The Norman Transcript

December 15, 2013

Credit where it’s due

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma honor its senior class and numerous individuals at the team’s annual dinner and awards ceremony Friday.

The Sooners’ senior class registered four consecutive bowl berths, two BCS berths and two Big 12 championships, while registering 42 wins, the most in the Big 12. This contingent of seniors produced a 21-3 home mark and a 27-8 conference record.

Senior deep snapper and offensive lineman Austin Woods was named the Bob Kalsu Award winner. Woods, from Rockwall, Texas, is a three-time academic all-Big 12 honoree. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the summer of 2012, Woods underwent cancer treatments through September while simultaneously attending team workouts, then school and two-a-days.

Woods was told his cancer was in remission last November. He has been cancer-free since.

The Kalsu Award is bestowed annually to a member of the team who personifies Kalsu’s spirit of leadership, serving as a motivator and role model for his teammates. Kalsu earned All-America honors in 1967 as an offensive tackle while helping the Sooners to a Big 8 Championship. Serving as a member of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Kalsu was killed in Vietnam in 1970.

The Don Key Award, announced earlier this year before the Sooners’ game against Iowa State, was awarded to seniors Gabe Ikard and Trey Millard. Ikard is a 2013 Walter Camp All-American, Wuerffel Trophy award winner and the Division I Football Academic All-America of the Year. A two-time all-conference first-team honoree, Ikard has started in 49 career games.

Millard, who played running back, fullback and tight end this season, in addition to serving as one of the Sooners’ top special teams performers. He played in 48 career games (18 starts) before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Texas Tech on Oct. 26.

The Don Key Award is presented a senior who exemplifies all-around excellence in the classroom and on the field. Key was a three-year starter for the Sooners, an All-Big 8 guard and potential All-American until cancer surgery ended his football career in 1981.

Defensive end David Driskill was selected as the recipient of the Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-On Award. Driskill, a junior from Oklahoma City, served as an integral part of the club’s scout team this season.

Shepard joined the OU roster as a walk-on in 1983 before earning a prominent role as a wide receiver and return man on the Sooners’ 1985 National Championship team. Shepard passed away at the age of 35 in 1999 after suffering a heart attack.

Also on Friday, tight end Brannon Green, offensive lineman Bronson Irwin, fullback Trey Millard, linebacker Corey Nelson, wide receiver Jaz Reynolds and safety Julian Wilson each received their diplomas as the newest OU football college graduates.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

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