Nov. 28, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, junior defensive tackle Kawann Short and senior linebacker Chris Carlino were named Most Valuable Players for the 2011 football team, it was announced this evening at the 91st-annual Purdue-Kiwanis Football Banquet at the Purdue Memorial Union.
Kelly, from Chicago Heights, Ill., was feted with MVP honors for a second consecutive season. Led by Kelly's blocking, Purdue rushed for over 100 yards in 10 of 12 games in 2011, including 393 yards and school-record-tying seven touchdowns against Southeast Missouri and 292 yards and a pair of scores last Saturday against Indiana. The Boilers' 4.4 yards per rush in 2011 is tied for the sixth-best in school history. Kelly's 36 consecutive starts over the last three seasons are the most for any Boilermaker on the offensive side of the ball.
Short, from East Chicago, Ind., finished the regular season with his most productive year as a Boilermaker with career-highs in total tackles (53), tackles for loss (17.0-53 yards) and sacks (6.5-31). He also blocked a pair of kicks, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and broke up a pass this season. Short finished the regular season ranked tied for 13th nationally and tied for third in the Big Ten in tackles for loss and tied for sixth in the conference in sacks. He was twice named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, first for recording six tackles, five solo, with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in an upset of undefeated and 23rd-ranked Illinois on Oct. 24, and again on Nov. 14 after finishing with a career-high three sacks for nine yards lost and six total stops on the day, including four solo tackles, in a 26-23 overtime win over Ohio State. Short was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Buckeyes.
Carlino, from Fishers, Ind., was Purdue's top special teams player for a second consecutive season. The tempo setter for the coverage units in 2011, Carlino finished the regular season with 25 tackles, including 14 solo stops, and one for a loss. Highlighted by his outstanding play, Purdue's punt team finished the regular season third in the Big Ten with a 38.1 net average and a 1.9 opponent return average.
Junior center Rick Schmeig and junior linebacker Dwayne Beckford received Most Improved Player awards.
Other awards presented were the Verle H. Campbell Scout Team awards to freshman wide receiver Dolapo Macarthy and true freshman cornerback Frankie Williams, the Noble E. Kizer Award (top grade-point average for the past two semesters) went to senior linebacker Joe Holland, the Guy "Red" Mackey Award (exemplifying the overall success of the university's intercollegiate athletics programs) to senior linebacker Chris Carlino, and the Leonard Wilson Award (unselfishness and dedication) to senior safety Logan Link. Senior wide receiver Kurt Lichtenberg received the Kiwanis Citizenship Award.
In addition, the Pop Doan awards (for the top performances against Indiana) were presented to senior fullback Jared Crank (offense), junior cornerback Josh Johnson (defense) and Wiggs (special teams).