DURHAM, N.H.—Seven members of the University of New Hampshire football team were honored on Saturday afternoon for their outstanding efforts at the team’s annual Awards Banquet held at the MUB. The highlight of the afternoon was the retiring of the No. 2 football jersey worn by one of the greatest players ever to compete for the Wildcat football program, senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.).
Santos, who was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player, continued his amazing career through his senior campaign and finished third on the NCAA all-time career passing yardage list with 13,212 yards, and third on the NCAA all-time list for career touchdown passes with 123, a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) record. The CAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year and 2006 Walter Payton Award winner, finished fifth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award in 2007 and was named to nearly every single major All-America squad, including the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Associated Press (AP) and Walter Camp. He also received the New England Football Writer’s Season Gold Helmet Award and was selected a first-team ECAC All-Star for the fourth straight season. A team co-captain, Santos was named National Player of the Week three times and CAA Offensive Player of the Week twice. Looking at his 2007 season statistics, Santos completed 256 of 350 passes for an impressive completion percentage of 73.1 and compiled an eye-popping 2,972 passing yards. Santos was responsible for a total of 33 touchdowns this past season, including 24 through the air, while he ran for nine on the ground. He owns nearly every UNH career and single-game passing record, including completion percentage, passing touchdowns, passing yardage, completions, attempts and yards per game.
The Jock MacKenzie/Bob Demers 12th Player Award was presented to senior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt.), who was a true team leader of the linebacking corps and the defense as a whole. Karim had a tremendous year for the Wildcats, tying for the team in total tackles with 130 (35-95-130), while also coming up with two sacks, 3.5 tackles for a loss and a team-high three forced fumbles.
The Bo Dickson Spirit Award went to a Granite-Stater who has been a mainstay on the offensive line four straight seasons. Senior center Nick Couturier (Dover, N.H.) was named a CAA All-Conference selection and a first-team ECAC All-Star, as he was one of the key reasons why UNH’s offensive line assisted the offense to an amazing overall yardage average of over 400 yards per game (407. 2), and why the Wildcats averaged an eye-popping 35.8 points per contest.
One of the most coveted honors from the annual banquet is the Bill Bowes Coaches Award and that honor was bestowed upon senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.). Pammer, the leader of the defensive backfield and the defense the last four seasons, was one of the hardest hitters on the squad, as evidenced by the fact that he was tied for the team lead in interceptions with two and he was tied for the team lead in overall tackles with 130 (53-77-130). He finished his career with the second-highest tackle total in UNH history with 359 total career tackles.
The Jack French Unsung Hero Award went to one of the hardest working players on the defensive line in 2007 in senior Marvin Wright (Roxbury, Mass.). Wright, led all defensive linemen in tackles with 87 total (30-57-87) as the squad’s fifth-leading tackler. That total was the second best for a defensive lineman in all of the CAA. He also posted three tackles for a loss and a sack for UNH.
Senior defensive lineman Matt Perdoni (Sherborn, Mass.) received the Creeley Buck Buchanan Distinguished Service Award for his efforts on and off the football field and in the community as well. A team co-captain, Perdoni began his UNH career as a walk-on and eventually earned a scholarship and a starting job. He completed last season with 40 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles for the UNH defense. Perdoni was involved in many different community programs such as Reading In The Classroom and he made three trips to Louisiana to help others who were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Senior offensive lineman Johan Asker (Karlstad Sweden) was the recipient of the team’s Eugene K. Auerbach Student-Athlete award. Asker recorded an impressive grade point average of 3.58 as an Environmental Economics major.