BROOMFIELD -- Rodney Stewart certainly has the respect of his peers.

The Colorado senior tailback was named by his teammates the Buffaloes' 2011 Most Valuable Player. CU announced the award at the team's annual senior banquet Sunday at the Omni Interlocken Hotel.

Stewart led the Buffs in rushing this season with 854 yards, becoming the first player in school history to lead the team in four seasons. He also led the team in receptions with 45, gaining 571 yards. Stewart's 1,686 all-purpose yards were the sixth-most in a season at Colorado, despite the fact that he missed the better part of four games with knee and ankle injuries.

He missed most of the second half in CU's season finale at Utah with a sprained ankle, thwarting his effort to become the 27th player in the NCAA (FBS) history to have 3,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a career. Otherwise, Stewart made a substantial mark on CU record book, finishing with 809 rushing attempts (first), 3,598 yards (second), 25 rushing touchdowns (10th), 150 points (tied for 18th) and 16 100-yard games (second). He was first in receptions by a running back with 93 (tied for 14th overall), for 969 yards (first by a running back, 26th overall), while amassing 3,635 yards of total offense (11th), 4,567 yards from scrimmage (first) and 4,828 all-purpose yards (first).


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Senior wide receiver Toney Clemons and senior quarterback Tyler Hansen were named the John Mack Award winners as the team's most outstanding players on offense.

Senior outside linebacker Josh Hartigan and junior defensive tackle Will Pericak shared the Dave Jones Award as the team's outstanding defensive players.

The Lee Willard Award for the most outstanding freshman went to Greg Henderson.

Pericak also was one of three players to earn the Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic achievement; senior defensive backs Anthony Perkins and Travis Sandersfeld shared the honor.

The new CU coaching staff reduced the number of team awards from 20 to five, but did not rule out renewing some in the future or transferring to the spring.

CU football award winners

Note: The most valuable player was selected by the players and all other awards by the coaching staff:

Zack Jordan Award (most valuable player, selected by teammates): TB Rodney Stewart

John Mack Award (outstanding offensive player): WR Toney Clemons, QB Tyler Hansen

Dave Jones Award (outstanding defensive player): OLB Josh Hartigan, DT Will Pericak

Lee Willard Award (outstanding freshman): CB Greg Henderson

Dean Jacob Van Ek Award (academic excellence): DT Will Pericak, SS Anthony Perkins, CB Travis Sandersfeld

Best Interview (selected by team beat media): WR Toney Clemons