Dec. 8, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame senior offensive guard Quenton Nelson received the 2017 University of Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player honor tonight at ECHOES | 17 presented by Bank of America.
Nelson — the first offensive lineman to win MVP since guard Al Wujciak in 1975 and only the third in school history — was one of 17 players honored at the 97th Fighting Irish football awards show.
Nelson, an Outland Trophy finalist and Walter Camp First Team All-American, started all 12 games at left guard and ranks as the highest-rated offensive lineman in the country by Pro Football Focus (48.1) — next highest-rated lineman sits at 44.9. Nelson has far surpassed any other offensive guard in the country as well — next highest-rated guard sits at 39.0.
Nelson has not surrendered a sack or QB hit, and allowed just two QB hurries in 819 offensive snaps this season. In fact, over his career (2,336 snaps), Nelson has surrendered just two sacks, none in the last two years, and only two quarterback hits.
Nelson’s the highest-rated offensive guard in terms of run blocking in the country by Pro Football Focus (33.0) as well — next highest-rated run-blocking guard sits at 25.5.
Junior running back Josh Adams was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Adams ranked among the top 20 nationally in rushing yards per game (16th at 115.5), total rushing yards (13th at 1,386) and yards per rush (17th at 7.26). Always a threat to break the big one, Adams led the nation with seven runs of at least 60 yards this year. His 5.20 yards per carry after contact (total 994) led the nation according to Pro Football Focus. After rushing for 1,386 yards this season, Adams now stands at 3,154 for his three-year career, slotting him fifth all-time at Notre Dame.
On the other side of the ball, senior linebacker Nyles Morgan was named Defensive Player of the Year. The team captain capped his career by starting all 12 games while recording 83 total tackles (34 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, one forced fumble and six quarterback hurries
The Next Man In Award went to senior Andrew Trumbetti. He played in all 12 games and made one start. Trumbetti totaled 27 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, half a sack, one pass break-up and five quarterback hurries.
Senior linebacker Drue Tranquill was named the Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. Tranquill finished the season third on the team with 74 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception. In addition, the senior was a finalist for both the 2017 Weurffel and Pop Warner Trophies. Tranquill was named Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America for the third consecutive year thanks to a 3.74 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering.
The Nick Pietrosante Award, given to the student-athlete who best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride, was awarded to senior wide receiver Austin Webster. The first walk-on in Notre Dame history to be named a captain, Webster earned a scholarship earlier this season. He played in all 12 games, primarily on special teams, and registered 160 plays on special teams.
Junior defensive lineman Jerry Tillery won Lineman of the Year, presented by the Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Tillery started all 12 contests, recording 52 tackles, 8.5 for a loss and 4.0 sacks on the season. He led all Irish defensive lineman in tackles, TFLs, sacks and quarterback hurries (10).
Offensive Lineman of the Year was awarded to senior captain Mike McGlinchey. A two-time Notre Dame captain, McGlinchey started all 12 games at left tackle and ranks as the third highest-rated offensive lineman and second highest-rated tackle in the country by Pro Football Focus (43.3.).
McGlinchey has surrendered three sacks, two QB hits and nine QB hurries in 825 offensive snaps, as compared to the only offensive tackle ranked ahead of him (Cole Madison, Washington State) has allowed four QB sacks, two QB hits and 13 QB hurries. He’s the highest-rated offensive lineman in terms of run blocking in the country by Pro Football Focus (34.1) — next highest-rated run-blocking lineman is Nelson at 33.0 and next-best tackle is at 25.2.
Senior linebacker Greer Martini was named the Special Teams Player of the Year. The captain played in 11 games and started six contests. Martini finished fourth on the team with 70 tackles, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one interception. Martini was a key contributor on special teams. He registered 184 plays on special teams, second-most on the team, and recorded eight special teams tackles, which ranked fifth on the team. Martini was one of two players on the team with at least three tackles on both punt and kickoff return.
Newcomers of the Year went to junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush and senior defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner on offense and defense, respectively. Wimbush played in and started 11 games. He became the first QB in school history to rush for at least 700 yards and throw for at least 1,500 yards in the same season. Wimbush set the quarterback school record with 14 rushing TDs. He totaled 2,538 yards of total offense and 30 TDs. Wimbush was one of three Power 5 QBs with at least 14 rush TDs and 14 pass TDs. Bonner started all 12 games this season after starting just one over his first three years at Notre Dame. He totaled 27 tackles (third-most among defensive linemen), 2.0 sacks and 3.5 TFLs.
Freshman offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons (offense) and sophomore safety Alohi Gilman (defense) were named the Scout Team Players of the Year. Graduate tight end Durham Smythe won the Father Lange Irish Cross Award, senior tight end Nic Weishar was named the Irish Around the Bend Award winner for his community service efforts, junior linebacker Te’von Coney was named the Impact Player and junior linebacker Robert Regan earned Walk-on Player’s Union Player of the Year.
WOPU Player of the Year – Robert Regan
Impact Player – Te’von Coney
Scout Team Player of the Year: Offense – Dillan Gibbons
Scout Team Player of the Year: Defense – Alohi Gilman
Newcomer of the Year: Offense – Brandon Wimbush
Newcomer of the Year: Defense – Jonathan Bonner
Special Teams Player of the Year – Greer Martini
Offensive Lineman of the Year – Mike McGlinchey
Irish Around the Bend – Nic Weishar
Moose Krause Lineman of the Year – Jerry Tillery
Father Lange Iron Cross – Durham Smythe
Pietrosante Award – Austin Webster
Rockne Student-Athlete – Drue Tranquill
Offensive Player of the Year – Josh Adams
Defensive Player of the Year – Nyles Morgan
Next Man In – Andrew Trumbetti
Most Valuable Player – Quenton Nelson