DENTON -- Junior defensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, the cornerstone of a defensive unit that helped lead the Mean Green to a second straight Sun Belt Conference title and victory in the 2002 New Orleans Bowl, received the Odus Mitchell Award as Team MVP at the annual North Texas Mean Green Football Banquet on Saturday.
Kennedy headed a list of 15 players who were recognized with individual awards at the banquet honoring the 2002 Mean Green team that sported an 8-5 overall record, went undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play at 6-0 and then defeated Cincinnati in the New Orleans Bowl in December.
Other top award winners included senior running back Kevin Galbreath, who claimed the Steve Ramsey Award as the outstanding offensive player and junior linebacker Taylor Casey, who received the Joe Greene Award as the team's outstanding defensive player.
Kennedy, named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as well as the league's defensive player of the year, finished the season ranked second in the nation in tackles for a loss. He finished the regular season with a career-high 72 tackles.
Galbreath rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the second straight year, earning him unanimous selection to the first team All-Sun Belt Conference team. He also has been invited to participate in the Hula Bowl on Feb. 1
Casey was also named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference last season in his second season as a starter at outside linebacker.
Other 2002 Mean Green Football Banquet award winners included:
Shawn Kramer Award (Most Inspirational Player) -- Craig Jones
Abner Haynes Award (Outstanding Special Teams Player) -- Markeith Knowlton
Ja'Quay Wilburn Award (Outstanding Offensive Back) -- Ja'Mel Branch and Andrew Smith
Phillip Armour Award (Outstanding Offensive Lineman) -- Jeff Muenchow
Bill Bishop Award (Outstanding Defensive Lineman) -- Darrell Daniels, Brandon Kennedy, Adrian Awasom and Chris McIver
Byron Gross Award (Outstanding Linebacker) -- Cody Spencer and Chris Hurd
Bill Brashier Award (Outstanding Defensive Back) -- Don McGee