Like all the other individual awards he’s won this school year, Gryphon linebacker John Rush credited his latest victory to the performance of everyone around him.Thursday night, Rush was named the male athlete of the year at the annual University of Guelph Gryphons Athletic Banquet at the Mitchell Athletics Centre.“Like I said before with the President’s Trophy and all the other awards I’ve received this year, it really is a culmination of how well our team did and how well our coaches have come along,” he said. “They’ve done such a good job over the past five years working with me, making sure I’m doing the right things at the right time, putting effort in with me, surrounding me with the best guys in the country. It’s not just an individual effort. As much as it is an individual trophy, it’s a complete team effort from the players to the coaches. It’s an honour to win this award but really just represents how far this team has come and how good this team is.”With the win, Rush became the first football player to claim the award since 1994 when receiver Dave Irwin became the ninth football player in 11 years to be named the school’s top male athlete.“I didn’t even know I was up for this award until I got here,” Rush said. “We have such phenomenal athletes at this school that to be even nominated for this award didn’t even cross my mind.”The first Gryphon to ever win the President’s Trophy as the top defensive player in Canadian university football, Rush led the country with 88 tackles during the season, including 28 in the playoffs, and he also led the nation with four sacks in the playoffs. His play in his fifth and final season at Guelph helped the Gryphs win the OUA championship Yates Cup for the first time since 1996.He’s also the first Gryphon defensive player to be named male athlete of the year at the university since linebacker Mike O’Shea shared the award with basketball player Tim Mau and hockey player Steve Perkovic in 1993.“To even be considered in the realm of Mike O’Shea is a pretty big honour,” Rush said. “Mike O’Shea is Mike O’Shea. He’s the man.”Those two names, Mike O’Shea and John Rush, have been mentioned in the same sentence numerous times this school year.“It is an honour to be even considered close to him, but personally I don’t think I’m close to where I need to be to be considered close to Mike O’Shea,” Rush said. “Watching film on him, he’s just so intelligent and aware and precise with his actions. If I want to be considered even close to the same calibre as him, I have a lot of work to do.”The male athlete of the year win by Rush was the third individual win by a gridiron Gryphon at the banquet.Running back Johnny Augustine was named the winner of the Don Cameron Award as the school’s male athlete who showed the greatest progress during his first three years of competition.As the feature back, Augustine had 814 yards rushing and a school single-season record of 12 rushing touchdowns last fall and he also had 245 yards and two more touchdowns on receptions. In first two seasons combined, Augustine had 675 yards rushing and four touchdowns, all on the run.Linebacker Pat McGrath was named the student-athlete mentor of the year for his work with the school’s Student-Athlete Mentorship, a program designed to help any student-athlete from any sport who is struggling with schoolwork. It features small workshops, group study and individual attention from the mentors.Linebackers Rush, McGrath and Job Reinhart were also honoured with team awards as Rush was the winner of the Donald Forster Trophy as the team’s most valuable player, McGrath the winner of the Ted Wildman Memorial Award as the player who best displays excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community and Reinhart was the rookie of the year.All three were presented with those awards at the team’s Wildman Dinner in January.