Ortiz Named MVP; Schneider 139th Captain at Football Awards Banquet
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At the annual football awards banquet hosted by the Harvard Club of Boston, senior defensive tackle Josue Ortiz was chosen as the winner of the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award as the most valuable player of the 2011 Harvard football team, as chosen by his teammates.
Rising senior linebacker Bobby Schneider was honored as the 130th captain of Harvard football for the 2012 season as announced by head coach Tim Murphy. Also at the banquet, the other recipients of the 2011 team awards were announced.
Senior defensive tackle Benjamin Graeff was presented the Lamar Award for dedication; outgoing senior captain Alex Gedeon received the Kennedy Award for desire and determination; senior offensive tackle Kevin Murphy received the Wolf Award as the team's outstanding interior linemen; and senior quarterback Collier Winters gained the LaCroix Trophy for enthusiasm, sportsmanship, and loyalty.
Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, was presented a special Major H letter which are only extended to non-varsity athletes on rare occasions. This fall, Murphy became Harvard's all-time winningest head football coach.
Ortiz, a 2010 All-America, virtually assured a spot on the 2011 All-America team after a campaign that saw him break constant double teams to lead the Ivy League with 10 solo sacks. He ranked fourth in the league with 14.5 tackles for a loss and had two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Graeff shook off injuries that plagued his final three seasons to help bolster a defense that ranked sixth nationally against the run, with fewer than 90 yards per game allowed, and also ranked sixth nationally in points allowed at 17. The senior took a backup role this year while returning from a 2010 injury which occurred while he was leading the league in sacks.
Gedeon turned in another tremendous season as Harvard's defensive leader. He led the team and ranked second in the Ivy League with 92 tackles while forcing five turnovers with three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Gedeon's final interception of the year came on his final defensive snap against Yale, returning it 35 yards for his first collegiate touchdown.
Murphy started every game over the past two seasons and led an otherwise young but dominant offensive line. Harvard ranked third nationally in scoring offense at 34.7 points per game while setting a modern-day record for points in a season and also ranking as the nation's sixth-most efficient team in passing.
Winters set Harvard's single-season record for completion percentage at nearly 59 percent. He will graduate in fourth place on Harvard's all-time touchdown passing list with 33 to go with 15 additional rushing TDs. He is fifth on the all-time passing yardage list at 4,347 yards and is also fifth in total offense at 5,008 yards.
Harvard went 9-1 overall and undefeated in the Ivy League, defeating Yale, 45-7 to earn its 10th victory over the Bulldogs in the last 11 years while recording the widest margin of victory since 1982. The season marked Harvard's Ivy League-record 11th-straight season with at least seven wins – with no other Ivy team even having seven such seasons.
All nine of Harvard's victories came by double figures with eight of the wins coming by at least 14 points.
Harvard's senior class went undefeated against five of the Ivy League's seven programs including Yale and Princeton.
2011 Harvard Football Award Winners
Frederick Greeley Crocker Award (MVP) Josue Ortiz
Henry H. Lamar Award (dedication to program) Benjamin Graeff
Joseph E. Wolf Award (top interior lineman) Kevin Murphy
William Paine LaCroix Trophy (enthusiasm, sportsmanship, loyalty) Collier Winters
Robert F. Kennedy Award (desire and determination) Alex Gedeon
The 139th Harvard Football Captain Bobby Schneider