D-I Men’s 2024 Offensive Player of the Year

These elite offensive players helped keep the points flowing for their teams.

Each year, Ultiworld presents our annual College Awards. Our staff evaluates the individual performances of players from throughout the season, talking to folks around college ultimate, watching film, and look at statistics, voting upon the awards to decide those to be honored. The regular season and the college Series are both considered, with extra emphasis for performances in the competitive and high-stakes environment at Nationals.

Our awards continue with the Offensive Player of the Year, recognizing the individual, and two runners-up, who we felt had the most impactful and productive seasons helping their teams score. They set up goals, finished off points, and produced yardage at consistently high levels against the top defenders.

D-I Men’s 2024 Offensive Player Of The Year

Paul Krenik (Minnesota)

Minnesota’s Paul Krenik makes the catch past trailing defenders at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

There was an all-too-common sight in during the 2024 college season: an ace defender, somewhere in the vicinity of the end zone, head hung low, wearing a face of mixed exasperation and bewilderment, searching the ground for answers that would never arrive. If any of the cleatmarks from those moments – those defeated, close-stepped post-score shuffles – had been somehow preserved for posterity, archaeologists would be able to read their meaning at a glance: Paul Krenik was here.

Krenik’s indelible mark on the season was a trail of disappointed defenders. There was no more dangerous off-disc player in the nation. Opponents set up matchup schemes at their own peril. The best they could hope for, realistically, was that Grey Duck would overlook whatever sacrifice1 they had offered up to Krenik. More often, he simply went to work, snapping them back and forth like the end of a whip at his slightest movement and then darting wherever he damn well pleased. No player is unguardable, but it’s hard to think of a player more frequently unguarded while being ostensibly guarded than Krenik was this season. Even when a hanging throw let a defender set up close for an attempted block, he rose early and powerfully to grab the disc with an elbow’s length to spare. That is to say, even in coverage he was astonishingly clean to the disc. Immaculate scores were the norm.

All that – and Krenik’s throws this season were top-tier. Split-second inside backhand breaks and long, arcing crossfield away forehands looked easy coming out of his hands. It all added up to a brilliant run for Grey Duck and this well-deserved hardware for a sensational offensive year.

– Edward Stephens

First Runner-Up

Aidan Downey (Georgia)

Aidan Downey rips a flick for Georgia during pool play at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Rudy Desort – UltiPhotos.com

The word “hybrid” gets used a lot these days to describe players who eschew typical positional roles, and yet in this case using such a word somehow undersells Aidan Downey’s 2024 campaign in which he was, to put it bluntly, the most versatile offensive player in the country. Regardless of where on the field he started the point, Downey instinctively flowed across horizontal and vertical space, displaying a top-notch frisbee IQ which often put the disc in his hands in the perfect position to throw jaw-dropping hucks, sublime upside-downs to soft spaces, and beautifully weighted insides. Just as frequently, his cutting created space for his talented teammates to thrive, which was crucial for a sneaky deep Georgia team. Pour in an overflowing ladleful of athleticism showcased by absurdly regular highlight reel layouts and skies and you get a masterful display of offensive dominance, all of which results in Downey claiming yet another accolade to add to his resume as he takes his place on the Offensive Player of the Year podium.

– Jacob Cowan

Second Runner-Up

Anton Orme (Cal Poly SLO)

Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE’s Anton Orme at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Since his first point for Cal Poly back in 2021, Anton Orme has been an offensive focal point. In the past, other luminaries like KJ Koo, Calvin Brown, and Alex Nelson took the primary spotlight, but this season Orme undoubtedly was the offensive force other teams needed to plan their game around. You know the opening scene in The Fate of the Furious when Dom Toretto races whatever car he can get a key into and of course comes out a winner? That’s Orme charging through the lane to initiate a point: there is just no way he will be stopped. An adept thrower, defender, and leader, Orme’s offensive display of talent carried SLOCORE farther than they’ve ever gone before.

– Alex Rubin

  1. Most often their best defender 

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

  2. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  3. Jacob Cowan
    Jacob Cowan

    Jacob Cowan began playing ultimate in New York City in high school. After a couple of club seasons with Brooklyn Blueprint and following a college career playing with and captaining the Grinnell Grinnellephants, he is now searching for the best cheap meal in Madrid.

TAGGED: , , , , , , , ,

TEAMS: , ,

More from Ultiworld
Comments on "D-I Men’s 2024 Offensive Player of the Year"

Find us on Twitter

Recent Comments

Find us on Facebook

Subscriber Exclusives

  • StellO vs. PUMAS (Masters Women’s Final)
    Video for standard subscribers
  • Fawkes vs. regret. (Masters Mixed Final)
    Video for standard subscribers
  • Boneyard vs. Voltron2020 (Masters Men’s Final)
    Video for standard subscribers
  • Deep Look LIVE: The State of the Club Division ft. Patrick Stegemoeller; UFA Playoffs, Masters
    podcast with bonus segment