UCLA held its annual football team awards banquet on Saturday night, and the school announced that senior running back Johnathan Franklin and junior linebacker Anthony Barr were awarded team MVP honors for 2012.
These were the two clear-cut most valuable players for these UCLA Bruins, leading a resurgent team to a 9-3 regular season record and symbolizing the program’s awakening from its dormant status the past ten years.
Johnathan Franklin broke Gason Green’s all-time school rushing record en route to his 1700-yard season, while also earning second-team all-conference honors. Additionally, Franklin was named one of three Doak Awards finalists for the 2012 season while leading the nation in rushing for various weeks in the season.
Anthony Barr became the Pac-12’s leading pass-rusher in 2012 after moving to the position of linebacker rather late in the offseason, which followed a two-year stint buried in UCLA’s logjam of running backs. For the season, Barr has accumulated 13.5 sacks and has catapulted his way on to the 2013 NFL draft radar, with the most recent indication being his inclusion into Mel Kiper’s Big Board, which sees him as the 13th selection in the draft.
Overall, both had stellar seasons and have built a foundation for which UCLA can build upon, while also setting the standards for players in the Jim Mora era.