Wide receiver Jordan Taylor, who led the Owls in receiving for the third consecutive year, was named the winner of the 91st George Martin Award as the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Rice Owls during the team's annual awards banquet which was held on Sunday afternoon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel-Greenway Plaza in Houston.
Taylor joined with senior safety Malcolm Hill and junior quarterback Driphus Jackson in being named captains of the 2014 Owls in addition to Gabe Baker and Matt Simonette who were announced prior to the season.
The 2014 awards banquet was hosted by current Minnesota Vikings' safety Andrew Sendejo, himself a past winner of the Martin Award.
Taylor was presented his MVP award by former Owls All-America wideout Jarett Dillard, who was the last wide receiver to in the Martin Award in 2006. Taylor is the ninth receiver to win the honor, which was first presented in 1925.
Taylor amassed 53 catches, 841 yards and seven touchdowns over the final nine games to lead the Owls to school-record third consecutive bowl berth. He finished his career with 175 receptions, 2,585 yards and 20 touchdown receptions. He trails only Dillard in receiving yards and touchdowns while his reception total ranks third in Rice history.
Taylor also was presented with the George R. Brown Offensive Award for receivers.
Nordstrom received the James Glanville Award for his combination of academic and athletic achievement; the Joe Davis Award as the most improved defensive player from last spring and the Jess Neely Award for defensive linemen. He was also presented with his Capital One Academic All-America second team plaque.
Simonette was presented with the "Bloody Joe" Davis Award which goes to the player or players who most display the competitive spirit of the legendary Rice assistant coach, rising above pain and injury to be the best player possible. He also received the Billy Ed Daniels Award as the player who exhibits the qualities most desired in a teammate and picked up the George R. Brown Offensive award for linemen. Simonette also was presented his Burlsworth Award candidate plaque.
Safety Gabe Baker was presented the O.J. Brigance Courage Award, which is given annually to the Rice University football player who best represents and demonstrates the combined qualities of teamwork, good character, work ethic, and courageous leadership, which are the hallmark of the athletic and professional career of former Owl and NFL player O. J. Brigance.
Wide receiver James Mayden received the Joe F. Lipscomb Award as the Owls' top freshman after showing a flair for the big play in 2014. He averaged 32.7 yards per catch on seven receptions, including three long distance touchdowns, in his initial collegiate campaign.
Running back Jowan Davis, who led the Owls with 956 yards on the ground, picked up the George R. Brown Offensive Award for running backs.
Bryce Callahan and James Radcliffe picked up the Jess Neely Awards for defensive backs and linebackers. Offensive tackle Ian Gray was honored with the Bill Whitmore Award as the most improved offensive player from last spring.
Sendejo, who has excelled in special teams in the NFL, presented awards to the Owls top performers on their "Special Forces" units. Brandon Hamilton was presented the Special Forces Medal of Honor; D.J. Green received the Special Forces Silver Star while Emmanuel Ellerbee earned the Special Forces Bronze Star.
The annual awards banquet closed out a weekend of activities that included the annual Blue-Gray Spring game and the Rice Football Golf Tournament and officially draws the spring activity to a close.