Annual Honors Distributed Following Conclusion Of Spring Drills

Tom Schneider
Redshirt freshman quarterback Tom Schneider was presented the offense's Newcomer Award for his efforts during spring practice, which included throwing for three touchdowns in the annual Crimson & Gold Spring Game

Ferris State University football head coach Jeff Pierce has announced the 2008 Bulldog football team's spring award winners upon the conclusion of the team's annual spring drills.

This spring represents the second time that the FSU spring football awards have been issued following the inaugural awards last year (2007). The honors will continue to be awarded on an annual basis and serve for recognition purposes only as no trophies or plaques are to be distributed to the recipients at this time.

Ferris State held its annual Crimson and Gold Spring Game on April 25 at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The visiting team posted a 49-14 win over the home team in a controlled format.

Sophomore offensive lineman Scott Shattuck (Lowell/Ionia) and junior cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson) were named the recipients of the Most Improved Player for showing the most improvement in spring practice from the previous season. Shattuck made a position move to center midway through spring drills while Williams was honored for becoming more physical as a corner, according to FSU defensive coordinator Duane Wilson.

The Bulldog Award went to junior offensive tackle Brad Bammert (Flushing) on offense and senior outside linebacker Matt Mausolf (Harbor Beach) on defense. The Bulldog Award is presented to both an offensive and defensive player who exemplifies and sustains tenacity along with intense play throughout spring ball. Mausolf played primarily with the top defense in spring practice and improved his ability to make plays on the edge. FSU offensive coordinator Matt McCarthy said Bammert emerged as a leader this spring and "brought a physical presence to the line of scrimmage".

The Newcomer Award, which is given to both an offensive and defensive player in their first year who makes the most progress in spring practice, was handed out to redshirt freshman quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) and redshirt frosh defensive end Wayne Pritchett (Detroit/Martin Luther King). Schneider tossed three touchdown passes in the spring game. Meanwhile, Pritchett's improved performance in the spring should help provide valuable depth up front this fall.

Sophomore slot back Tim Hogue (Dearborn/Inkster) along with junior defensive lineman Kory Deering (Grand Rapids/West Catholic) were named the winners of the Crimson and Gold Spring Game Players Award. The award honors both an offensive and defensive player who were selected as the most outstanding players in the annual spring gridiron contest. Deering played most of the contest and finished with three tackles for loss along with two quarterback sacks. Hogue had an explosive spring game with two touchdowns, including a game-opening 74-yard scoring reception.

The Winter Top Dog Award, based on improvement in the team's winter semester strength and conditioning program, was presented to senior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville). The returning All-American was the squad's strongest performer in all three of the team's primary lifts (bench, squat, power clean) while also improving or maintaining his performance in the speed events during winter testing.

Ferris State will kickoff its 100th season of varsity competition Saturday, Aug. 30, against the Tiffin (Ohio) Dragons in a 2:30 p.m. (EDT) non-conference contest at Tiffin, Ohio. The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action the following Saturday, Sept. 6, on the road at 1 p.m. (EDT) versus the Ashland Eagles in Ashland, Ohio. FSU's home opener is slated for Saturday, Sept. 13, against the Findlay Oilers with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

The Bulldogs posted a 6-5 overall record on the field during the 2007 campaign, which represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under Pierce and marks the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. However, the record was recently changed to 7-4 overall in the GLIAC standings, reflecting Saginaw Valley State's decision to forfeit four games this campaign. FSU placed tied for fourth in the conference as the school's final league record was 6-4 following the earned forfeit.

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