Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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20 JANUARY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY COREY BODDEN S enior offensive lineman Quen- ton Nelson claimed Most Valu- able Player honors Dec. 8 at Echoes 2017 — Notre Dame's end-of-season awards banquet. Nelson became the first offensive lineman to be named team MVP since fellow guard Al Wujciak in 1975 and just the third offensive lineman in school history to earn the honor. In 12 starts this season, Nelson did not allow a sack or a quarterback hit, per the Notre Dame press release, following the event. Nelson won the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year award last season. Pro Football Focus ranked Nelson as the top offensive lineman overall and the top run blocker regardless of position during the 2017 season. Nelson will now take his talents to the professional level and is a pro- jected first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The dominant figure has landed on multiple All-America teams, including those done by the Associated Press, Pro Football Fo- cus, Sports Illustrated and the Walter Camp Foundation. "There's so many memories that can be made with Sam Mustipher, Alex Bars and all my teammates on the offensive line," Nelson said after the event. "To be coached another year by Coach [Harry] Hiestand is very invaluable, but I feel like the op- portunity is too great to come back. "It's a really hard decision. If I knew I'd be in the same position next year, regarding injury and ev- erything, I'd definitely come back. I don't, so I think I'm ready for the next level." Former Irish great and NFL Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis hosted the show with various Irish coaches and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick presenting the 17 different awards. After rushing for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns this season, junior ECHOES OF 2017 Quenton Nelson wins MVP honors at Notre Dame's end-of-season awards banquet AWARD WINNERS WOPU (Walk-on) Player of the Year: Junior linebacker Rob- ert Regan Impact Player: Junior line- backer Te'von Coney Scout Team Player of the Year (Offense): Freshman offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons Scout Team Player of the Year (Defense): Sophomore safety Alohi Gilman Newcomer of the Year (Of- fense): Junior quarterback Bran- don Wimbush Newcomer of the Year (De- fense): Senior defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner Special Teams Player of the Year: Senior linebacker Greer Martini Offensive Lineman of the Year: Senior offensive tackle Mike Mc- Glinchey Irish Around the Bend (com- munity service): Senior tight end Nic Weishar Moose Krause Lineman of the Year: Junior defensive lineman Jerry Tillery Father Lange Iron Cross (best in the weight room): Fifth-year senior tight end Durham Smythe Pietrosante Award (given to player who best shows courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride): Senior wide receiver Austin Webster Rockne Student-Athlete: Se- nior rover Drue Tranquill Offensive Player of the Year: Junior running back Josh Adams Defensive Player of the Year: Senior linebacker Nyles Morgan Next Man In: Senior defensive lineman Andrew Trumbetti Most Valuable Player: Senior offensive lineman Quenton Nelson Nelson is just the third offensive lineman in Notre Dame history to be named the team's Most Valuable Player. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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