Aggie Football Holds 2023 Banquet

Credit to Rachel Perreault | Director, Athletics Communications –

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Graduate defensive back Sam Mathews, who served as the12th Man in his final season and embodied every aspect of the role, continuously leading by example and coming to work every day with a team-first mentality, was the recipient of the 2023 Aggie Heart Award, the highest honor for a Texas A&M senior football player. The award was presented at the annual Texas A&M football banquet, held Sunday at the Ford Hall of Champions inside Kyle Field to honor the 2023 Aggie football team.

The Heart Award is presented to a senior who has completed his eligibility and displays the intangibles such as effort, desire, determination, competitiveness, accountability, leadership and courage. The Aggie Heart Award winner is the player who extends himself to the fullest every time he dons his football gear, regardless of the situation, be it in practice or a game. The Heart Award is voted upon by the players of the football team.

Mathews played in 32 games through his three years in Aggieland and has made 12 career starts as the 12th Man this season. He made at least one tackle in seven of the 12 games this year as a staple on nearly every special teams unit. The League City, Texas, native has made 24 tackles in his career and forced a fumble earlier this season. Last season, Mathews made a career-high six tackles against Florida, stepping up when the team needed him.

Team Awards
Heart Award: Sam Mathews
Team Captains: Fadil Diggs, McKinnley Jackson, Demani Richardson, Layden Robinson, Ainias Smith
Academic Excellence Award: Keith Steptoe
Aggie Strength Award: Ainias Smith
Brotherhood Impact Award: 12th Man Kickoff Team (Nana Boadi-Owusu, Randy Bond, Anthony DiNota, Danny Lockhart, Sam Mathews, Andrew Merrick, Johnny Ryder, Will Smoot, Caleb Surber, Kason Tullos Kyle Walsh, Alex Zettler)
Most Improved – Offense: Le’Veon Moss
Most Improved – Defense: Shemar Stewart
Skill Award – Offense: Noah Thomas, Jahdae Walker
Skill Award – Defense: Demani Richardson, Taurean York
Trenches Award – Offense: Max Wright, Trey Zuhn III
Trenches Award – Defense: Shemar Turner, Walter Nolen
Special Teams MVP: Sam Mathews
Defensive MVP: Edgerrin Cooper
Offensive MVP: Ainias Smith