Daniels A Big Winner At UNCP Football Awards Banquet
PEMBROKE – Senior running back Travis Daniels took home a pair of awards, including team most valuable player honors, to highlight the awards ceremony at the fifth annual UNCP Football Awards Banquet on Sunday afternoon at the University Center Annex.
Daniels began his highlight-filled day by taking home team offensive most valuable player accolades before being called back up on stage minutes later to be presented with the distinguished laurel. Fred Williams was decorated with defensive MVP honors after turning in a school record 113 tackles and Taylor Baskett was named special teams MVP after finishing second on the team with 74 points scored this season. John Rich and Qualyn Shipp collected individual offensive and defensive scout team honors, respectively.
Junior Josh Shanks was the winner of the BRAVES Award which, according to head coach Pete Shinnick, is given to "the person who embodies what we're trying to do and the principles of the program."
Daniels, a Washington native and Washington High School product, established new program benchmarks this season for rushing attempts (292), rushing yards (1,631) and rushing touchdowns (15) and will exit Pembroke toting nearly every single game and career rushing record as well. Having played in 42 games during his 4-year career in the Black & Gold, Daniels carried the ball 571 times for 3,356 yards and 32 touchdowns. He currently ranks fifth, nationally, with 148.27 rushing yards per game this season and ranks ninth nationally with 169.55 all-purpose yards per game.
Baskett, a Fayetteville native and Terry Sanford High School product, accounted for more than 250 points during his four-year stay in Pembroke, including 139 extra points (139-of-164) and 38 field goals (38-of-57). Baskett connected on a career-best 12-of-15 field goal attempts this season, including a school record 55-yarder against Charleston. He is a three-time D2Football.com All-NCAA Independents selection and, as a freshman, was also selected to the All-Independents Collegiate Athletic Association squad.
Williams, also a Terry Sanford High School standout, booked a program-best 113 tackles this season, including 61 solo stops and seven tackles for loss. A starter in all 11 games at middle linebacker for the Braves, Williams also booked a team-best seven pass break-ups and both forced and recovered a fumble as well. Having appeared in 30 games during his three-year stay in Pembroke, the Fayetteville native ranks second all-time with 210 tackles – second only to former UNCP all-American Adam Deese who grabbed 264 tackles in four seasons with the Braves.
Shanks played in every game for the Braves this season as a force on special teams. Shipp and Rich are both expected to push for considerable playing time next season for the Black & Gold.