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Eagles cap 2007 football season with banquet, honors
Team acknowledges its 21 seniors
01.22 gsu banquet file
Former Effingham County High School star Lynon Jefferson (31) was one of 21 seniors recognized for their contributions Saturday night to the Georgia Southern University football program. - photo by File photo

Georgia Southern University held its annual football banquet Saturday night recognizing the seniors and award winners for the 2007 season. A capacity crowd attended the banquet, which was held at the Russell Union Ballroom.

Terry Harvin, a four-year letterwinner and current football color commentary broadcaster with the Georgia Southern Radio Network, served as the master of ceremonies. University President Dr. Bruce Grube, Athletics Director Sam Baker and head coach Chris Hatcher gave remarks on the 2007 season.

The Eagles finished 7-4 in Hatcher’s first season, including a win on the road over defending national champion Appalachian State.

The 21 seniors received their senior plaques. They included former Effingham County High star Lynon Jefferson, Jadwin Bignon, Irving Campbell, Cory Clemons, Marcelo Estrada, Jayson Foster, Bo Galvin, Charlie Giacomarro, Pierce Giboney, Jason Hawkins,  Dane Jensen, Jarmarcus Johnson, Daniel Jordan, Lamar Lewis, J.T. Nash, Russell Orr, Dusty Reddick, Jesse Suarez, Joey Tuttle, T.J. Watkins and Brad Williams.

Foster, Chris Covington, Estrada, Jesse Hartley and Orr were recognized for their All-America awards this season.

Foster received a standing ovation for winning the 2007 Walter Payton Award, which is presented by The Sports Network and goes to the top offensive player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

Foster became the second Georgia Southern player to win the award. Current Chicago Bears running back Adrian Peterson was the first Eagle to win the Payton Award.

Six Eagles were named to the Southern Conference fall 2007 academic all-conference team. Those honored were: Jerry Barker, Giacomarro, Giboney, Joe Haynie, Jordan and Reddick. The Georgia Southern University Academic Honor Roll members were also acknowledged.

Covington, Orr, Reddick, Watkins and Foster were also presented with the Captains Award.

The final award of the evening was the Erk Russell Award, in honor of the late head coach, which goes to an individual who exemplifies being a leader, competitor, student-athlete and believes in the team concept. Orr, a senior All-America offensive lineman, received the 2007 Erk Russell Award.