Thomas Jones Named Team's Outstanding Offensive Player At Football Banquet

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Thomas Jones led the ACC and finished third nationally in both rushing (1798 yards) and all-purpose yards (2054 yards).
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Thomas Jones led the ACC and finished third nationally in both rushing (1798 yards) and all-purpose yards (2054 yards).
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 12, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-- Tailback Thomas Jones was named the University of Virginia's Outstanding Offensive Player for the second consecutive year, while defensive tackle Maurice Anderson was named the Outstanding Defensive Player at the 1999 Virginia Football Banquet on Sunday (Dec. 6).

Additionally, John St. Clair received the Colonel Frank C. McCue Award as the team's Outstanding Interior Lineman, linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle received the Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice, dedication and enthusiasm, tight end Casey Crawford received the John Polzer Award for ability, sportsmanship and character, and offensive tackle Brad Barnes received the Speed Elliott Award as UVa's Most Improved Player. Wide receiver Billy McMullen won the Bill Dudley Award as Virginia's Most Outstanding First-year Player.

Jones received the Ben Wilson Award as Virginia's Outstanding Offensive Player. The senior from Big Stone Gap, Va., has capped a record-setting season by becoming a consensus All-American. He led the ACC and finished third nationally in both rushing (1798 yards) and all-purpose yards (2054 yards). Both marks also set Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference records. He finished his career first in school history with 3998 rushing yards, fourth in ACC history. Jones is the first player in 15 years to lead the ACC in rushing in back-to-back seasons.

Anderson was honored for his play this season with the Ned McDonald Award as the team's Outstanding Defensive Player. A senior from Blackstone, Va., Anderson stepped from out of the shadows of recent UVa stars Antonio Dingle and Patrick Kerney with an outstanding fall. He finished third on the team with 74 tackles, tops among UVa's defensive linemen and third in school history by a defensive tackle. He also finished the season with four quarterback sacks and seven tackles for loss. He had three games of 10+ tackles, including a career-high 13 in the finale vs. Maryland.

St. Clair, a senior from Roanoke, Va., was instrumental in paving the way for Jones' record-setting season. Named to several All-America teams in recognition of this, he is Virginia's first All-American center. He was also named first-team All-ACC and won the coveted Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC's top blocker.

Isabelle, a junior middle linebacker from Bluefield, W.Va., fought through personal tragedy in midseason to lead the team in tackling, averaging 8.7 stops per game (78 tackles in nine games). He missed the Virginia Tech game due to the death of his mother, Deberah, who died three days before the game. Isabelle also had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and caused one fumble. He had a career-high 14 tackles against both Clemson and Brigham Young, which was a team best this fall.

Crawford, a senior tight end from Fairfax, Va., missed five of the first six games of the season due to an injury, but provided the team with an additional lift upon his return by catching 11 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. He has been active in community service projects throughout his career and was named to the American Football Coaches Association's Good Works team for his off field activities.

Barnes, a junior from Tabb, Va., moved into the starting line-up in the spring and improved throughout the year. One of the offensive line's most consistent performers, Barnes proved valuable by being able to play guard and both tackle spots. He was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his play against N.C. State on Oct. 16 when Jones rushed for a career-high 221 yards as the Cavaliers gained an important win on the road.

McMullen, a true freshman from Richmond, Va., came on strong toward the end of the season. He led the team with 483 receiving yards, while sharing receiving honors with Kevin Coffey with 28 receptions. His six touchdown catches trailed Coffey by one. McMullen broke Herman Moore's rookie record for receptions and became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards. His touchdown catch vs. Maryland with 26 seconds left to play clinched UVa's 13th consecutive seven-win season.

The Cavaliers concluded the regular season with a 7-4 record and tied Clemson and Georgia Tech for second in the ACC with a 5-3 league mark. Virginia faces Illinois in the 1999 Micronpc.com Bowl in Miami, Fla., on Dec. 30.