Noechel Earns Nickolich Award

Linebacker Jeff Noechel is the recipient of this year's Tommy Nickolich Award, which is presented each spring by the Blue & Gold News to a deserving walk-on athlete in the Mountaineer Football Program.

Jeff Noechel, a junior linebacker from Fairmont, W. Va., has been selected as this year's outstanding walk-on football player. Similar to our past award winners, Noechel has made the most of his walk-on opportunity, and is set to see more action this year as a backup linebacker and on special teams.

As a sophomore last season, Noechel recorded 17 tackles. He also saw some varsity action on special teams as a redshirt freshman. Noechel was also selected by the coaches as the 2001 Danny Van Etten Award winner, which is presented to the defensive player of the year on the Mountaineer scout team.

The 6-2, 230 pound linebacker was a three-sport captain at East Fairmont High, and is also a member of the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll.

The Nickolich trophy is presented annually to a walk-on player who has distinguished himself through attitude and work ethic.

It was established in 1991 as a memorial to Tom Nickolich, a former WVU walk-on player who died of cancer in 1983. The Blue & Gold News is proud to be a part of this award.

PAST NICKOLICH AWARD WINNERS
YEAR PLAYER POS
1991 Keith Taparausky RB
1992 Ray Wilcox LB
1993 Matt McCulty WR
1994 Randy Fulmore DB
1995 Rob Keys DB
1996 Matt Ceresa OL
1997 David Lightcap DB
1998 Mark Corman TE
1999 Bryan Lorenz TE
2000 Ben Collins DB
2001 Jeremy Knapp TE
2002 Moe Fofana FB
2003 John Pennington WR

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