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Football: Thomas honored at football banquet

Daily Advertiser, Feb. 23, 2014

The honors and recognition just kept pouring on for the 2013 UL Ragin’ Cajun football team with the program’s annual football banquet held Saturday evening at the Cajundome Convention Center.

While many members of the program’s third straight New Orleans Bowl championship team received special awards, the evening was highlighted by the first Orlando Thomas Courage Award, which was presented to the award’s namesake and accepted for the Thomas family by Lewis Cook.

Thomas played for Cook on Crowley High’s 1989 state championship team, was a star safety at UL when Cook served as offensive coordinator and was drafted in the second round by Minnesota in 1995. Thomas played with the Vikings from 1995 to 2001, leading the NFL in interceptions with nine in 1995 when he was voted as an All-Pro selection.

In 2007, Thomas was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

That was just the beginning of a night of honors.

Nick Barnfield won the Hardy Edmiston Award, honoring sportsmanship and how it translates into life after football.

Tight end Jacob Maxwell received the Robert Trahan Award for delivering big for the program in the clutch.

The Offensive MVPs, presented by Jake Delhomme, were quarterback Terrance Broadway and center Andre Huval.

The Defensive MVPs, presented by Bill Bentley, were linebacker Justin Anderson and tackle Justin Hamilton.

The Special Teams MVPs, presented by Brian Mitchell, were return man Darryl Surgent and deep snapper John Broussard.

Other awards presented Saturday were:

Academic Excellence – Boris Anyama (3.87); Jacob Beasley (4.0).

Gridiron Alumni – Ian Thompson.

Big Hit Award – Dominique Tovell (vs. Georgia State).

Developmental – Lance Pace (offense), Demarcus Watts (defense), Ross Duhon (special teams).

Newcomer – Elijah McGuire (offense), Corey Trim (defense).

Offseason Training – Hunter Thibodeaux, Brandon Nash.

Position awards – Christian Ringo (def. line), Dominique Tovell (linebacker), Trevence Patt (def. backs), Daniel Quave (off. line), Alonzo Harris (off. skill), Hunter Stover (specialist), Zack Bourque (special teams tackling).

Captains – Andre Huval, Darryl Surgent (offense); Justin Anderson, Rodney Gillis (defense).