With the regular season in the books, the Wisconsin Badgers hosted their annual senior team banquet on Friday to honor the play on the field before turning to bowl season.
Players, their families, and the coaching staff gathered together to reflect on the 2018 season and recognize the efforts of individuals in the program.
There were a multitude of awards given out, ranging from Team MVP and Rookie of the Year all the way to Manager of the Year. After his Doak Walker Award win just days earlier, Jonathan Taylor unsurprisingly was given the team’s MVP award. Tight end Jake Ferguson was named Rookie of the Year on the offense while Matt Henningsen took home the honor for the defense.
Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year were also given out, with the big men up front getting their recognition on the offense as Beau Benzchawel and Michael Deiter split the honors after an incredible season of opening holes for Taylor en route to his award. The defense also split the award as linebackers T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly received the co-honors. Both players set new career highs for tackles, which is no small task considering the success they had in 2017.
The Badgers also honored efforts in the classroom and weight room, as multiple players earned awards for their work in preparation. Evan Bondoc claimed the Ivan WIlliamson Scholastic Award. Taiwan Deal was recognized for his work to get back to being a key piece for the team and was given the Comeback Player of the Year award. D’Cota Dixon brought home the Badger Power Award for his abilities in the weight room, which should come as a surprise to nobody if you saw this earlier in the season:
We wouldn’t be doing this right if we didn’t mention the unsung hero at fullback that continues to make #FullbackCity proud. Senior Alec Ingold took home the Offensive Impact Player of the Year Award, while Andrew Van Ginkel won it on the defensive side. Let’s not forget about special teams, either, as Chris Orr was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Rafael Gaglianone was named the Special Teams Impact Player of the Year, which has to make our own Drew Hamm very proud.