Jamison Crowder named 2013 Duke football MVP

Jan. 17, 2014 @ 10:23 PM

In a Duke season like no other, Jamison Crowder turned in a pass-catching season like the Blue Devils had never seen.

That’s why on Friday night, when the team gathered at the Washington Duke Inn to celebrate the school’s first 10-win football season, Crowder was named team most valuable player.

Crowder established new school records with 108 pass receptions for 1,330 receiving yards. In doing so, he became the first player in ACC history to catch more than 100 passes in a season.

His play helped Duke amass a 10-4 record, including a 6-2 mark in ACC play that delivered the program its first ACC Coastal Division championship.

“When I first got here, going 3-9,” Crowder said, “then last year going 6-7. This year winning 10 games. Just having that relationship with my teammates and coaches, them trusting me, my teammates trusting me to get me the ball and make plays. It means a lot because without them I know I wouldn’t have won the MVP award.”

As a junior, Crowder had the opportunity to leave school early and pursue an NFL career. But, even before Duke played Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31, the Monroe native decided he would be coming back to get his degree and finish his Duke career.

A constant theme during Friday’s night team banquet was for the returning players, like Crowder, to continue all the work the 2013 seniors did in building Duke’s program to relevance.

Crowder plans on being a big part of even more success this fall.

“That’s always the goal is to get better,” Crowder said. “We had a great season this year. Right now, we’ve been back working this whole week. Right now everybody’s focus is to do better than we did this past season. To do better would be a tremendous step and that’s everyone’s goal right now.”

Crowder had 1,832 all-purpose yards and also scored 11 touchdowns – eight touchdown catches, two punt returns for touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.

He was named a second team all-American and first team all-ACC.

In addition to team MVP, he won the Clarkston Hines Award as Duke’s top wide receiver.

Other award winners included senior defensive end Kenny Anunike (Mike McGee Award – most outstanding defensive lineman), junior quarterback Anthony Boone (Bob Pascal Award – top offensive back, Steve Brooks Captain Award), junior linebacker Kelby Brown (Vincent Rey Award – top linebacker),sophomore safety Jeremy Cash (K.D. Kennedy Iron Devil Award -- most snaps played), senior cornerback Ross Cockrell (Willis Aldridge Award – top defensive back, Steve Brooks Captain Award), junior quarterback Brandon Connette (Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award), senior defensive lineman Justin Foxx (Frances Cutcliffe Spirit of Perseverance Award, Steve Brooks Captain Award), senior offensive guard Dave Harding (Ace Parker Award, Steve Brooks Captain Award), Chris Holmes (Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award), Sterling Korona (Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award), Shaquille Powell (Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award), Perry Simmons (Dan “Tiger” Hill Award – top offensive lineman), Juwan Thompson (Bill Keziah Award – top special teams player, Steve Brooks Captain Award), A.J. Wolf (Mike Suglia Award – top second-year player and citizen) and Carlos Wray (Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award).

The 10-4 season was Duke’s first winning season since 1994 and the Blue Devils have played in bowl games in back-to-back seasons first the first time in program history.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe won the ACC coach of the year award for the second consecutive year and was named national coach of the year by five different organizations.

“We are charged to leave a place better than we found it,” Cutcliffe said during his remarks. “I want to say this to the seniors. I am better because you came here. So if I’m going to stay here, which I am, that means this place is better than when you found it.”

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Anunike, a redshirt senior defensive end from Galena, Ohio, garnered the Mike McGee Award as the team’s most outstanding defensive lineman.  An All-ACC pick, Anunike led the Blue Devils in both tackles for loss (13.5) and quarterback sacks (6.0).
 
Boone, a redshirt junior quarterback from Weddington, N.C., received the Bob Pascal Award as Duke’s top offensive back after directing a Blue Devil offense that ranked among the ACC’s leaders in both total offense (4th) and scoring offense (5th).  On the year, he completed 206-of-322 (.640) passes for 2,260 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while rushing for an additional 214 yards and five touchdowns.
 
Brown, a redshirt junior linebacker from Matthews, N.C., was named the recipient of the Vincent Rey Award as the squad’s most outstanding linebacker.  Brown compiled season totals of 114 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a team-leading eight QB pressures en route to earning first team All-ACC honors.
 
Cash, a redshirt sophomore safety from Miami, Fla., earned the K.D. Kennedy Iron Devil Award for playing the most snaps of any Blue Devil (1,120) during the season.  Cash, who earned first team All-ACC and second team All-America accolades, finished the year with 121 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions.
 
Cockrell, a redshirt senior cornerback from Warsaw, N.C., was a team captain and also received the Willis Aldridge Award as the team’s top defensive back.  A first team All-ACC pick for the second straight season, Cockrell spearheaded Duke’s secondary with 46 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions and 13 pass breakups.
 
Connette, a redshirt junior quarterback from Corona, Calif., was the recipient of the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award which is presented annually to the member of the Duke football program who displays the highest teammate qualities such as inspiration, unselfishness and commitment to the team. Micah Harris was tragically killed in an automobile accident in June of 2004, just prior to his senior year at Duke.  In 2013, Connette completed 90-of-145 (.621) passes for 1,212 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for 337 yards and 14 touchdowns.  In addition to posting the fifth-highest single-season point total (84), he established a new school single-season record for touchdown responsibility (27), breaking the previous mark of 26 set by Anthony Dilweg in 1988.
 
Foxx, a redshirt senior defensive end from Charlotte, N.C., garnered the Frances Cutcliffe Spirit of Perseverance Award which is presented annually to the player that best displays the toughness and perseverance to overcome challenges and continue to strive for victory.  Foxx, who also served as a team captain, carded 2013 season totals of 54 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 quarterback sacks.
 
Harding, a redshirt senior offensive guard from Orlando, Fla., was honored with the Ace Parker Award which is presented annually to an individual who displays unparalleled commitment to the team and overcomes adversity to contribute.  Parker, one of 12 former Duke players and coaches to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame, was a two-time All-America pick in 1935 and 1936. Following his successful NFL career, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.  Also a team captain, Harding started all 14 games for the Blue Devils in 2013 and was named to the AFCA Good Works Team for his dedicated community service work.
 
The Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award is presented annually to one offensive player, one defensive player and one player in the developmental program for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning.  These players best exemplify the strength staff’s expectations with their daily effort, commitment, pride, toughness, and discipline.  This year, two freshmen -- Holmes, a freshman safety from Fredericksburg, Va., and Korona, a freshman offensive lineman from San Antonio, Texas -- were honored along with Powell, a sophomore running back from Las Vegas, Nev., and Wray, a sophomore defensive tackle from Shelby, N.C.
 
Simmons, a redshirt senior offensive tackle from Raleigh, N.C., garnered the Dan “Tiger” Hill Award as Duke’s top offensive lineman.  A two-time All-ACC pick and two-time Academic All-America selection, Simmons started 50 consecutive games for the Blue Devils before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game against Florida State.  In 2013, he also received the Jack Tatum Award as the top senior football-playing student-athlete in the ACC in addition to being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.
 
Thompson, a redshirt senior running back from Fairburn, Ga., received the Bill Keziah Award as the team’s most outstanding special teams performer after leading Duke with 10 special teams tackles in 2013.  He also added an onside kick recovery against Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  Thompson, who also served as a team captain, finished his career with 1,244 rushing yards while catching 56 passes for an additional 397 yards.
 
Wolf, a redshirt freshman from Greenwich, Conn., received the Mike Suglia Award which is presented annually to the second-year member of the Duke football program who best exemplifies the qualities of the late Mike Suglia. Suglia was an offensive lineman at Duke in 1976-77 who died suddenly during the spring of his sophomore year. He was an excellent student, an outstanding football player, and, most importantly, a young man of the highest integrity.