JONESBORO, Ark. (2/22/18) – A First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last season for Arkansas State, Lanard Bonner was honored during the Red Wolves’ men’s basketball game Thursday night at First National Bank Arena as the recipient of the 2017 Gary Withrow Award, which is presented annually to the football team’s outstanding offensive lineman of the year.

Bonner redshirted his first season at A-State in 2016, but started every game as a junior last year while helping lead the Red Wolves to a school-record 494.8 yards total offense per game that ranked as the 10th highest average in the nation. He was presented with a crystal trophy honoring him as the latest Withrow Award winner, and his name will also be inscribed on the Gary Withrow Award plaque that resides in the offensive linemen meeting room at the A-State Football Facility.

The award was created and is funded by the Old Warriors Foundation, which consists of former Arkansas State University football players. Withrow coached A-State offensive linemen for 17 years. His pupils included former NFL players Ken Jones (Buffalo Bills) and Ray Brown (San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions), who concluded his 20-year NFL career with the Redskins and is now the offensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals.

“Coach Withrow had a tough love relationship with his players,” said Tommy Walker (former A-State player, 2013 Hall of Honor inductee, 2014 All-Centennial Team), who played under Withrow’s direction in the early 1980s. “He demanded the best out of all of his players, which meant his players giving their best at all times. We believed in him as a coach, and we believed in each other as players. We believed and still believe in the brotherhood of Arkansas State University football.”

Gary Withrow Award Winners
2003 – Kimani Jones
2004 – Steven Gibbs
2005 – Tanner Jenkins
2006 – Tanner Jenkins
2007 – Matt Mandich
2008 – Matt Mandich
2009 – Derek Newton
2010 – Sifa Etu
2011 – Tom Castilaw
2012 – Zack McKnight
2013 – Steven Haunga
2014 – Alan Wright
2015 – Colton Jackson
2016 – Jemar Clark
2017 – Lanard Bonner