COLLEGE STATION – Senior wide receiver Travis Labhart received the Aggie Heart Award, the highest honor for an A&M football player, to highlight the annual Texas A&M Football Banquet on Friday at The Zone Club at Kyle Field.
Labhart, from Whitesboro High School, began his A&M football career on the scout team as a non-scholarship player, but, through hard work and determination, developed into a starter at wide receiver as a senior. Going into the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Labhart ranks No. 4 on the team with 44 catches for 550 yards and five touchdowns. Over the final seven games of the regular season, Labhart was the team’s most productive receiver with 41 catches for 498 yards.
Earning Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors were sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel (Kerrville, Texas) and junior defensive end Gavin Stansbury (Franklin, La.), respectively, while sophomore punter Drew Kaser (Strongsville, Ohio) was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Manziel generated 4,418 total yards with 3,732 passing and another 686 rushing in 12 regular season games. He completed 270-of-391 passes for 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns. His passing touchdowns are already a school record and he needs just 13 yards to break Ryan Tannehill’s school record for passing yards in a season.
Stansbury finished the 2013 regular season tied for the team lead with three quarterback sacks and contributed 47 tackles from his defensive end spot. He came on strong down the stretch with 42 tackles in the final seven games of the regular season. During that span, Stansbury had a career-high 10 stops vs. Auburn and nine vs. Vanderbilt.
Kaser finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the SEC and No. 2 nationally with a 47.4 punt average. Behind Kaser’s strong leg, the Aggies rank No. 7 nationally and No. 2 in the SEC with a 40.4 net punt average. Kaser put 17 of his 44 total punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and forced 14 fair catches. Kaser boomed 17 punts of 50 yards or more, including a career-best 76-yarder.
Do-everything senior running back Ben Malena received the coveted Coaches’ Choice Award. Malena (Cedar Hill, Texas). A team captain, Malena ranked second on the team with 506 rushing yards and led the team with 10 rushing touchdowns. He also contributed 20 catches for 184 yards. He ranked third on the team in all-purpose yardage with 796 yards.
Complete Texas A&M Football Honors
Aggie Heart: Travis Labhart
Offensive Player of the Year: Johnny Manziel
Defensive Player of the Year: Gavin Stansbury
Special Teams Player of the Year: Drew Kaser
Coaches’ Choice Award: Ben Malena
Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Conner McQueen
Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Taylor Martinez
Weight Room Off-Season MVP: Mike Matthews
Team Captains: Jake Matthews, Ben Malena, Toney Hurd Jr., Mike Evans
Academic Excellence Award: Kirby Ennis