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Double-T Nation Post Season Awards :: Most Improved Defensive Player

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This is the first annual "Double-T Nation's Post Season Awards". The categories which the DTN community will be nominating and voting are as follows: Offensive Rookie of the Year; Defensive Rookie of the Year; Most Improved Offensive Player; Most Improved Defensive Player; Special Teams Player of the Year; Offensive Player of the Year; Defensive Player of the Year; and Most Valuable Player.

I'd also ask that you not vote for Leach. I appreciate your loyalty, but I was trying to do something for the players. There are 20 different posts where you can discuss how pissed you are, but you'd be doing me a solid if you could play along.

DTN Post Season Award Winners:

Earlier this week, the DTN community voted on the most improved offensive player and today, we're voting on the most improved defensive player. As an aside, I've listed the "winners" on the list above, but will update if another player takes the lead as the polls are still open.

This list really isn't much of a list without talking about both starting defensive ends Brandon Sharpe and Daniel Howard. I don't know if there was a person around at this time last year that would have projected that this duo would account for the following numbers:

Sharpe: 36 tackles; 18.0 tackles-for-loss; 15.0 sacks; 5 passes-broken-up; 6 quarterback hurries; and 3 forced fumbles.

Howard: 42 tackles; 9.0 tackles-for-loss; 8.0 sacks; 1 passes-broken-up; 3 quarterback hurries; 1 forced fumble and 1 very important touchdown against Nebraska.

I think this entire community has praised both of these gentlemen for what they were able to accomplish on the field. They were simply outstanding.

CB LaRon Moore is a bit under the radar, but when next year rolls around, I get the feeling that everyone will know how important his play actually is. Moore finished 2008 with only 10 tackles, but in 2009, Moore burst on the scene, finishing with 42 tackles, 4 tackles-for-loss, 2 interceptions, 8 passes defended and 1 fumble recovery.

When Daniel Charbonnet and Darcel McBath graduated after the 2008 season, we were all concerned about the safety position. Mitchem wasn't perfect and like just about any safety, he had his issues in coverage, but in only 10 games, Mitchem finished with 57 tackles, 1 tackles-for-loss, 2 interceptions, and 5 passes defended.