Delaware Seniors Honored at Annual Blue Hen Touchdown Club Banquet; Gradkowski, Schenauer Earn Top Awards
January 27, 2012
Top Right: Head Coach K.C. Keeler with Gino Gradkowski; Bottom Left: Keeler with Mark Schenauer (Photos by Mark Campbell)
NEWARK, Del. -- Gino Gradkowski and Mark Schenauer were the big winners Friday night as the 18 seniors on the 2011 University of Delaware football squad were honored at the annual Blue Hen Touchdown Club Banquet held at the Executive Banquet and Conference Center.
Gradkowski, an offensive lineman from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Seton-La Salle High School) and a consensus All-American this past fall, was honored as the Outstanding Senior Player on Offense and Outstanding Senior Offensive Lineman, and was one of three players honored with the Captain’s Award.
Schenauer, a wide receiver from Galloway, N.J. (Absegami High School), earned the Unsung Hero Award, joined Gradkowski in receiving the Captain’s Award, and was named the winner of the prestigious Baker-Taylor Award, the oldest award in UD athletics which is presented to a senior member of the football team who has contributed the most in terms of leadership, dedication, and determination.
Gradkowski and Schenauer were among the 18 seniors who were honored by the club and by head coach K.C. Keeler, who spoke about each player and presented each with a picture plaques and replica framed uniform.
The Blue Hens posted a 7-4 record this past fall, narrowly missing a berth in the NCAA FCS Tournament. Delaware finished the season strong, winning its final three games.
Other Blue Hen Touchdown Club Award winners were defensive end Michael Atunrase (Outstanding Senior Player on Defense), tight end Colin Naugle (Winnie Mayer Outstanding Senior at End Award), linebacker and fullback Chris Campbell (Outstanding Senior Player on Special Teams), and linebacker Andrew Harrison (Captains Award).
Gradkowski was a three-year starter and earned All-American honors from virtually every organization following the 2011 season and is a strong candidate for the National Football League Draft; Schenauer caught 86 passes for 992 yards and four touchdowns in his career; Atunrase was a three-year starter who was a two-time All-CAA selection and led the team in sacks in 2011; Campbell recorded 27 special teams tackles during his career; Clark was a two-year starter who earned first team Capital One/CoSIDA District 2 All-Academic honors in 2011; Davis was a versatile lineman who played all five positions in his career before missing the entire 2011 season with a knee injury; and Naugle was an All-CAA selection who caught 30 career passes before missing the end of the 2011 season with a knee injury.
In addition, Campbell, offensive lineman Chad Davis, and defensive end Ethan Clark shared the Newark Elks Club Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented to the senior with the highest cumulative grade point average. It marked the first time since the award began being presented in 1985 that more than one player earned the award. Each of the players recorded a grade point average higher than 3.65.
In addition to the award winners, other seniors recognized were offensive linemen Rob McDowell, Shea Allard, Charles Gushue, and Will Nagle, defensive linemen Matt Hardison and Demitrius Hester, wide receivers John Hodgkinson and Bobby Russo, linebacker Eddie Lugo, and defensive back Justin McDonald.