Sophomores Matt Kobli and Tadd Dombart and redshirt freshman Grant Hunter earned Butler football Most Valuable Player honors for the 2008 season. The three were among nine players honored at the team's annual awards banquet on Feb. 8.
Hunter, a starting defensive end, captured three Butler awards. He was named the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player, earned the squad's Newcomer of the Year Award and received the team's Battle of the Trenches (Lineman of the Year) award. He led the PFL in quarterback sacks with 14, the highest total by a Butler player since 1992 and the second-highest total ever by a Butler player. Hunter, who finished the season with 42 tackles, wound up second in the league in tackles for loss with 18.
Kobli, the starting quarterback for the 6-5 Bulldogs, was named Butler's Most Valuable Offensive Player. He set a school record with 23 touchdown passes in 2008, and he finished with 2,519 passing yards, the second-highest single season total in Butler football history. His 237 pass completions also were the second-most in Butler history. Kobli led the Pioneer Football League in total offense (273.7 ypg), and he finished third in the league in passing efficiency (142.6).
Dombart was tabbed as Butler's Most Valuable Special Teams Player. He led the PFL in punt return average (16.9), and he had the league's longest punt return with a 75-yard return for a touchdown against Morehead State. A starting defensive back, Dombart finished the season with 42 tackles, two pass interceptions a team-high five pass breakups and one blocked PAT.
Senior Mike Bennett, who closed out his career with 230 tackles, received the team's Bulldog Pride Award, given to the player who most exemplifies The Butler Way. Bennett finished third on the team in tackles in 2008 with 61. Butler's Most Improved Player Award was given to redshirt freshman Dionte Wiggins, who wound up leading the Bulldogs in rushing with 512 yards and five touchdowns.
Butler's Unsung Hero Awards, honoring scout team Players of the Year, were presented to four Bulldogs. Freshman Artis Hailey III earned Offensive Unsung Hero Award, while redshirt freshman Andrew Cottrell and freshman Chris Salvi shared the Defensive Unsung Hero Award. Freshman Taylor Clarkson was given Butler's Special Teams Unsung Hero Award.