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


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