4.5 tackles for loss
Two forced fumbles
One fumble recovery
Darrell Stuckey was definitely the first player to earn his Cozzens Award this year. He was also the second player. Everything you need to know about Darrell as a football player you saw when he ran down Phillip Livas in the Louisiana Tech game to deny the speedster a long touchdown run.
In case you had spilled your Coke and missed the play or something, he backed it up on the next play by exploding through the line of scrimmage to knock Tech's running back down for a loss. It forced a field goal that was missed, and the KU "D" preserved a shutout.
Pride, talent, hard work, and a desire to win. Darrell gave it his all this year. That's the kind of thing you love to see.
For young football players, I think it's hard to have the perspective that your college career is really a fleeting moment. Everybody puts a different level of commitment into the game. You've got classes and maybe a social life. You can do the required weightlifting and training. Work hard in practice.
But how many players are going to that next level? You know, the Lance Armstrong level. Treating your body as an engine and just taking one season to run perfect and pure. And you're doing it not to get to the NFL, but just to see how good you can play, to leave nothing to chance, to look back and say I truly gave it everything.
I think Darrell Stuckey probably feels comfortable in that category.
The Tech play was really just a slice. Darrell did it all year. It's not like he didn't ever get beat or miss a tackle, but he played hard every down, and then it really came together in Kansas City as he personally tormented Chase Daniel for three hours. The tomahawk chop and recovery, plus the two interceptions. What more can you say?
If you want to know what it means to be a Jayhawk football player, watch a highlight video of Darrell Stuckey.
Cozzens Award Winners—The Complete List
1997 Ron Warner
1998 Patrick Brown
1999 Carl Nesmith, Chad Coellner
2001 Algie Atkinson
2002 Marcus Rodgers
2003 Bill Whittemore, Gabe Toomey
2004 Charles Gordon, Nick Reid, John Randle
2005 Charlton Keith, Jon Cornish, Banks Floodman, Mark Simmons
2006 Jon Cornish
2007 Todd Reesing, Anthony Collins, James McClinton, Brandon McAnderson, Aqib Talib
2008 Kerry Meier, Todd Reesing, Dezmon Briscoe, Darrell Stuckey, ???, ???
Part I: Play of the Year
Part II: Wes Welker Award
Part III: Blog Awards
Part IV: Monte Cozzens Award