchdowns. His reception total is fifth all-time at Kentucky. Kelley has notched 90 tackles this season and has started 41 games in his UK career.
Senior Garry Williams was honored as the team’s top offensive lineman for the 2008 season, currently carrying a mark of 38 starting assignments at left tackle. Williams also won the award in 2006.
Senior cornerback David Jones (Belfry HS) and junior center Jorge Gonzalez (Tampa, Fla.) shared the award as the squad’s most improved players. Jones was the Wildcats’ regular starter at cornerback this season after starting only twice in his previous three years in the program, finishing with a career-high 32 tackles this fall. Despite nagging injuries, Gonzalez played more than any member of the Wildcats’ offensive unit, logging 794 plays in the 12 contests.
Freshman receiver-quarterback Randall Cobb (Alcoa, Tenn.) was honored as Kentucky’s top first-year player. He accounted for 605 all-purpose yards and also threw for 542 yards and two scores. Cobb paced the Wildcats with nine touchdowns, including a team-best seven scores on the ground.
Kentucky’s honors for the most valuable players on the scout teams were presented to offensive lineman Trevino Woods (Athens, Ga.) and linebacker Will Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.), both first-year freshmen. Woods is expected to be a strong candidate at offensive tackle in 2009 and Johnson will work at linebacker and safety in preparation for next fall.