BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southwestern Athletic Conference released its 2017 All-Conference Teams Thursday with 12 players from the SWAC West Division champions Grambling State being tabbed for the most individual honors.
The teams were announced two days before the 2017 Toyota SWAC Football Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, after ballots were cast by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
50 players were named to this year’s All-Conference teams. Players were ranked in their position based upon the number of votes received. Ballots required voters to rank their selections in order. After helping lead the Tigers to a conference-best 10-win season, Grambling State quarterback Devante Kincade was the voters’ choice for the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year award. Following up on his SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year nod, Kincade completed 59.7 percent of his passes and threw for 2,409 yards with 19 touchdowns against just three interceptions. The senior held the top passing efficiency with a rating of 143.8. Additionally, Kincade accounted for the most total yards of offense as well with 2,649 yards.
De’Arius Christmas was tabbed as the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year after he was ranked fourth in the conference in tackles with 76, third in the SWAC with 14.5 tackles for a loss, to go along with 3.5 sacks (18th in SWAC), and two forced fumbles (tied for fourth in SWAC).
Mississippi Valley State junior transfer wide receiver Quinn McElfresh was named the SWAC Newcomer of the Year after leading the conference in receptions per game (5.2), was ranked second in receiving yards per game (80.8), led in receiving yards (889) and added five touchdowns.
Prairie View A&M kicker Zach Elder was honored with the SWAC Freshman of the Year award after ranking tied for third in the conference in scoring (72 points) as he made 42-of-43 PATs and converted on 10-of-12 field goals. He led the SWAC in PAT percentage (97.7).
Broderick Fobbs was dubbed the SWAC Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to another double-digit win season and a third consecutive trip to the SWAC Championship. Grambling State lead the conference in points per game (32.0), was second in points allowed per game (19.4) and boosted the conference’s best run stopping defense (allowed 94.0 yards per game), most interceptions (16), most sacks (41) and one of the nation’s top turnover ratios (plus 21) as well as the SWAC’s top red zone offense (converted on 90 percent of chances).
SWAC East Division winner Alcorn State had the second most amount of selections with nine, SWAC West Division runner up Southern and Prairie View A&M followed closely behind with eight selections apiece on the teams.
Mississippi Valley State had four selections while Alabama A&M and Alabama State each garnered three selections apiece, Arkansas-Pine Bluff had two selections and Jackson State had one representative.
Joining Kincade on the preseason first-team offense are: running backs De’Lance Turner (Alcorn State), Martez Carter (Grambling State) and offensive linemen Trent Scott (Grambling State), Timothy Gardner (Alcorn State), William Waddell (Grambling State), Kenyon Brantley (Alcorn State), and Sam Baptiste (Alabama State), wide receivers Norlando Veals (Alcorn State) and Khadarel Hodge (Prairie View A&M) and tight end Dillon Beard (Southern).
Joining Christmas on the first-team defense are: defensive linemen Aaron Tiller (Southern), La’Allan Clark (Grambling State), Brandon Varner (Grambling State), and Vernon Moland (Alabama A&M), linebackers Kenneth Davis (Alabama A&M), and Jalyn Williams (Prairie View A&M) and defensive backs Danny Johnson (Southern), De’Aumante Johnson (Grambling State), Ju’Anthony Parker (Prairie View A&M), and Ronnie Scott (Alabama State).
Kicker Marc Orozco (Grambling State), punter Jamie Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and Darius Floyd (Prairie View A&M) were each tabbed as first team selections for special teams.
Offensive Player of the Year: Devante Kincade (QB) — Grambling State
Defensive Player of the Year: De’Arius Christmas (LB) — Grambling State
Newcomer of the Year: Quinn McElfresh (WR) — Mississippi Valley State
Freshman of the Year: Zach Elder (K) — Prairie View A&M
Coach of the Year: Broderick Fobbs — Grambling State
2017 All-SWAC Football Team
QB Devante Kincade Grambling State
RB De’Lance Turner Alcorn State
RB Martez Carter Grambling State
OL Trent Scott Grambling State
OL Timothy Gardner Alcorn State
OL William Waddell Grambling State
OL Kenyon Brantley Alcorn State
OL Sam Baptiste Alabama State
WR Norlando Veals Alcorn State
WR Khadarel Hodge Prairie View A&M
TE Dillon Beard Southern
DL Aaron Tiller Southern
DL La’Allan Clark Grambling State
DL Brandon Varner Grambling State
DL Vernon Moland Alabama A&M
LB De’Arius Christmas Grambling State
LB Kenneth Davis Alabama A&M
LB Jalyn Williams Prairie View A&M
DB Danny Johnson Southern
DB De’Aumante Johnson Grambling State
DB Ju’Anthony Parker Prairie View A&M
DB Ronnie Scott Alabama State
K Marc Orozco Grambling State
P Jamie Gillan Arkansas-Pine Bluff
RS Darius Floyd Prairie View A&M
QB Austin Howard Southern
RB Herb Edwards Southern
RB Sta’Fon McCray Prairie View A&M
OL Mustaffa Ibrahim Alcorn State
OL Corbin Finlayson Prairie View A&M
OL Shawn Pierce Prairie View A&M
OL Alvin Solomon Mississippi Valley State
OL Christian Rodriguez Southern
WR Quinn McElfresh Mississippi Valley State
WR Darrell Clark Grambling State
TE Jordan Jones Grambling State
DL Michael Brooks Alcorn State
DL Tashad Charity Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DL Linwood Banks Grambling State
DL DeVohn Reed Prairie View A&M
LB Patrick Harbin Mississippi Valley State
LB Trae Ferrell Alcorn State
LB Shawn Bishop Jackson State
DB Dylan Hamilton Alabama A&M
DB Everett Nicholas Mississippi Valley State
DB Andre Augustine Southern
DB Deago Sama Alcorn State
K Corey McCullough Alcorn State
P Trevor Vincent Alabama State
RS Danny Johnson Southern