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John Talley earns second straight Duke football MVP award

Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007

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Durham, NC - For the second consecutive year, cornerback John Talley was named the recipient of the Carmen Falcone Most Valuable Player Award at Duke University’s annual football banquet held on Saturday evening in Durham, N.C.

Talley, a senior of Duncan, S.C., earned first team All-ACC honors after registering 42 tackles, seven interceptions and eight pass breakups. He ranked first in the ACC in interceptions and finished his career with 18 — most in Duke history and the second-highest total in ACC history. Talley, the league’s all-time leader in interception return yardage (395), also received a Captain’s Award for the 2006 season as well as the Iron Devil Award for playing the most snaps during the year.

Other award winners included Patrick Bailey (Co-Outstanding Defensive Player), Casey Camero (Captain’s Award & Co-Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award), Jeramy Edwards (Co-Ace Parker Award), Cameron Goldberg (Outstanding Offensive Player), Thaddeus Lewis (Co-Most Improved Offensive Player), Jabari Marshall (Most Improved Special Teams Player), Deonto McCormick (Co-Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award), Ayanga Okpokowuruk (Co-Mike Suglia Award), Eli Nichols (Captain’s Award & Co-Ace Parker Award), Eron Riley (Co-Most Improved Offensive Player), Fred Roland (Co-Most Improved Offensive Player), Peter Shaheen (Co-Mike Suglia Award), Michael Tauiliili (Co-Outstanding Defensive Player), Alex Williams (Outstanding Special Teams Player) and Glenn Williams (Most Improved Defensive Player).

Camero and McCormick were co-honorees of the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award which is presented annually to the member of the Duke football program who displays the highest teammate qualities such as inspiration, unselfishness and commitment to the team. Harris was tragically killed in an automobile accident in June of 2004, just prior to his senior year at Duke. Camero, a senior defensive tackle from Tampa, Fla., contributed 25 tackles on the year while blocking three kicks. McCormick, a senior cornerback from Adel, Ga., logged 39 tackles and led the Blue Devils in pass breakups with nine.

Bailey, a junior defensive end from Elmendorf, Texas, finished third on the team in total tackles with 77 while leading the squad in sacks with 3.5. He added 12.5 tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries and a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown against North Carolina in the season finale.

Edwards, a senior linebacker from Jackson, N.J., and Nichols, a senior nose guard from Crawfordville, Fla., shared the Ace Parker Award which is presented annually to an individual who displays unparalleled commitment to the team and overcomes adversity to contribute. Parker, one of 11 former Duke players and coaches to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame, was a two-time All-America pick in 1935 and 1936. Following his successful NFL career, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. Parker later served as an assistant coach at Duke from 1947-65. Nichols, a second team Academic All-America selection in both 2005 and 2006, logged 18 tackles for the year while Edwards had 89 tackles this past fall.

Lewis, a freshman quarterback from Opa Locka, Fla., completed 180-of-340 passes for 2,134 yards and 11 touchdowns. The passing yardage total ranks first on Duke’s single-season chart for rookies and fourth in the ACC annuals. Marshall, a sophomore kick returner from Atlanta, Ga., returned 38 kickoffs for 953 yards on the year. His 25.1 yards per return average ranked fifth in the ACC and 22nd nationally.

Okpokowuruk, a redshirt freshman defensive tackle from Charlotte, N.C., and Shaheen, a redshirt freshman fullback from Rumson, N.J., were co-recipients of the Mike Suglia Award which is presented annually to the second-year member of the Duke football program who best exemplifies the qualities of the late Mike Suglia. Mike Suglia was an offensive lineman at Duke in 1976-77 who died suddenly during the spring of his sophomore year. He was an excellent student, an outstanding football player, and, most importantly, a young man of the highest integrity.

Riley, a sophomore wide receiver from Savannah, Ga., caught 32 passes for 643 yards and three touchdowns on the season and led the ACC in yards per reception (20.1). Tauiliili, a sophomore linebacker from Houston, Texas, led Duke in tackles for the second year in a row by posting 94 total stops. He added 10 tackles for loss and one sack while recording four double figure tackle games.

Alex Williams, a senior linebacker from Dublin, Ga., was a valuable member of Duke’s kick coverage teams in 2006. He finished the season with 14 total tackles. Glenn Williams, a sophomore safety from Baltimore, Md., ranked seventh on the squad in tackles with 54 and added two sacks, two pas breakups and one fumble recovery.

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