Jan. 20, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - Senior receiver Michael Oliva, a finalist for the 2002 Harlon Hill Award as the top football player in NCAA Division II, was named recipient Sunday of the Jerry Norris Award as UC Davis' most inspirational and valuable player for the 2002 season, headlining several honors given at the team's annual banquet at Freeborn Hall.
The event recognized a season that resulted in a 9-3 overall record, a seventh straight berth in the NCAA Playoffs and an NCAA Division II-record 33rd sraight winning season.
Oliva finished his career as the program's career leader in receiving yardage (3,379) and receiving touchdowns (37) and tied for second in receptions (192). He hauled in 66 passes for 1,091 yards and 11 touchdowns, capping his career with 11 catches for 167 yards in the second round of the playoffs at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Several honors were distributed at the banquet, including the Aggie Pride Award, which was shared by senior linebacker Nathaniel Hackett and senior tight end Aaron Struck. Running back Matt Massari and cornerback Carnell Green were named co-winners of the Oustanding Back/Receiver Award, defensive end B.J. Brust and linebacker Dominic Ghio shared the Outstanding Lineman/Linebacker Award, and kicker Dusty Apocotos and strong safety Dan Reece were selected Special Teams Players of the Year.
Eleven awards, all voted by players, were given during the evening.
UC Davis captains for the 2003 season were also announced. Free safety Ejiro Evero will be a captain for the second straight year and will be joined by middle linebacker Kelly Valaau, quarterback Ryan Flanigan and tackle Forest Vance.
2002 UC DAVIS FOOTBALL TEAM AWARDS
George Belenis Award (Outstanding Redshirt): LB Clayton O'Kane, WR Tony Kays
Mike Wise Award (Outstanding Freshman): LB Dan Elbanna, RB O.J. Swanigan
T. Palmer Moody Award (Outstanding Sophomore): OL Marc Manfredda
Jim Ferrier Award (Outstanding Transfer): WR Billy Zeier
Most Improved Player: DE Jake Mossawir, QB Ryan Flanigan
Bob Oliver Award (Unsung Hero): WR Glenn Adriatico, CB Kwamin Taylor
Special Teams Players of the Year: PK Dusty Apocotos, SS Dan Reece
Outstanding Lineman/Linebacker: DE B.J. Brust, LB Dominic Ghio
Outstanding Back/Receiver: RB Matt Massari, CB Carnell Green
Aggie Pride Award: TE Aaron Struck, LB Nathaniel Hackett
Jerry Norris Award: (Most Inspirational and Valuable): WR Michael Oliva