OK, so we have to deal with this B.S. preseason rankings. And let us just say that I speak for everyone here at Cat Basket that we are firmly against the BCS. So, since we have to deal with pre-season rankings and all of that other b.s. I think it's time we give away the 2007 season awards before the season begins. So, let's get this awards ceremony underway.
Most Improved Player:
Nate Byham. Okay, it's not that hard to imagine that last year's #1 ranked tight end recruit can go from barely playing to winning the job over a guy who really likes to salute the hometown crowd. As high flyer can attest, Big Nate Byham can perform up to the standards we all expected him to. Yeah yeah yeah, like every other WR/TE he will drop a pass now and again, but the dude can block and play physical. This guy will help ease the loss of Donkey Kong (a.k.a. Derek Kinder), and help provide a nice option to our favorite true freshman QB Pat Bostick.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Dom DiCicco.
Ok, I'm not even sure if Dom will step foot on the field this season as a special teams player. Hell, he could even end up starting at safety at some point. However, how many times to do you come across a 6'3 safety who likes to knock people off the ball like they said something bad against their momma. Dom is a player and while I don't think he will crack the lineup at safety behind Thatcher, the dude can flat out play and deserves a shot to prove himself.
Pitt Outland Trophy Winner: Jeff Otah.
Everyone was upset he had a few holding penalties early on in the season, but guess what? He is by far our best offensive lineman. The guy is huge and it is a shame he will only get to spend 2 seasons in a Panther uniform, but he will make life miserable for the DE's who have to go against him. Keep up the good work Jeff, Cat Basket loves you.
Most Beautiful Player Award: Dorin Dickerson.
Ok, we can admit it, we have a man crush on Dorin. He is a stacked, smooth, beautiful man who will strike fear into opposing players. Hey Steve Slaton, Tommie Campbell is gone and now Dorin is gonna be taking you down for a loss. If I had a most improved defensive player it would be Dorin as well. Thats pretty obvious given that the man almost scored on every possession he had last season. I am really looking forward to him lighting people up. Hey Ray Rice, watch out cuz #2 is gonna put you down.
Player to most likely injure an opponent: Eric Thatcher.
The guy just looks like someone I would never ever mess with. If you missed the 2006 season here is what happened. During the games Thatcher was healthy this was his philosophy: If you get near me you can catch the ball, but I do reserve the right to F you up once you plant your feet on the ground. I wouldn't want to be on the same bus, let alone the same field as this man. He is very tough and i'm glad he is a Panther.
Freshman of the Year: Shady McCoy.
If you disagree with me you are an idiot and should go root for WVU.
Player who won't start yet deserves to: Pat Bostick.
Wanny loves to play the guys who have experience.......Fine.....I understand that school of thought. However, Pat Bostick, despite his problems may be the finest QB to wear the Panther Uniform since *cough* #13 *cough*. Imagine this, 2008 Bostick being able to throw to Kinder, Turner, Wright, Byham, Shady, and even Henry.
Most likely to hurt someone on or off the field: Chris "Lumpy" Jacobsen.
I stood next to Lumpy last year at a basketball game. It is not normal for a 23 year old man to be physically afraid of a 17 year old. Lumpy is huge. Picture this scenario, late one night outside of Antoons, some drunk kid decides it would be a good idea to make fun of the size of Chris. Well, lets just say that we here at Cat Basket warned you. Be nice to Chris, he is a panther and reserves the right to mess you up. If you doubt this award, watch his video highlights of him destroying defensive linemen and taunting them........Chris, we have nothing but respect for you here at Cat Basket.
Offensive MVP: LeSean McCoy.
I know, its a homer pick. Too bad, Shady is the greatest player we have landed in quite a long time. He can hit the hole, he can break tackles, and he has that breakaway speed. It's a shame but the most famous #25 at pitt will be Shady. Mr. Revis, we will never for get you here at the Cat Basket, but Shady, this is your time.
Defensive MVP: Aaron Berry.
I was thinking of everyone on the team who should be considered for this. I could consider Gus given his success at the line. I could think of Dorin because I really think he will have a great season. Aaron gets the nod though because despite replacing Dorin, he is one hell of a CB and when teams think they can pass on him.....well have you ever heard the term Pick 6?
Lastly....TEAM MVP! Not exactly what you are expecting but it has to go to Buddy Morris.
He will have this team in shape. It is more than just having this team in shape, they will be faster and more motivated. If I ever got inspired to become more athletic I would have buddy make me run laps while wearing a pink shirt that said "I Work Out at Curves". The guy is jacked and expects his players to be. I have only met Buddy once, but the guy scares me. He will have this team whipped into shape and will be one of the reasons for the 2007 turn around.
My season predictions:
Record: 9-4 (8-4 regular season with a bowl win)
Defense: We finally will have a solid pass rush and the rushing D will improve.
Offense: WR U become RB U. McCoy, LSH, Collier, Brooks, and Hynosky is a great set of RBs to have and we may not have Donkey Kong but teams will get a healthy dose of the run game that they haven't seen since the Curtis Martin days here at pitt.
Hope you enjoyed it, if not.......oh well too bad.