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Nixon, Nolan, Guy winners at ASU Football Banquet

December 14, 2008

The Arizona State University football team held its annual Awards Banquet Sunday, December 14 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.

Senior quarterback Rudy Carpenter (Westlake, Calif.) was given ASU's Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year Award. Carpenter, who also won a Cecil Abono Team Captain Award, started all 12 games in 2008, giving him a streak of 43 consecutive starts over the last four seasons, and he became the school's all-time leader in pass completions with 799 in his career. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 2,493 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.

The 2008 Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Year was awarded to both junior linebacker Mike Nixon (Phoenix, Ariz.) and senior safety Troy Nolan (Los Angeles, Calif.). Nixon led the Sun Devils with 90 tackles and a Pac-10-leading five interceptions, while Nolan, who also won the Pat Tillman Award and a Cecil Abono Team Captain Award, collected 64 tackles and four interceptions while scoring three touchdowns on the season.

The 2008 Babe Alex Demon Special Teams Player of the Year Award was given to senior linebacker Anthony Reyes (Santa Clara, Calif.). Reyes played in all 12 games and recorded 19 tackles as part of the kickoff coverage unit this season.

The award for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman was given to senior guard Paul Fanaika (Milbrae, Calif.) and the award for Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman was presented to junior defensive end Dexter Davis (Phoenix, Ariz.). Fanaika anchored the offensive line in 2008, starting all 12 games to finish his Sun Devil career with 35 consecutive starts. Davis led the team with 11 sacks, his second straight year with double-digit sacks, and he also posted 40 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Nixon and Reyes were winners of the Clyde B. Smith Award for academic achievement in 2008. Nixon was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team and ESPN The Magazine All-Academic All-District-VIII First Team, while Reyes was a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, the award that is referred to as the "Academic Heisman."

Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (Las Vegas, Nev.) won the Bill Kajikawa Sun Devil Award, given to the year's most outstanding freshman. Guy started the last eight games of the season, recording 44 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks on the season, and he scored a touchdown on a fumble return in the team's victory over Washington State on Nov. 15.

Senior tight end Andrew Pettes (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned the Mike Bartholomew Most Improved Offensive Player Award, and the Gail Scott Most Improved Defensive Player Award was presented to Luis Vasquez (Gales Ferry, Conn.). Pettes had 21 catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns in his first season as a starter, while Vasquez had 35 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.

Freshman running back Giovannie Dixon (Reseda, Calif.) was the recipient of the 2008 McBurney Offensive Scout Team Award, while redshirt freshman linebacker Derrall Anderson (Tampa, Fla.) earned the Glen Hawkins Defensive Scout Team Award.

Senior tight end Wes Evans (Reno, Nev.) was awarded the Tim Landers Iron Man Award, given to the Sun Devil with exemplary work ethic in the weight room, on the field or in the community. Evans, who made the switch from defensive end to tight end this season, played in all 12 games and had five catches on the season.

The Frank Kush Award, given to the most outstanding donor of the year, was awarded to Rich and Barb Malone.