Nā Koa Football Banquet Honors 2012 Warriors
HONOLULU – (Hawaii Athletics) University of Hawai'i football head coach Norm Chow announced the 2012 award winners at the annual Nā Koa Awards Banquet, Sunday, at the UH grass practice field. In a break from tradition, the dinner was held on-campus under a large white tent with a luau-themed reception.
Defensive back and kickoff returner Mike Edwards was the recipient of the Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player Award. The junior from Cleveland, Ohio was among the nation's leaders in kickoff return average (30.4) and passes defended (17) and is one of the favorites for the Mountain West's Special Teams Player of the Year award. Earlier this season, he set school single-season and career records with three kickoff returns for touchdown and ended the season with interceptions in the final two games.
Offensive player of the year honors went to true freshman center Ben Clarke, who started all 12 games. The Littleton, Colo., native helped to anchor the line and finished the season with 12 pancake tackles and allowed only two sacks. He was one of two true freshmen nationally to start the season at center.
Fourth-year defensive linemen Paipai Falemalu and Haku Correa shared defensive player of the year honors. Falemalu, of Hau'ula, O'ahu, tied for the team-lead with 56 tackles, including 10.0 for loss. He also had five sacks and two fumbles recovered. Correa, of Honolulu, led all defensive tackles with 37 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
For the second time in is career, long snapper Luke Ingram received the special teams player of the year award. The Mililani, O'ahu native played and started all 52 games of his career – including every snap – and did not have a bad snap that resulted in a miss or blocked kick.
The Scout Team Award winners were quarterback Taylor Graham, offensive lineman Hunter Hallowed, and defensive backs Brian Clay and Joshua Donovan.
The Warriors concluded the 2012 season on Saturday with a 23-7 win over South Alabama to finish Chow's inaugural season at 3-9.
2012 Award Winners
Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player Award: Mike Edwards
Offensive Player of the Year: Ben Clarke
Defensive Players of the Year: Haku Correa and Paipai Falemalu
Special Teams Player of the Year: Luke Ingram
Scout Team Awards: Taylor Graham (offense), Hunter Hollowed (offense), Brian Clay (defense), Joshua Donovan (defense)