West Virginia natives among WVU football’s top spring ball award winners

Gold and Blue Nation

Malashevich, Frazier collect hardware during Gold-Blue Spring Game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Head coach Neal Brown handed out a slew of awards at halftime of West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game Saturday. 

Five student-athletes were recognized with the Iron Mountaineer Award, an annual accolade that honors the top performers in the program’s offseason strength and conditioning regiment. The awardees were: 

  • Leddie Brown (Sr. RB / Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Zach Frazier (So. OL / Fairmont, W.Va.)
  • Graeson Malashevich (r-So. WR / Ceredo, W.Va.)
  • Tony Mathis Jr. (r-So. RB / Orlando, Fla.)
  • Scottie Young (r-Sr. S / San Diego, Calif.) 

Malashevich, who served as the team’s holder last season, was also honored with Tommy Nickolich Award, which is given annually by the coaching staff to honor a distinguished walk-on athlete. 

The Nickolich Award was established in 1991 in memory of former Mountaineer walk-on Tommy Nickolich, who died of cancer in 1983 shortly after his playing career ended. The program has also recognized Iron Mountaineers since 1996.

Additionally, Brown recognized more student-athletes for outstanding performances during spring ball. The following awards included input from the coaching staff and players: 

Juice Award: Offense: Garrett Greene, Defense: Eddie Watkins Jr.

Love to Practice (Attitude) Award: Offense: Zach Frazier, Defense: Nicktroy Fortune, Special Teams: J.P. Hadley

Perfect Effort: Offense: Mike O’Laughlin, Defense: Edward Vesterinen

Outstanding Walk-On Award: Offense: Nick Malone, Tyler Connelly; Defense: Drew Joseph

Most Improved First-Year Player: Offense: Jordan White, Garrett Greene, Reese Smith; Defense: Lanell Carr, Jackie Matthews, Taurus Simmons

Most Improved Overall: Offense: Tony Mathis Jr., Parker Moorer; Defense: Akheem Mesidor, VanDarius Cowan

Scout Special Teams Award: Naim Muhammad

Most Productive Player: Offense: Winston Wright Jr., Isaiah Esdale; Defense: Dante Stills; Special Teams: Malachi Ruffin

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