PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 27, 2013) – Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced the spring football award winners for the Scarlet Knights Saturday at the annual Scarlet-White spring football game. Rising senior defensive end Marcus Thompson (Oakland Park, Fla.) won the Frank R. Burns Award, given to the player who displays extraordinary mental and physical toughness during spring practice.
Rising redshirt freshman Desmon Peoples (Cheltenham, Pa.) was the recipient of the Mark Mills Second Effort Award, given to the Most Improved Offensive Player. Rising redshirt freshman cornerback Ian Thomas (Baltimore, Md.) earned the Douglas A. Smith Award for his efforts as the Most Improved Defensive Player.
Thompson played in all 13 games last season, including 13 starts at defensive end. The Florida native finished the year with 23 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss and half a sack. He was a key part of the nation’s No. 4 scoring defense, No. 10 total defense and No. 6 rushing defense. Rutgers led the BIG EAST in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense.
Peoples redshirted as a true freshman at running back while Thomas spent the majority of his true freshman year redshirting as a wide receiver. Thomas moved to cornerback during bowl practice.
This spring, Peoples has been receiving a majority of reps running with the second team offense while Thomas has earned time with both the first and second-team defensive units.
Rutgers opens the 2013 season Thursday, August 29 at Fresno State. Season tickets starting as low as $99 are now on sale at ScarletKnights.com or by calling 1-866-445-GORU.