19.5 tackles for loss
One pass breakup
Six forced fumbles
Two fumble recoveries
As we kicked off the final season of Mangino's Linebackers 3.0, I'm not sure anyone envisioned that James Holt would become the star of the trio. Injuries to both Mike Rivera and Joe Mortenson meant that Holt had to step up, and by the end of the season it seemed like James was all over the field, snuffing out opponents' attempts to run wide.
Throw in the fact that midway through the season he filled a critical need when he started lining up as a defensive end in passing situations. Not only did he collect 10 sacks, he had an explosiveness from the edge that did just enough to disrupt precision passing attacks.
The other thing I find interesting about Holt is that he just quietly dominated. He always seemed to be in the background on this defense, but there he was—always making tackles. Not a lot of flash; just make the play and move on to the next one. Sort of the exact definition of a Cozzens Award winner.
Cozzen's 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, James Holt, ???
Tuesday—Part I: Play of the Year
Wednesday—Part II: Wes Welker Award
Thursday—Part III: Blog Awards
Friday—Part IV: Monte Cozzens Award