The 2009 Subway Domer Awards

rudolph9The ballots are in, and it is time to announce the winners of this years Subway Domer Awards. Last years awards were the first, and already there has been a slight change to the format. Another trophy / category was added; QB. As presumptuous as it is most years, the top QB should still be honored as much as the top players from the other position groupings.

Before I list of the winners, I need to disclose of a small error in the procedure. Each trophy has a kind of meaning attached to it. It is explained in the post as to what each award represents. I did not explain this fully in the ballot post. At any rate, it should still be a very accurate listing that you, the fans, have actually created.

Also, I would like to thank all of those fans for voting for this years winners of The Subway Domer Awards. A special thanks goes out to the owners and members of Domer Domain, NDNation, and NDLNA.

We begin…

mantiThe Darius Walker Trophy.
The Darius Walker Trophy goes to the ND freshman that, like Walker in 2004, contributes greatly to the team at large and goes on to a very productive freshman year.

The winner is…

Manti Te’o LB. Te’o received 82% of the vote in a runaway victory over Nick Tausch (9%), Theo Riddick ( 7%), and Jordan Cowart (1%). Te’o was 4th on the team in total tackles with 63- and he wasn’t getting a good number of snaps until the fifth game in the season against Washington. Much like last years winner, Michael Floyd, expect even greater success in Manti’s sophomore campaign as he has already announced his decision to return to Notre Dame in 2010.

The Jerome Bettis Trophy.
The Jerome Bettis Trophy goes to the ND sophomore that becomes a team leader either statistically or emotionally. In 1991, Bettis led the team with over 900 yards rushing and set a season scoring record with 120 points.

The winner is…

Michael Floyd WR. This is the second year in a row that Floyd has took the top honor for his class as he received 69% of the vote while beating out Trevor Robinson (14%), Kyle Rudolph (11%), and Darius Fleming (6%). Floyd was the second leading receiver on the team with 44 receptions for 795 yards and 9 TD’s. Floyd could have had an even bigger year, but he missed 5 games due to injury after breaking his collarbone against Michigan State.

tateThe Brady Quinn Trophy.
The Brady Quinn Trophy goes to the ND junior that has elevated his game from average to extra special. Quinn skyrocketed his status as an elite quarterback in his junior year throwing for over 3,400 yards and 29 touchdowns while only throwing 6 interceptions.

The winner is…

Golden Tate WR. There were only 2 choices out of the four on the ballot and Golden Tate got the edge with 59% of the vote while beating out Jimmy Clausen (41%). Golden led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns with 93-1496-15 ratio on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award for being the nations most outstanding wide receiver.There was no WR in the country more dangerous as Tate could run past defenders for the bomb, or catch a hitch and take it to the house.

The Jeff Burris Trophy
The Jeff Burris Trophy goes to the ND senior that excelled in his senior year. Jeff Burris was a Consensus All-American his senior year and led the Irish in its legendary victory over #1 Florida State. Not only was Burris a brilliant safety, he was also used on the offensive side of the ball inside the 10 yards line as a running back. He was a beast.

The winner is…

Eric Olsen C. Eric Olsen made the switch from guard to center and he flourished in the move. Olsen took 55% of the vote while beating out Chris Stewart (32%), Sam Young (9%), and John Ryan (4%). Olsen was named a team captain and it was easy to see why with his solid play and his emotional fire. Olsen is one of those guys that Notre Dame is going to miss in a big way in 2010.

kyleThe Corey Mays Trophy.
The Corey Mays Trophy is awarded to the top 5th year senior of the season. Corey Mays was a virtual unknown until he broke out in his fifth and final year at Notre Dame. I remember him most for his crushing hit against Mike Hart at Michigan (right in front of me) that knocked the running back out of the game and sent me into a cheering frenzy while receiving death threats from the Michigan faithful that surrounded me. It was a fun moment.

The winner is…

Kyle McCarthy S. Kyle walked away with the award after taking 91% of the votes while beating out Paul Duncan (6%), Scott Smith (2%), and Rey Herring (1%). In a fifth year class that didn’t have a lot of stars, Kyle swam against the current and shined. While we at Subway Domer have questioned if McCarthy was the best option at safety for the past two years, we have never questioned his heart, or the fact that he is a great throwback. He’s a football player and made football plays. That is a huge compliment and accomplishment.

The Jeff Faine Trophy.
The Jeff Faine Trophy is awarded to the best offensive lineman in a season for Notre Dame. Faine was a monster at ND while playing center. His nasty demeanor and willingness to keep crushing an opponent- even after the whistle blows, should serve as an inspiration to all current and future Irish offensive lineman.

The winner is…

Eric Olsen, Senior Center. Olsen takes his second Subway Domer Award of 2009 with 40% of the vote while narrowly beating out Trevor Robinson (36%) and two other candidates in Chris Stewart (19%) and Sam Young (5%). Olsen not only has garnered the respect of the team and fans in 2009, but he is being touted as one of the most versatile prospects in the 2010 NFL Draft. While he most likely won’t be a first round pick, he will be drafted somewhere in the middle rounds and will have a chance to prove that Notre Dame lineman are still very valuable to an NFL franchise.

allenThe Autry Denson Trophy.
The Autry Denson Trophy is awarded to the best running back in a season for ND. Denson is the all-time leading rusher at Notre Dame with 4,318 yards. Denson was never a flashy runner, but quietly he racked up yard after yard for Notre Dame in 4 seasons. He was considered a finesse runner, but he was also a workhorse with over 850 career attempts.

The winner is…

Armando Allen, Junior Tailback. Armando takes the award for the second year in a row with 80% of the votes while beating out Robert Hughes (11%) and Theo Riddick (9%). Allen has emerged as the “go-to-back” in what is a crowded backfield, and much like the awards namesake, Autry Denson, Allen is a duel threat whether it be running the ball or receiving the ball. His 142 carries for 697 yards (4.9 ypc) were tops on the team. Allen only played in 9 games due to injury and was held out in some of the games he did play in because of those same injuries.

The Jeff Samardzija Trophy.
The Jeff Samardzija Trophy is awarded to the ND wide receiver that excelled over his peers. Samardzija broke almost every single receiving record while playing for the Irish. His junior campaign of 71 receptions for 1,121 yards (15.8 avg.) and 13 touchdowns is considered the finest season ever for a Notre Dame wide receiver.

The winner is…

Golden Tate, Junior WR. Not so fast my friend! Tate took 93% of the vote in a landslide over Michael Floyd (7%). Not only that, but Tate has trumped Samardzija for the best season ever with his 93 receptions for 1,496 yards (16.1 avg) and 15 touchdowns. Tate can now be considered as one of the greatest- if not the greatest wide receiver in Notre Dame history. He may not be fully appreciated until a few years from now, but no matter what- he will be missed next year as he leaves early for the NFL Draft.

kylerThe Ken MacAfee Trophy
The Ken MacAfee Trophy is awarded to the top tight end for Notre Dame. MacAfee is the icon that all Notre Dame tight ends compare their careers to while playing in South Bend. He was a two time Consensus All-American for the Irish in 1976 and 1977.

The winner is…

Kyle Rudolph, Sophomore TE. Rudolph cruised with this vote with 97% of the vote over Bobby Burger (3%) and Mike Ragone (0% Elvis must not have voted) as he takes this award for the second year in a row. . Rudolph is considered one of the best Tight Ends in the country as a Sophomore and was third on the team in receiving with 33 catches for 364 yards and 3 TD’s. He missed 2 games at the end of the season because of a shoulder injury ( actually 3- Stanford shouldn’t count).

The Paul Hornung Trophy
The Paul Hornung Trophy is awarded to the top quarterback. Paul Hornung is a former Heisman Trophy winner, and is the only Heisman recipient in history to have won the award while also having a losing season. He was that good.

The winner is…

Jimmy Clausen, Junior QB. Jimmy took this first year award with 97% of the vote while 3% of people are dipshit jokesters. Clausen was perhaps the finest quarterback in the country with a stat line of 289-425 (68%) 3722 yards, 28 TD’s and 4 INTs. He did all of this while playing with a bad turf toe on his plant foot 75% of the season. Anything that I could possibly say about Jimmy would probably be an understatement. He was unbelievable in his junior year and if you want to get to the bones about it, his defense probably cost him an undefeated season and a Heisman Trophy. Don’t argue with me-it’s true. Clausen is being considered as a top 5 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

ianThe Chris Zorich Trophy.
The Chris Zorich Trophy is awarded to the top defensive lineman. While at Notre Dame, Zorich became a legend as he played with emotion and violence play after play that has still yet to be seen on a consistent basis. Chris was also a two time Consensus All-American for the Irish in 1989 and 1990.

The winner is…

Ian Williams, Junior DT. While Ian won the award with 40% of the vote over Darius Fleming (30%) and Ethan Johnson (30%), this is one of the awards that is a bit tainted as KLM somehow wasn’t on the ballot. Regardless, Ian had a very solid season at defensive tackle that included 6 TFL and an INT. He is building himself up to having a huge senior season in 2010 and working towards, amongst other things, becoming an early round draft pick.

The Bob Crable Trophy.
The Bob Crable trophy is awarded to the top linebacker. Crable is the epitome of toughness and was a tackling machine at Notre Dame while becoming a two time Consensus All-American in 1980 and 1981.

The winner is…

Manti Te’o, Freshman LB. Te’o takes this award with 76% of the vote over Brian Smith (20%) and Harrison Smith (4%). Te’o was the most anticipated defensive recruit to arrive on campus in well over a decade. He was expected to play right away, and he did. However, his play was limited as he was passed over on the depth chart by upperclassmen to start the season. that was probably a mistake as he very quickly became perhaps the best defensive player on the roster. Get your Hula shirts out- he’s coming back!

kmacThe Todd Lyght Trophy.
The Todd Lyght Trophy is awarded to the top defensive back in a season. Todd Lyght was a shutdown corner and a standout on a team littered with All-Americans. He was a two time Consensus All-American in 1989 and 1990.

The winner is…

Kyle McCarthy, Senior Safety. McCarthy adds another award to his trophy case as he takes the Lyght Trophy with 79% of the vote over Gary Gray (16%) and Sergio Brown (5%). Kyle led the team in interceptions with 5, and in tackles with 101- his second consecutive year with over 100 tackles. McCarthy was one of those safeties that always seemed to be around the ball and was able to make a few big plays as well. His departure (and Brown’s as well) creates a huge vacuum at a vital position with 0 returning starters at safety in 2010.

The Urban Meyer Trophy.
The Urban Meyer Trophy is awarded to the top assistant coach. Meyer was an assistant at ND for both Lou Holtz and Bob Davie before moving on to become the head coach at Bowling Green, then Utah, and now Florida where he won a National Title in 2006 and is playing for another this season.

The winner is…

Tony Alford, Running Backs Coach. Alford took the voting edge with 39% of the votes to beat out Frank Verducci (26%), Rob Ianello (32%), and Corwin Brown (3%). Alford was brought to South Bend to help the Irish running backs gain some toughness as well as perfecting the fundamentals of the position. He was brought to help Notre Dame with their recruiting in north Florida and Texas. It is only fitting (as far as the vote is concerned) that Alford is the only remaining coach from the Weis regime to stay at ND to coach with Brian Kelly.

The Mike Golic Trophy.
The Mike Golic Trophy is awarded to the top Verbal Commit up to this point. With National Signing Day still a few months away, anything can happen. Golic was following in his brother Bob’s footsteps and was the first commit for his class. He passed that tradition on to his Sons, as Mike Jr. and Jake were the first commits in their respective classes as well.

The winner is…

Louis Nix DT, Jacksonvlle, Florida. When the recruiting season for the 2010 recruits started heating up in March and April, Louis Nix wasn’t on the tongues of every Irish fan. But as word came out about his interest in Notre Dame despite being a Miami commitment, hope sprang. It was a small hope as defensive tackles from Florida don’t just decommit from a school like Miami and pledge to Notre Dame. However, after a few visits by Nix, the excitement started building even more. Then all of a sudden- Louis Nix committed to Notre Dame after Coach Weis was fired. It showed the level of desire by Nix to attend Notre Dame for waht it is and he carved a place in every fans heart in the process.

Top Moment in 2009.
The team completely underachievd in 2009, but they still created some great and memorable moments. Golden Tate jumping into the MSU Band and breaking the Spartan curse took 43% of the vote while beating out Manti Te’o enrolling at Notre Dame (26%), breaking the Boston College Streak (16%), beating Washington in OT (9%), the Nevada shutout (6%).

Worst Moment in 2009
There were more than a few bad momemnts in 2009. Heartbreaks and headaches- sometimes you just wanted to bash your head in a wall. Losing to Navy took 51% of the vote while beating out losing to Michigan in the final minute (24%), the coaching search (17%), U$C sneaking out with another win (7%), and being Wannstached (1%).

jimmyThe Tim Brown Offensive MVP Trophy.
The Tim Brown Trophy is awarded to the player on offense that, like Brown, is the keystone that everything revolves around. Tim Brown is the last Heisman Trophy winner for ND when he won it in 1987.

The winner is…

Jimmy Clausen, Junior QB. What an amazingly close vote! Jimmy had 50% of the vote beating Golden Tate (48%) and Armando Allen (1%). The Jimmy and Golden debate is as intriguing as the chicken and the egg. Who would still flourish without the other? Jimmy still had other weapons to throw to and he hit them as often as he could- but Golden was still his top target. Clausen was probably the finest quarteback to put on the Golden Helmet since Joe Montana.

The Michael Stonebreaker Defensive MVP Trophy.
The Michael Stonebreaker Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the defense. Stonebreaker was a killer at linebacker for the Irish and was a two-time Consensus All-American in 1988 and 1990. He also has what is perhaps the greatest name in linebacker history.

The winner is…

Kyle McCarthy, Senior Safety. McCarthy takes his third award this year and his second Stonebreaker Trophy in a row while tallying 73% of the vote beating out Manti Te’o (12%), Ian Williams (8%), and Brian Smith (6%). McCarthy quickly became a fan favorite in 2007 while coming off of the bench and he further developed the bond with his fans in 2008 with some very solid play. His nickname was “Mr. Dependable” and he rarely went against that reputation.

tauschThe Rocket Trophy.
The Rocket Trophy is awarded to the top special teams player. Rocket Ismail was one of the greatest threats in history on special teams returning kicks. Everytime he touched the ball, people held their breath. He is also considered by some to be the greatest player in College Football history to never win a Heisman. I say he was robbed.

The winner is…

Nick Tausch, Freshman Kicker. Nick Tausch took over the kicking duties in 2009 and played very, very well. In this vote, he took 56% of the vote over David Ruffer (12%), Jordan Cowart (14%), and Theo Riddick (17%). Tausch played above his freshman status until an injury sidelined him twards the end of the year. He made 14-17 field goals with a long of 46 yards. He finally helped irish fans relax a little bit as the field goal unit came onto the field. With three years of eligibility remaining, he could develop into one of the best the irish have had in a long time.

The Moose Krause Team MVP Trophy.
The Moose Krause Team MVP is exactly what it is- the overall team MVP and maybe more. Moose was a living, breathing legend on Notre Dame’s campus for 60 years and his legacy continues. He is Notre Dame forever. He is Mr. Notre Dame and what the winner should try and emulate.

“Moose Krause was, without question, the greatest ambassador of Notre Dame goodwill.” – Ara Parseghian.

“Moose Krause was a perfect example of why Notre Dame has meant what it has to so many people over the years.” – Lou Holtz.

The winner is…

Jimmy Clausen, Junior QB. What more can I say about Mr. Clausen? Jimmy won this award with 56% of the votes and beat out Golden Tate (43%) and Kyle McCarthy (1%). Jimmy has been one of the faces of the program since his senior year in high school. He has come a long way with his image and his demeanor since his loud and proud commitment to Notre Dame in the Spring of 2006. I only wish that Jimmy would have stayed for his senior year, but i guess we all saw this coming. Fantastic.

About The Subway Domer

Warlord and Emperor of the Subway Alumni... also, I do this "dad" thing pretty damn well.