Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, and Luke Hutton, the Crimson's 144th captain (Dave Silverman).
BOSTON – At the annual Harvard football banquet hosted by the Harvard Club of Boston, senior defensive tackle James Duberg was selected as the winner of the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award as the most valuable player of the 2016 Harvard football team, as chosen by his teammates.
Junior linebacker Luke Hutton was elected by his teammates as the 144th captain for the 2017 season, as announced by Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football. Also at the banquet, the other recipients of the 2016 team awards were honored.
Senior tight end Anthony Firkser was given the fifth annual Joe Restic Award for leadership, scholarship and integrity. Langston Ward, a senior defensive end, was presented with the Henry H. Lamar Award for dedication; senior captain and defensive back Sean Ahern received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for desire and determination; senior offensive lineman Max Rich earned the Joseph E. Wolf Award as the team's outstanding interior lineman and senior defensive end Miles McCollum gained the William Paine LaCroix Trophy for enthusiasm, sportsmanship and loyalty.
Duberg, a two-time all-conference choice, was second on the team with 4.5 sacks this season, while adding 29 tackles overall. He made seven tackles in the overtime victory at Princeton Oct. 22 and guided Harvard to the nation's 16th-best scoring defense in the country, as the team allowed only 21 points per game.
Harvard's 144th captain, Hutton, a native of Austin Texas, led the Crimson in tackles this year with 56, making a career-high 10 stops and breaking up two passes in the overtime win at Princeton. Hutton's captaincy marks the 13th-straight year a Crimson defensive player has been selected to lead the team.
Firkser, who hails from Manalapan, New Jersey, was a two-time All-Ivy League choice who caught seven touchdown passes during his senior season. Firsker will graduate tied for sixth in program history with 14 career touchdown receptions, eighth with 1,559 receiving yards and 11th with 99 catches.
Ward, a native of Spokane, Washington, played in 29 of his final 30 games in a Crimson uniform. He made a career-high with 27 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3.0 sacks during his senior campaign.
A product of Cincinnati, Ohio, Ahern, a two-time All-Ivy pick and Harvard's 143rd captain, missed four games this fall due to injury, yet he registered 25 tackles and posted a career-best eight pass breakups. He made a career-high 51 tackles as a sophomore in 2014 and was the only FCS player named to the LOTT Impact Trophy Watch List prior to this season.
Rich, an All-Ivy selection last year who hails from Portland, Oregon, was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (the "Academic Heisman") and was a nominee for the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award. He helped the Crimson average 26.2 points per game during his senior season, posting 241 yards through the air and 149.9 yard on the ground each game.
A product of Dublin, Ohio, McCollum amassed 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks this fall, while being a key member of the Crimson defense that ranked ninth in the nation in rushing defense, surrendering only 98.3 yards per game on the ground.
Harvard finished 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League, marking the 16th-straight year the Crimson won seven or more games, a conference record. The senior class will graduate with an overall record of 35-5, one victory shy of the school and Ivy record (since 1956).
The Crimson will open the 2017 campaign at Rhode Island Saturday, Sept. 16.
2016 Harvard Football Award Winners
Frederick Greeley Crocker Award (MVP) James Duberg
Henry H. Lamar Award (dedication to program) Langston Ward
Joseph E. Wolf Award (top interior lineman) Max Rich
William Paine LaCroix Trophy (enthusiasm, sportsmanship, loyalty) Miles McCollum
The 144th Harvard Football Captain Luke Hutton