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OU announces 2013 award recipients

NORMAN, Okla. โ€” The Sooners held their annual awards banquet Friday evening and head coach Bob Stoops handed out a number of awards for players who helped carry the Sooners to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will be played Jan. 2 in New Orleans.

Long snapper Austin Woods earned the Kalsu Award for his spirit of leadership, being a motivator and role model.

First, Stoops recognized a class of 17 seniors that produced a pair of Big 12 Championships, 42 overall wins, including a 21-3 mark at home and 27-8 conference record, plus three consecutive victories over Texas from 2010-12.

One of the most inspirational players for the last several years, long snapper Austin Woods earned the Kalsu Award.

During his career, Woods fought through Hodgkin's lymphoma and while taking chemotherapy, continued to attend practice and eventually his cancer went into remission.

He capped off his year this year with a successful campaign to earn the Kalsu, which is given to a team member who personifies Kalsu's spirit of leadership, serving as a motivator and role model for his teammates.

Kalsu earned All-America honors back in 1967 as an offensive tackle while helping the Sooners win a Big 8 Title, and he died in combat by North Vietnamese mortar fire on July 21, 1970 as he was serving as a member of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.

Center Gabe Ikard and fullback Trey Millard both won the Don Key Award after working as two of the six team captains.

Ikard started in 49 career games and is OU's top-rated offensive lineman, earning the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy and becoming a Walter Camp All-American and Division-I Football Academic All-America of the Year in the process.

Millard, who tore his ACL earlier this season, served as a do-it-all player as fullback, tight end, single back and H-back in addition to an integral special teams role. He saw action in 48 games while at OU, 18 of those starts.

Named after Don Key, the award is bestowed annually to a senior who exemplifies all-around excellence in the classroom and on the field. Key was a three-year starter, an All-Big 8 guard and potential All-American until cancer surgery ended his career in 1981, prompting legendary coach Barry Switzer to establish the award.

The Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-On Award went to David Driskill out of Oklahoma City, as he shined on scout team.

The award is named in honor of Sterling Shepard's father, who joined the club in 1983 as a walk-on and played a key role as wide receiver and return man on OU's 1985 National Championship team. He passed away at 35 years of age in 1999 from a heart attack.

Place kicker Michael Hunnicutt and punt returner Jalen Saunders were the Special Teams Players of the Year.

Driskill, running back Daniel Brooks, offensive lineman JP Hughes and linebacker Ruben Hunter earned Scout Team Players of the Year.

To cap it all off, Millard, plus tight end Brannon Green, offensive guard Bronson Irwin, linebacker Corey Nelson, wide receiver Jaz Reynolds and nickelback Julian Wilson all received their diplomas as Dec. 2013 graduates.

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