FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona football team held their end of the year banquet on Sunday to close out the 2016 season. The Lumberjacks' season included a four-game win streak, three ROOT SPORTS Player of the Week honors, and a win over a top 10 team.
The Lumberjacks recorded a 5-6 overall record and 4-4 conference mark. NAU finished tied for second in sacks by (27) and sacks against (8).
Top honors of the season were handed out at the banquet with junior wide receiver Emmanuel Butler repeating as Offensive MVP. Senior defensive end Siupeli Anau was named the Defensive MVP, while freshman Taylor Powell earned Special Teams MVP accolades.
Offensive MVP – Junior Wide Receiver Emmanuel Butler
Butler had four 100-yard games, including finishing the season on a three-game 100-yard receiving streak. He grabbed 69 receptions – tied for sixth in NAU history and scored nine touchdowns – tied for seventh in school history. His 1,003 receiving yards made him the first two-time 1,000-yard receiver in school history, as he moved up to fifth all-time on the career chart.
Defensive MVP – Senior Defensive End Siupeli Anau
Anau led the Big Sky in sacks with 8.5 and was second in tackles for loss with 15. He finished the season with 55 total tackles, 30 of them coming unassisted. Anau added three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to complete his senior campaign.
Special Teams MVP – Freshman Linebacker Taylor Powell
Powell registered 11 solo tackles on special teams and three assisted stops. He had two kickoff tackles inside the 20-yard line. He recorded three fumble recoveries and blocked one punt.
Award - Winner
Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year - Jamison Pruitt
Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year - Tristen Vance
John G. Yost Memorial Award (Offensive Lineman of the Year) - Tyler Shank
Defensive Lineman of the Year - Siupeli Anau
Academic Excellence Award - Patrick Baldenegro
Comeback Player of the Year - Dylan LaFrenz
Newcomer of the Year – Khalil Dorsey
Offensive Most Inspirational Player of the Year (David Couture Award) - Blake Kemp
Defensive Most Inspirational Player of the Year (Stevon Thomas Award) – Xavier Stephens
Offensive Competitive Greatness Award (Lumberjack Award) - Elijah Marks
Defensive Competitive Greatness Award (Lumberjack Award) – Keith Graham
Offensive Battle Axe Award (Hardest Hitter) - Neal Murphy
Defensive Battle Axe Award (Hardest Hitter) – Jake Thomas
Offensive Most Improved Award (Michael DeGroote Award) – Joe Logan
Defensive Most Improved Player – LeAndre Vaughn
"Right Way…Everyday" Award (Character) - Blake Porter
Special Teams Player of the Year - Taylor Powell
Defensive Player of the Year – Siupeli Anau
Offensive Player of the Year - Emmanuel Butler