DENVER --After playing a key role in the Broncos' record-setting offense last season, wide receiver Wes Welker has been named the Denver Athletic Club's Colorado Athlete of the Year.
Welker was presented with his award on Wednesday night at the DAC's 39th Annual Athlete of the Year Banquet.
"It's a big honor," Welker said. "Obviously there's a lot of great athletes in Denver and being in this community and playing for the Broncos for just a year now and getting this award is definitely a huge deal."
Welker finished the 2013 season, his first with the Broncos, with 73 receptions for 778 yards (10.7 avg.) and a career-high 10 touchdowns.
He helped the Broncos finish as the highest-scoring unit in NFL history last season and the advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. The five-time Pro Bowl player just finished his tenth season in the NFL and he took on an important leadership role on the team. He joined the Broncos after six seasons with the New England Patriots, where he accumulated the most receptions (672) in Patriots history. Welker said his Broncos teammates helped him tremendously during his transition to Denver.
"It's been great, it's been fun," Welker said. "Anytime you win, it's fun. Just being a part of this organization and this team and that locker room and how they represent themselves, you couldn't ask for a better organization or team or anything else. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
Welker started 13 games last season and his 73 receptions were the third highest on the team. He was second on the team with 10 punt returns, averaging 7.0 yards per return.
Former Broncos who also received this honor include Champ Bailey, John Elway, Ed McCaffrey, Von Miller and Jake Plummer.
Welker had an inspiring message for those attending the banquet.
"I definitely don't look like the best athlete or anything like that," Welker said during his acceptance speech. "I think for me it's always been about work ethic and understanding the game and those different things and really just putting in the hard work that's necessary to be successful and I think that's one of the key things that my parents instilled in me and something that I really try to keep with me going into my 11th year here in the NFL."