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December 14, 2012There was a different vibe Friday to this year's USC football awards banquet in the Tutor Center Campus Ballroom. A year ago, this was a triumphant place -- and a final sendoff.
For Matt Kalil, Nick Perry and Rhett Ellison. And we thought, Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald.
And with no bowl appearance, it was the end of the line for that 10-2 team. Not the case this year. McDonald and Barkley came back. And at 7-5, there's no triumph, just determination to do better.
And a chance in the Sun Bowl game to get it going in the right direction right now starting withSaturday's practice.
Getting it better also could be seen in the late arrival, as Lane Kiffin announced their 8:30 return from the recruiting trail, of Ed Orgeron, Marvin Sanders and Tee Martin.
But before any of that, the recruiting or the bowl game, came the honors. And there were plenty of them.
* USC unanimous All-American junior wide receiver Marqise Lee, the Biletnikoff Award winner and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, was named the Most Valuable Player.
Lee, who also was USC's Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year and won the John McKay Award (for competitive spirit), leads the nation in receptions, is second in receiving yards and third in all-purpose yards. He set Pac-12 records for season receptions (112) and receiving yardage (1,680).
* Senior safety McDonald was named USC's Most Inspirational Player and Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year.
* Center Khaled Holmes was the Offensive Lineman of the Year and also won the Trojan Way Leadership Award and the Trojan Football Alumni Club Award (top GPA).
* Defensive end Morgan Breslin was the Defensive Lineman of the Year and LB Tony Burnett was the Special Teams Player of the Year.
A complete list of the 2012 awards follows:
* Most Valuable Player: wide receiver Marqise Lee
* Most Inspirational Player: safety T.J. McDonald
* Leadership Award: center Khaled Holmes
* Linemen of the Year: center Khaled Holmes (offense), defensive end Morgan Breslin (defense)
* Perimeter Players of the Year: wide receiver Marqise Lee (offense), safety T.J. McDonald (defense)
* Special Teams Player of the Year: linebacker Tony Burnett
* Service Team Players of the Year: offensive tackle-guard Jordan Simmons (offense), defensive end Jabari Ruffin (defense)
* Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award (year's longest run): wide receiver Robert Woods (76 yards vs. Syracuse)
* Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (overall academic achievement): center Khaled Holmes
* Bob Chandler Award (underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): tight end Randall Telfer
* John McKay Award (underclassman with the most competitive spirit): wide receiver Marqise Lee
* Joe Collins Walk-on Award: offensive tackle-guard Nathan Guertler, cornerback Ryan Dillard
* Courage Award: wide receiver Robert Woods
* Co-Lifters Award: offensive tackle Kevin Graf, cornerback Nickell Robey
* Team Captains: quarterback Matt Barkley, safety T.J. McDonald, center Khaled Holmes, cornerback Nickell Robey