Benford wins Robert Hill Johnson Award, eight others honored
Jan 30, 2011
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Junior wide receiver Tim Benford
received the prestigious Robert Hill Johnson award for the second
time in his decorated career and eight other teammates accepted
honors Sunday evening as the 2010 Tennessee Tech football squad was
recognized at the team’s annual Awards Dinner.
Fourth-year head coach Watson Brown and his staff handed out five
long-standing awards plus five newer honors after the Golden Eagles
posted a 5-6 overall record in 2010.
Among winners selected by team voting, Tre Lamb received the
Sonny Allen Leadership Award, Kelechi Ordu accepted the Tech Pride
Award, and Cass Barnes the Unsung Hero Award.
Three awards that were established last year included the
Offensive MVP (Jocques Crawford), Defensive MVP (Dustin Dillehay
and Kelechi Ordu) and Special Teams MVP (Henry Sailes). Brown and
his staff added awards for the top Offensive Lineman (Slade Adams)
and top Defensive Lineman (Justin Hilliard).
Tim Benford, a junior from Chattanooga, is a
three-year starter for the Golden Eagles and a three-time all-OVC
selection. He also received the Robert Hill Johnson Award following
his freshman season in 2008.
In 2010, Benford led the team and ranked among OVC leaders with 50
catches for 812 yards and tied the school record with 10
touchdowns. His 812 yards ranks as the fourth-highest season in
school history and his 50 receptions is the sixth-best season
total. Benford was third in the OVC and 29th nationally
in receiving yards per game, and sixth in the OVC in receptions per
game. With 148 career catches, he is listed second all-time in the
Tech record book, and his career yardage total of 2,174 ranks third
The Sonny Allen Leadership Award went to sophomore Tre
Lamb, a quarterback from Calhoun, Ga., who was the
team’s starter for the first eight games before being
sidelined by an injury. Lab passed for 974 yards and 11 touchdowns
while throwing just four interceptions. He also ranked fifth on the
team in rushing yards with 100 in 82 attempts. He finished the year
first on the squad in total offense with 1,084 yards.
Linebacker Kelechi Ordu, a senior from Stone
Mountain, Ga., received the Tech Pride award and shared the
Defensive MVP honor with Dillehay. Ordu started all 11 games and
led the team with 90 total tackles to rank fourth in the OVC. He
wrapped up his Golden Eagle career with 186 tackles and 12.5
After quietly filling a backup role for much of the season,
Cass Barnes stepped into the starting role at
quarterback late in the year and led the offense with poise and
strong play. In the season finale, Barnes passed for 271 yards and
ignited a fourth quarter comeback that lifted the Golden Eagles to
a stunning 25-24 victory over No. 4 Jacksonville State. He was
named the OVC Offensive Player of the Week following that
A senior from Tullahoma, Tenn., Barnes passed for 758 yards and
three touchdowns and had a team-best 135.93 quarterback rating. He
had just one interception in 99 attempts. The fleet-footed
signal-caller also ranked third on the team in rushing with 250
yards in 68 carries, an average of 3.7 yards per carry. He was
second on the team in total offense with 1,008 yards.
Dustin Dillehay shared the Defensive MVP award with Ordu,
the second consecutive year that the senior safety from Hartsville,
Tenn., has received the honor. Another 11-game starter, Dillehay
ranked third on the team and 12th in the OVC with 73
total tackles. He grabbed two interceptions, broke up four passes,
caused a fumble and recovered a fumble. He closed his career with
184 total tackles and five interceptions.
Jocques Crawford, a senior runningback from
Memphis, won the Offensive MVP award in his only season in action
for the Golden Eagles. Crawford wound up as the team’s
leading rusher with 625 yards and nine touchdowns in 118 attempts,
ranking eight in the league. Crawford caught three passes for 24
yards, finishing third on the team in both all-purpose yards and
total offense. Twice named the OVC Newcomer of the Week, Crawford
earned selection to the OVC All-Newcomer team.
The Special Teams Player of the Year honor went to Henry
Sailes, a multi-dimensional senior from Palmetto, Fla.
Moved to wide receiver for his final season, Sailes finished second
on the team in receiving with 18 catches for 186 yards. He also had
nine carries for 75 yards. As a returner, Sailes averaged 18.1
yards in 22 kick returns and 19.3 yards in nine punt returns.
During the year, he broke the school record for most kickoff return
yards in a career.
The two new awards started this year by Brown honored linemen,
with sophomore Slade Adams earning the Offensive
Line MVP award and senior Justin Hilliard
capturing the Defensive Line MVP honor.
Adams, a sophomore from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., started all 11 games at
left guard and was a key player up front for the Golden Eagles. He
was one of three offensive front men to start every game, finishing
the year with 111 total knockdowns, an average of 10.1 per
A senior from Pikeville, Tenn., Hilliard was named second-team
all-OVC following his final season. The only Golden Eagle to start
all 11 games in the defensive line , he was tops among linemen with
47 total tackles. He ranked third on the team in tackles-for-loss
with 6.5 for 15 yards, and had one of the team’s two blocked
kicks in 2011. He finished his career with 112 total tackles and 20
The staff also recognized eight seniors, a group that included
Barnes, Dillehay, Hilliard, Ordu and Sailes, along with Corbin
Miles, Dedrick Miley and Charlies Seivers.
Peggie Parrott, the popular TTU football secretary for 28 years,
was also recognized by Brown and the coaching staff, and received a
standing ovation from the audience.