Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick was named the Big East's player of the year and its rookie of the year yesterday--the first time a freshman has won the league's top honor.
Vick, who was redshirted last season, led a Hokies sweep of the conference's five individual awards. Coach Frank Beamer, defensive end Corey Moore and place kicker Shayne Graham also were honored.
Beamer guided the Hokies to their first 11-0 season and a No. 2 ranking that gives them a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.
Moore received the maximum possible votes for defensive player of year--the first time ever for the conference, and the second consecutive year he has won the award. He set a conference record with 17 sacks, leading the Big East for the second year in a row.
"That's kind of exciting," Moore said when told about the league honor. "I'm not one that's big on individual awards, but I'm happy for Coach Beamer and for the other guys. Coach Beamer deserves all of the credit he gets this season for us running the table in the Big East and for this team to be on to bigger things. . . .
"And Michael Vick, I can go on and on talking about Michael Vick. I think he's the best player in the country. He definitely doesn't play like a rookie. I think he's the number one reason why this team was so successful this season."
In addition, the Football News yesterday named Moore its defensive player of the year. Moore beat out Clemson linebacker Keith Adams, Michigan State linebacker Julian Peterson (Crossland High), Florida State tackle Corey Simon and Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown for the award. Virginia's Thomas Jones was a finalist for the Football News's offensive player of the year award, which went to Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne.
Graham, who scored 107 points to break his own conference scoring record, was the league's special teams player of the year. He made 17 of 22 field goal tries and 56 extra points and is the Big East career scoring leader with 372 points.
Graham joins former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb--a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles--as the only players to earn all-Big East four times.
The conference's head coaches vote on the awards, but they cannot vote for their own players.
Staff writer Angie Watts contributed to this report.