Miami’s MVP: Mark Walton.
The sophomore running back was given the award at the team’s annual banquet, held Sunday on campus. The trophy is named after former UM coach and athletics director Jack Harding.
Walton earned the nod after rushing for 1,065 yards and 14 touchdowns on 192 carries, all career bests. He enters the Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl against West Virginia needing four yards to match Danyell Ferguson (1,069) for eighth in UM single-season history. With 135 yards, he could match Clinton Portis (1,200) for sixth.
Walton, who also recorded a receiving touchdown, has the third-highest single-season touchdown total (15) in school history. After putting up 10 as a freshman, he sits tied for 10th in career touchdowns.
Walton, who finished the regular season fourth in the ACC in rushing yards, is likely to be the conference’s only 1,000-yard running back returning in 2017.
He also had the No. 1 play in Miami’s top-10 countdown: his 55-yard touchdown run against Pittsburgh on Nov. 5. See below for a full list of top plays, with highlights.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya (offensive MVP), cornerback Corn Elder (defensive MVP) and punter Justin Vogel (special teams MVP) earned primary honors, as did receiver Ahmmon Richards, linebacker Shaq Quarterman and running back Travis Homer (offensive, defensive and special teams newcomers of the year, respectively).
The other UM awards:
Hard Hitter Award: Jamal Carter and Marquez Williams
Kelly UTough Award: Kendrick Norton and Mark Walton
The Mariutto Family Scholar Athlete Award: Braxton Berrios
Community Service Man of the Year Award: Demetrius Jackson
Strength Training Athlete of the Year: Malcolm Lewis and Zach McCloud
Albert Bentley Most Valuable Walk-On Award: Jordan Butler and Malik Mayweather
Nick Chickillo Most Improved Player: Rayshawn Jenkins, David Njoku and Michael Smith
Walt Kichefski Hurricane Award: Shaquille Quarterman
U of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Unsung Hero Award: R.J. McIntosh, Chris Herndon and Braxton Berrios
Training Room Comeback Player of the Year: Darrion Owens
Captain’s Awards: Corn Elder, Danny Isidora, Brad Kaaya and Justin Vogel
Plumer Award: Jamal Carter
Melching Leadership Award: Corn Elder, Danny Isidora and Michael Badgley
Scout Team Player of the Year – Offense: Austin Pfenninger
Scout Team Player of the Year – Defense: Teddy Stavetski and Dewayne Washington
Scout Team Player of the Year – Special Teams: Sam York
Newcomer of the Year Award – Offense: Ahmmon Richards
Newcomer of the Year Award – Defense: Shaquille Quarterman
Newcomer of the Year Award – Special Teams: Travis Homer
Defensive Most Valuable Player: Corn Elder
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Brad Kaaya
Special Teams Most Valuable Player: Justin Vogel
Jack Harding Team Most Valuable Player: Mark Walton
Miami Hurricanes plays of the year
10 (tie). Michael Jackson recovers a fumble in the endzone at Notre Dame to give Miami a 27-20 lead over the Irish
10 (tie). Michael Badgley connects on a season-long 51-yard field against Florida State.
9. Kendrick Norton forces a fumble against Pittsburgh, which sets up a touchdown.
8. Mark Walton dashes 80 yards to the endzone on the first play of the game at Appalachian State.
7. Corn Elder sacks Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert to stop the Cavaliers first drive of the second half.
6. Ahmmon Richards hauls in a 77-yard pass from Brad Kaaya to give the Hurricanes a 27-14 lead at Virginia.
5. Joe Jackson recovers a fumble and rumbles 18 yards to the endzone to give Miami a 28-7 lead at Georgia Tech.
4. Stacy Coley tiptoes his way into the endzone to give the Hurricanes a 10-0 lead at FSU.
3. David Njoku flips his way into the endzone to give the Hurricanes a 7-0 lead versus Pittsburgh.
2. Shaquille Quarterman returns a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown at Georgia Tech.
1. Mark Walton rushes 55 yards to the endzone to give Miami a 51-28 lead over Pittsburgh.