The Nebraska football team celebrated its 2008 season on Sunday evening at its annual banquet, held at the Embassy Suites in Downtown Lincoln. Nearly 500 people attended the banquet, which included the awarding of several team awards and the announcement of the 2008 season captains.
Quarterback Joe Ganz was the most honored Husker on Sunday evening. The senior from Palos Heights, Ill., has set Nebraska records for season passing yards and season total offense in 2008. He was named the Team MVP, along with winning the Tom Novak Trophy and the Bobby Reynolds Award. Ganz was also one of four Husker seniors who were chosen as season captains.
The Huskers elected game captains each week, before determining season-long captains after the regular season. While Ganz was chosen as the offensive captain, defensive tackle Ty Steinkuhler and defensive end Zach Potter were elected as defensive captains and wide receiver/punt returner Nate Swift was elected as Nebraska's special teams captain.
Swift, Nebraska's all-time leading receiver, joined Ganz as the most honored Huskers on Sunday evening. Swift was named the Offensive MVP and also picked up the Guy Chamberlin Trophy. The Novak and Chamberlin Awards were chosen by a vote of media who regularly cover Nebraska throughout the season.
Those two award winners, along with the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award will again be celebrated at Outland Trophy banquet in Omaha on Jan. 15. Senior receiver Todd Peterson was named the winner of the Native Son Award, presented annually to a homegrown Husker senior.
Junior nose tackle Ndamukong Suh was chosen as the Defensive MVP for the 2008 Huskers. A first-team All-Big 12 pick, Suh leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions and sacks. Sophomore place-kicker Alex Henery was also a multiple award winner on Sunday night. Henery was chosen as the Huskers Special Teams MVP after connecting on 14-of-17 field goals this season, and the Omaha native was also honored as the 2008 Walk-on MVP.
Other honorees included Suh and senior offensive guard Matt Slauson sharing the 2008 Lifter of the Year Award. Four of Nebraska's top practice performers were also honored. Offensive lineman Derek Meyer and receiver Tim Marlowe were the Offensive Scout Team MVPs for 2008, while linebacker Alonzo Whaley and defensive back Courtney Osborne were the Defensive Scout Team MVPs.
Season Captains: Joe Ganz, Nate Swift, Zach Potter, Ty Steinkuhler
Team MVP: Joe Ganz, QB Offensive MVP: Nate Swift, WR Defensive MVP: Ndamukong Suh, NT Special Teams MVP: Alex Henery, PK
Walk-on MVP: Alex Henery, PK Scout Team Offensive MVPs: Derek Meyer, OL; Tim Marlowe, WR Scout Team Defensive MVPs: Alonzo Whaley, LB; Courtney Osborne, DB
Novak Trophy: Joe Ganz, QB Chamberlin Trophy: Nate Swift, WR Cletus Fischer Native Son Award: Todd Peterson, WR Bobby Reynolds Award: Joe Ganz, QB Lifters of the Year: Matt Slauson, OG; Ndamukong Suh, NT