NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Wide receiver TRES MOSES (Delray Beach, FL) was named Most Valuable Player of the 2004 Rutgers football team. Moses was the recipient of the Homer Hazel Trophy as the Scarlet Knights’ MVP, presented at the 66th annual Rutgers Football Awards Dinner, held this evening at the Hilton Hotel. The awards banquet is sponsored by the Rutgers Football Touchdown Club in conjunction with Rutgers’ Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Moses set Rutgers’ single season records for receptions (81), and receiving yards (1,056) in 2004, breaking marks that were established by All-America tight end Marco Battaglia in 1995. Moses, a first team All-BIG EAST selection, also led the Conference in receiving, with 7.36 catches per game. Moses’ 81 catches were the second highest total in BIG EAST history, behind only Larry Fitzgerald, the former Pittsburgh standout who was the third pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Moses, who served as a tri-captain for the Scarlet Knights last season and who returns for one more season, also led Rutgers with 1,261 all-purpose yards. The Homer Hazel MVP Trophy is donated by the Rutgers Football Letterwinners Association.
Defensive end RYAN NEILL (Wayne Hills, NJ) was the recipient of the David Bender Trophy, given annually to the Scarlet Knights’ top lineman and donated by the Bender Trust. Neill enjoyed an outstanding season after missing the 2003 campaign with a knee injury, earning first team All-BIG EAST honors. The 6-3, 250-pound Neill was second in the BIG EAST, and tied for No. 21 nationally, with 8.0 sacks (0.73 per game), and also had 19 tackles for loss, fourth in the BIG EAST. Neill led all Rutgers defensive linemen, and was tied for fifth in the BIG EAST, with 43 tackles. He recorded his first career interception and returned it 31 yards for a TD, and added four tackles, in Rutgers’ season-opening 19-14 win over Michigan State. For his efforts, he was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, and the game-deciding touchdown was selected as the Pontiac Game Breaker of the Week in a national poll conducted by ESPN. Neill returns to Rutgers for a final season in 2005.
Junior linebacker TERRY BYNES (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and senior offensive tackle SAMEEH McDONALD (Newark, NJ) shared Most Improved Player honors, donated by the Rutgers Alumni Association. The 6-2, 220-pound Bynes was second among Rutgers’ linebackers with 50 tackles, and displayed a nose for the ball as he led the BIG EAST with four fumble recoveries. The 6-5, 295-pound McDonald was a solid force on the offensive line, starting at right tackle throughout the season. The Scarlet Knights allowed just 20 sacks the entire season, and ranked No. 7 in the country in passing yards. Both Bynes and McDonald will return to Rutgers for the 2005 season.
Senior center RAY PILCH (Piscataway, NJ) was the recipient of the Paul Robeson Award, which is presented annually to the “individual whose performance, leadership and dedication on and off the field during his career has had the greatest impact on Rutgers football” and is donated by the Rutgers Football Touchdown Club. The 6-3, 260-pound Pilch enjoyed an outstanding career at Rutgers, originally earning a spot on the roster as a walk-on and eventually starting at three positions – including at fullback and tight end – before culminating his career as the starting center in 2004. Pilch also caught 24 passes for 296 yards as a tight end and fullback at Rutgers.
Pilch was also the recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award, donated by Jo Rademacher and presented annually “to the letterwinner who has the highest academic average and has demonstrated outstanding football ability.” Pilch, a criminal justice major, was three-time CoSIDA District II Academic All-America selection, earning first team honors in 2003 and 2004. Pilch was also one of three tri-captains on the Scarlet Knights in 2004.
The Fan-ees Award, presented by one of the oldest support groups in the nation to a senior letterwinner to acknowledge outstanding contributions and dedication to the football team, was given to senior tight end CHRIS LOOMIS (Maple Shade, NJ). The 6-4, 245-pound Loomis caught four passes for 50 yards and one TD in 2004, and was also a regular on the Scarlet Knights’ special teams. Loomis concluded his career with 19 catches for 237 yards and three TDs.
Junior defensive back LESLIE “Manny” COLLINS (Plainfield, NJ) was presented the Kevin and Helen Collins Academic Improvement Award, given to the student-athlete on the football team who has shown the greatest academic improvement. Collins (no relation to Kevin and Helen Collins), a pre-business major, was hampered early in the season with an elbow injury but returned to earn a starting role against Temple, recording a career-high nine tackles. He was sidelined for the remainder of the season due to injuries suffered in a car accident following the Rutgers-Temple game.
2004 AWARDS CAPSULE
Homer Hazel Trophy -- Team MVP: WR Tres Moses
David Bender Trophy – Top Lineman: DE Ryan Neill
Paul Robeson Award: C Ray Pilch
Most Improved Player: LB Terry Bynes
OT Sameeh McDonald
Fan-ees Award: TE Chris Loomis
Collins Academic Improvement Award: Leslie “Manny” Collins
Scholar-Athlete Award: C Ray Pilch
2004 Rutgers Football Letterwinners (letters won)
Jerry Andre (4), Dondre Asberry (3), Chris Baker (2), Val Barnaby (3), Corey Barnes (2), William Beckford (2), Jean Beljour (1), Dan Biernacki (1), Cedric Brown (4), Terry Bynes (3), Anthony Cali (1), Anthony Campanile (1), Mike Clancy (1), Manny Collins (1), Mike Cortese (3), Brad Cunningham (3), Marcus Daniels (2), Clint Dato (1), Donny Diaz (1), Brian Duffy (4), Markis Facyson (3), Eric Foster (1), Willie Foster (2), Quintero Frierson (2), Gary Gibson (4), Will Gilkison (3), Ron Girault (1), John Glass Jr. (2), Jason Grant (4), Ron Green, (2), Eddie Grimes (4), Justise Hairston (2), David Harley (2), Clark Harris, (2), Ryan Hart (3), Maurice Hines (1), Corey Hyman (1), Jeremy Ito (1), Jarvis Johnson (4), Sam Johnson (2), Orlando Kane (1), Brian Leonard (2), Brad Listorti (1), Chris Loomis (4), Piana Lukabu (3), Sameeh McDonald (3), Ishmael Medley (3), Ramel Meekins (2), Anthony Miller (1), Tres Moses (3), Ryan Neill (3), Jason Nugent (3), J’Vonne Parker (1), Alfred Peterson (4), Ray Pilch (4), Clarence Pittman (3), Joe Porter (2), Joe Radigan (2), Luis Rivas (3), Derrick Roberson (2), Nate Robinson (2), Ryan Sands (3), Mark Segaloff (1), Cameron Stephenson (1), Jeff Ternyila (1), Devraun Thompson (2), Bryan Wilson (3), Brandon Wood (2), Jeremy Zuttah (1).