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Chase Claypool Named Monogram Club MVP

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior wide receiver Chase Claypool earned the 2019 University of Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player honor Friday at ECHOES | 19. Claypool rounded out the group of 21 student-athletes honored at the 10th annual ECHOES awards show. 

Claypool vaulted into 10th place all-time in Irish history for career touchdown catches by a wide receiver with 18. Claypool posted a career-high four touchdown receptions vs. Navy, tying for the most in a single game by an Irish receiver with Maurice Stovall (vs. BYU, 2005). Three of those receptions came in the first half, marking the first time an Irish player has scored three receiving touchdowns in a single half since at least 1950.

Claypool also passed the 2,000 career receiving yard plateau, currently totaling 2,013 career receiving yards.

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Quarterback Ian Book, the other half of the destructive tandem with Claypool, received the Offensive Player of the Year award. The 2018 MVP and a 2019 captain, Book became the first Notre Dame quarterback with 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season. He ranks second all-time in Irish history for touchdown passes in a season with 33. 

Book notched at least four touchdown passes in five games this season, the most all time in Irish history. He has now hit the four touchdown passes mark in six games in his career (one behind Notre Dame all-time leader Brady Quinn).

On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Khalid Kareem won the Echo for Defensive Player of the Year. Earning his first Echo honor, Kareem was named a captain this season and started all 12 games, Kareem posted 45 tackles and 5.5 sacks, as well as three forced fumbles and one recovery. Two of his forced fumbles came against Navy, contributing to a performance in which the Irish posted three forced fumbles and four recoveries. 

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A senior captain, Alohi Gilman earned his third career Echo, this one for Impact Player on Defense. Gilman totaled 66 tackles, including his first career sack, in 2019, and also posted an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

After tying the Notre Dame record for touchdown catches by a tight end in a season (six), junior Cole Kmet earned the Echo for Impact Player on Offense. Kmet also tied the program mark for catches by a tight end in a single game with nine at Georgia, and helped the Irish tight ends produce the highest number of touchdown receptions by the position group in a season in Notre Dame history (11). The previous highs came in 2013 and 1991, both with eight. 

Following in the veteran players’ footsteps, linebacker Drew White and safety Kyle Hamilton were named Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year. The first Echo award for them both, the two defensive staples made their mark with consistent performances punctuated by impressive plays. 

Hamilton’s four interceptions led the Irish defense, and he is one of only two true freshman in the FBS to reach the four-interception mark this season. 

White started 11 games this season, leading the Irish in tackles with 75 and adding two sacks and two fumble recoveries. 

Anchoring an offensive line that permitted just 1.25 sacks per game even through personnel changes, sophomore center Jarrett Patterson earned his first career Echo for Offensive Newcomer of the Year.

Senior Julian Okwara is taking home the Echo for the Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, presented by the Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. In his nine games played, Okwara, a captain, totaled four sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

Offensive Lineman of the Year was awarded to junior Robert Hainsey, his first career Echo. In 423 snaps over eight games played, Hainsey surrendered no sacks, just two quarterback hits and six quarterback hurries. 

After totaling four games with more than 100 rushing yards each, senior running back Tony Jones Jr. earned the Back of the Year Echo. In 2019, he posted 133 rushes for 722 yards and five touchdowns, including a career-high 176 rushing yards vs. Southern Cal. Over his career, Jones Jr. has totaled five 100-yard rushing games.

A staple on special teams, sophomore Bo Bauer was responsible for several special teams tackles to pin opponents deep in their own territory, setting the Notre Dame attack up for success. His on-field prowess earned him the Echo for Special Teams Player of the Year, his first career Echo.

Honoring a student-athlete who displays a strong work ethic and commitment to the team before self, Trevor Ruhland embodies the traits of the Humble and Hungry Award. After battling setbacks previously in his career, Ruhland stepped into a starting role on the offensive line this season, allowing just five pressures in his eight games played, good for his first career Echo.

Senior defensive lineman Jamir Jones earned the Next Man In Echo. Jones played in 10 games this season and started three games after injuries on the defensive line. He totaled 24 tackles and 4.5 sacks, as well as two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. 

Presented to a walk-on team member who has made a sustained impact on the field, Mick Assaf earned the WOPU (Walk-On Players Union) Player of the Year award. Assaf, who won the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year in 2018, saw action in all 12 games this season, totaling nine carries for 34 yards.

Given to the student-athlete who best demonstrates a yearlong commitment to pursuit of the traits in his preparation, graduate student Asmar Bilal earned the Father Lange Iron Cross Award. Bilal received the game ball for his on-field performance against Boston College and ranks second on the team in total tackles with 72. Bilal played in his 50th career game at Stanford, a mark only five other Notre Dame student-athletes have reached.

Graduate student Shaun Crawford earned his first Echo, taking home the Nick Pietrosante Award. The Pietrosante Award is given to the student-athlete who best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride in relation to his team. In 10 games played this season, Crawford posted 25 tackles and snagged an interception against New Mexico, the third of his career. Crawford was also named a nominee for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award.

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Named a captain this season, Chris Finke earned his second career Echo, taking home the Rockne Student-Athlete Award. Pursuing a graduate degree in business, Finke was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.

Senior captain Jalen Elliot earned his first Echo, taking home the Irish Around the Bend Award. Elliot demonstrated a commitment to service efforts and engagement in the local South Bend community. This season, Elliot played in his 50th game for the Irish, a mark only five other student-athletes have reached.

Quarterbacking the offensive scout team, Brendon Clark earned his first Echo for Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. Clark helped the Irish prepare each week to win against ranked offenses such as Virginia, Virginia Tech, Southern Cal and Navy. 

A dedicated member of the defensive scout team, freshman Isaiah Foskey helped the Irish offense prepare for opponents and finish with the 12th-ranked scoring offense. His blocked punt at Stanford helped Notre Dame to a third-consecutive 10-win season. This is Foskey’s first career Echo.

Award Winners

Irish Around the Bend – Jalen Elliot

Scout Team Player of the Year: Offense – Brendon Clark

Scout Team Player of the Year: Defense – Isaiah Foskey

WOPU Player of the Year — Mick Assaf

Newcomer of the Year: Offense – Jarrett Patterson

Father Lange Iron Cross – Asmar Bilal

Rockne Student-Athlete – Chris Finke

Pietrosante Award – Shaun Crawford

Moose Krause Lineman of the Year – Julian Okwara

Offensive Lineman of the Year – Robert Hainsey

Humble & Hungry Award — Trevor Ruhland

Special Teams Player of the Year – Bo Bauer

Impact Player on Defense — Alohi Gilman

Impact Player on Offense — Cole Kmet

Back of the Year — Tony Jones Jr.

Next Man In – Jamir Jones

Co-Newcomer of the Year: Defense – Drew White and Kyle Hamilton

Defensive Player of the Year – Khalid Kareem

Offensive Player of the Year – Ian Book

Most Valuable Player – Chase Claypool