April 22, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Georgetown University football program held its annual spring game this past weekend and honored its graduating seniors and award winners at a luncheon prior to the game. Head Coach Kevin Kelly also announced the team's captains for the 2009 season and the recipient of the prestigious No. 35 jersey.
A series of team awards were presented by Kelly and the coaching staff at the banquet. Senior Anthony DiTommaso (Short Hills, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) was the recipient of the Strength & Conditioning Award, while classmate Nick Umar (Belle Mead, N.J./Montgomery) was named the team's Special Teams Player of the Year.
Sophomore Keerome Lawrence (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) was the recipient of the John J. Haggerty Award for Outstanding Back. Lawrence, a quarterback, completed 56-of-103 passes for 481 yards and three touchdowns, but also carried the ball a team-high 119 times for 392 yards and three scores.
Senior Collin Meador (Lyndhurst, Ohio/St. Ignatius Prep) was the recipient of the George A. Murtaugh Award for Outstanding Lineman. Meador spent his first three years with the Hoyas as one of the anchors on the offensive line before moving to tight end as a senior.
Senior Brent Tomlinson (Hoffman Estates, Ill./St. Viator) was the honoree for the Mush Dudofsky Award for Outstanding Student-Athlete. Tomlinson, a wide receiver, carries a 3.86 grade-point average in finance. The senior was one of the founding members of Hoyas for Christ, an ecumenical Christian group consisting of student-athletes from almost every athletic team at Georgetown. He is fourth on the team in receptions (14) and third in yardage (146).
Senior Travis Zorrilla (Lynn, Mass./St. John's Prep) was the recipient of the John D. Burke Award for Outstanding Courage and Spirit, while seniors Dean Duchak (Mahwah, N.J./St. Joseph's) and Tom Amaro (Shreveport, La./Loyola College Prep) were the co-winners of the Jeremiah Minihan Coaches Award.
Senior Ataefiok Etukeren (Phoenix, Ariz./The Lawrenceville School [N.J.]) was named the recipient of the Al Blozis Award for Most Valuable Player. The 6-3, 240-pound defensive lineman built a solid resume in his final year on the Hilltop, finishing second in the Patriot League in tackles for loss (13), tying for fifth in sacks (4.5) and fourth on the Hoyas with 61 tackles. In the classroom, Etukeren was also named to the 2008 ESPN the Magazine All-District 2 First Team, carrying a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average in operations management, with minors in marketing and theology.
Other honorees on the final day of spring ball included sophomore offensive lineman Dan Semler (Annandale, Va./W.T. Woodson) and junior linebacker Patrick O'Donnell (Media, Pa./Penncrest), who were the recipients of the Robert Paul Dahut Award for Most Improved Player of the spring.
The football staff also announced Georgetown's captains for the 2009 season, with two players earning the nod on the offensive side, and three defensive players tabbed. Junior offensive lineman Dan Matheny (Fairfax, Va./St. Paul VI) and classmate and fellow lineman Richard Hussey (North Arlington, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) were chosen on the offensive side, while the defensive captains are junior lineman Chudi Obianwu (Southampton, N.J./Bishop Eustace), sophomore linebacker Nick Parrish (Irving, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) and junior defensive back Chris Rau (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake).
One of the highlights of the day was the presentation of the prestigious No. 35 Joe Eacobacci Memorial Jersey, which is given annually to the most exemplary member of the team in honor of a former player killed on Sept. 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Kelly, along with Associate Head Coach Rob Sgarlata, Joe's brother, Tom Eacobacci, and this year's recipient, Umar, presented the 2009 jersey to junior slotback Robert Lane (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley). Lane has been a key fixture on the offensive side for the Hoyas since his arrival on campus. He missed most of last season after breaking his jaw in the second game of the season.