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Michael Crowley of Marquette selected to receive Jim Leonhard Award

11/18/2015, 3:30pm CST
By Travis Wilson

Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Marquette's Michael Crowley as the 2015 recipient of the Jim Leonhard Award as the most outstanding senior defensive back in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.

Crowley led the Marquette defense in tackles with 113, recording 2 tackles for loss, 6 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and 15 passes defended this season.

He is equally adept at dropping into coverage and breaking on the ball, or getting downhill in the run game.

“For a guy that played 7-10 yards off the ball he sure wreaked a lot of havoc for offenses in our conference!” head coach Jeff Mazurczak said. "Michael aligns our defense and makes secondary calls on each play. He is an outstanding pass defender who has proven this year to be an outstanding run defender as well."

Finalists for the award were Crowley, Jim Hoesley of Arcadia, Kobe Knaak of Franklin, Matthew Lechner of Catholic Memorial, Amaziah McCall of Amherst, and Jake Walgenbach of Fond du Lac.

Past winners of the award include Marquette's Michael Trotter (2009), Appleton North's Joe Makeever (2010), Edgar's Kyle Schueller (2011), Whitefish Bay's Jackson Weber (2012), Appleton North's Connor Rolain (2013), and Kimberly's Bret Verstegen (2014).

The award is named after Jim Leonhard, one of the most beloved players from the state of Wisconsin. Hailing from tiny Tony, Wisconsin and attending Flambeau High School, Leonhard was a two-time All-State selection. He walked-on at the University of Wisconsin, and quickly established himself as a leader and outstanding player. He started 39 games in his career, and his 21 career interceptions are tied for the most in Badger history and fourth in the Big Ten. He also broke the Big Ten punt return yardage record. Leonhard went undrafted, but hooked on with the Buffalo Bills before moving to the Baltimore Ravens. In 2009 he signed with the New York Jets and is now with the Cleveland Browns.

The voting panel for the WSN Senior Football Awards consisted of:  Travis Wilson, WSN General Manager and Head Football Writer;  Norbert Durst, WSN Content Manager; Dennis Semrau, ESPN Madison; Justin Hull, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; JR Radcliffe, NOW Newspapers; Dan Barwick, WSN Contributor; Jason Cox, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram; Fan Vote

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