Gerald Willis is big winner at 2018 Miami football awards show

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 13: Bryce Perkins #3 of the Virginia Cavaliers stiff arms Gerald Willis III #9 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half during a game at Scott Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 13: Bryce Perkins #3 of the Virginia Cavaliers stiff arms Gerald Willis III #9 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half during a game at Scott Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team held their 2018 Awards Show on Saturday night on Campus. The awards ranged from team and unit Most Valuable Players to more random awards like the tough guy award and the hardest hitter.

The Most Valuable Player for the Miami Football team in 2018 was not a big surprise. Defensive tackle Gerald Willis was one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the country this season. He finished 2018 with a team-leading for defensive linemen, 59 tackles, a team-leading 18 tackles for loss and four sacks.

You would expect that Willis would have been the most valuable player on defense. That’s not how the Hurricanes award their players. In 2017, Jaquan Johnson was the team MVP and former Miami defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh, the defensive MVP. Johnson was named the 2018 Defensive MVP for the Miami football team.

Johnson had an outstanding Senior season for the Hurricanes. He led Miami for the second straight season with 79 tackles and tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles. Johnson led Miami in tackles despite missing 2.5 games with a hamstring injury early in the season.

Travis Homer who leads Miami in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage for the second straight season was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Homer is 31 rushing yards from 1,000 yards this season and needs 44 combined receiving and rushing yards to eclipse his total yards from scrimmage in 2017.

Homer has 969 yards rushing with four touchdowns and 16 receptions for 172 yards this season. The Offensive MVP was one of four awards that Homer received on Saturday night. Homer was also awarded the Miami Touchdown Club R. Dale Melching Leadership Award, Victors Club and 2018 Captain’s Award.

This was the second straight season that Homer earned the Victors Club. He was also named to University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Unsung Hero Award and the U Tough Award in 2017.

The Special Teams MVP this season is DeeJay Dallas. The Sophomore did everything for Todd Hartley’s special teams. Dallas returned 14 kickoffs for 313 yards, nine punts for 155 yards and a touchdown and added three tackles. Dallas also added 609 rushing yards and a team-leading six touchdowns and 10 receptions for 85 yards.

Some of the more notable awards that players received included Offensive Newcomers of the Year to tight end Brevin Jordan, and offensive lineman DJ Scaife, Jr., Defensive Newcomer of the Year, defensive lineman Tito Odenigbo and Special Teams Newcomer of the Year, defensive back Al Blades, Jr.

Jordan had an exceptional Freshman season. He was second on Miami with 30 receptions and four receiving touchdowns and third with 275 receiving yards.

Scaife started the last six games

of the season for Miami at right tackle. With Tyree St. Louis graduating, Scaife could be in the mix to start at left tackle in 2019.

Odenigbo joined the Miami football team as a Graduate Transfer for the 2018 season. He was a key member of the rotation on the defensive line this season. Odenigbo has 20 tackles and three TFLs this season. Blades is a key member of the Miami Special Teams. Blades has 12 tackles and one TFL in 2019.

The rest of the 2018 Miami Football Award winners are below.

"Mariutto Family Scholar-Athlete Award – WR Elias Lugo-FagundoScout Team Player of the Year – WR Marshall Few (offense), DB James Murphy (defense), LB Colvin Alford (special teams)Strength Training Athlete of the Year – RB Trayone Gray (offense), DL Pat Bethel (defense), DL Gerald Willis III(defense)Training Room Comeback Player of the Year – LB Demetrius JacksonWalt Kichefski Hurricane Award – WR Dee Wiggins, DL Pat BethelCommunity Service Man of the Year Award – DL Demetrius Jackson, DB Jaquan JohnsonAlbert Bentley Most Valuable Walk-On – DB James Murphy (defense), P Jack Spicer (special teams)Kelly UTough Award – OL Tyler Gauthier (offense), DL Joe Jackson (defense)Nick Chickillo Most Improved Player – QB N’Kosi Perry (offense), DB Romeo Finley (defense), DB Jhavonte Dean (special teams)University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Unsung Hero Award – WR Mike Harley (offense), DB Sheldrick Redwine(defense), LS Jordan Butler (special teams)Miami Touchdown Club R. Dale Melching Leadership Award – RB Travis Homer (offense), LB Zach McCloud (defense), LB Shaquille Quarterman (defense)Christopher Plumer Memorial Award (Leadership, Motivation, Spirit) – RB DeeJay Dallas, LB Michael PinckneyHard Hitter Award – OL Navaughn Donaldson (offense), LB Zach McCloud (defense)Victors Club – DB Trajan Bandy, DB Romeo Finley, DL Jonathan Garvin, OL Tyler Gauthier, RB Travis Homer, DL Joe Jackson, DB Jaquan Johnson, LB Zach McCloud, LB Michael Pinckney, LB Shaquille Quarterman, DB Sheldrick Redwine, DL Gerald Willis III2018 Captains’ Awards – RB Travis Homer, DL Gerald Willis III, LB Shaquille Quarterman, DB James Murphy, DB Jaquan Johnson"

The player to be pointed out among the other award winners is Senior defensive lineman Demetrius Jackson. Jackson does a lot of community service in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. This includes handing out Turkey for Thanksgiving.

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Among the dignitaries who assisted Jackson during deliveries of the Turkeys to Overtown were Miami Athletic Director Blake James, many of Jackson’s teammates, Miami Hurricanes’ Play-by-Play announcer Joe Zagacki and Canes’ radio football analyst and Zagacki’s radio’s partner Don Bailey Jr.