BIRMIMGHAM – The Southwestern Athletic Conference released its All-SWAC football teams for the 2012 season on Tuesday. The announcement kicked off the build-up to Saturday’s Toyota SWAC Football Championship Game which will take place on Saturday at historic Legion Field.
Western Division champions Arkansas-Pine Bluff led the way with 13 student-athletes selected, including seven first-team picks. Eastern Division champ Jackson State and Alabama State each placed seven on the teams, with ASU having six on the first team and JSU five. Mississippi Valley State and Prairie View had six apiece, while, Alabama A&M and Southern each placed five student-athletes on the list. Texas Southern rounded out the selections with one honoree.
Jackson State wide receiver Rico Richardson was named Offensive Player of the Year, while UAPB lineman Brandon Thurmond grabbed Defensive Player the Year honors. Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowll was named Newcomer of the Year, while PVAM kick return specialist Johnta Hebert was named Freshman of the Year.
Richardson, a 2011 second team selection was the only receiver in the SWAC to gain over 1,000 yards receiving this season, The senior from Natchez, Miss. finished the regular season with 56 receptions for 1,081 yards which led the SWAC and is ranked 13th in the NCAA. He also led the conference in TD grabs with 10. He averaged 19.3 yards per catch and 98.3 per game also lead the SWAC.
Thurmond recorded 63 tackles, included 25 tackles for loss, ranking him second in the SWAC, second in NCAA (FCS). He led the nation in sacks with 16.5. In addition, Thurmond had one pass break-up, seven quarterback hurries, three recovered fumbles, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
Crowell, a transfer from the University of Georgia, was third in the SWAC in rushing with 842 yards and posted four 100-yard rushing games. He scored a career-high 15 touchdowns which led the SWAC. Crowell.also caught 11 passes for 95 yards and scored at least one touchdown 10 times.
Hebert returned 49 kicks for 926 yards. He averaged 18.8 per kick which ranked him second in the SWAC. Hebert also returned one kickoff for a touchdow and led the SWAC with 121.7 all-purpose yards per game.
The All-SWAC teams are selected by the head football coaches and SID’s of the conference. The SWAC Coach of the Year is determined by the winner of the SWAC Championship Game and will be presented following Saturday’s game at Birmingham’s Legion Field. Kickoff is set for 12:02 p.m. between Jackson State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
All-SWAC 1st-team Offense
QB Ben Anderson, SO, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
RB Kaderius Lacey, SR, Alabama A&M
RB Isaiah Crowell, SO, Alabama State
WR Rico Richardson, SR, Jackson State
WR Lee Doss, JR, Southern
TE Dezmond Beverly, JR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Terren Jones, SR, Alabama State
OL Zion Pyatt, SR, Jackson State
OL Stephen Capler, SR, Jackson State
OL Christopher Wilson, SR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Jamal Johnson-Webb, SR, Alabama A&M
All-SWAC 1st-team Defense
DL Joseph LeBeau, SR, Jackson State
DL Brandon Thurmond, SR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DL Robert Simpson, JR, Mississippi Valley
DL Jimmy Daniels, SR, Alabama State
LB Brandon Roberts, SR, Alabama State
LB Keven Woods, SR, Mississippi Valley
LB Bill Ross, SR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DB Kejuan Riley, SR, Alabama State
DB Qua Cox, JR, Jackson State
DB Vernon Marshall, SR, Alabama A&M
DB Ryan Shaw, JR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
All-SWAC 1st-team Specialists
PK Tyler Strickland, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
P Bobby Wenzig, JR, Alabama State
KR Spencer Nelson, SR, Prairie View
All-SWAC 2nd-team Offense
QB Dray Joseph, JR, Southern
RB Justin Billings, JR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
RB Brandon Stansell, SR, Mississippi Valley
WR T.C. McWilliams, SR, Alabama State
WR Ladrius Eckwood, JR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
TE Bobby Goldsby, SR, Alabama A&M
OL Chris Brown, SR, Southern
OL Terron Armstead, SR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Tre Glover, SO, Prairie View
OL Kenny Eagle, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Jonathan Smith, SO, Jackson State
All-SWAC 2nd-team Defense
DL Johnathan Billups, SR, Jackson State
DL Robert Dorsey, SR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DL Javaris Frtiz, SR, Mississippi Valley
DL Preston Nelson, SR, Alabama A&M
LB Anthony Balancier, JR, Southern
LB Jerome Howard, SO, Prairie View
LB Jer-ryan Harris, JR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DB Vigil Williams, JR, Southern
DB Marquez Floyd, SR, Mississippi Valley
DB Brian Medlock, SR, Prairie View
DB Carlos Hollis, SR, Mississippi Valley
All-SWAC 2nd-team Specialists
PK Chris Barrick, SO, Prairie View
P Robert Hersh, SR, Texas Southern
KR Johnta’ Hebert, FR, Prairie View