JSU Football Recieves Several Honors

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jax State Has Record 18 OVC All-Conference Selections

Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State took home three of the four major 2014 postseason OVC football awards and a record number 18 selections across the first-team, second-team and All-Newcomer squads in voting conducted by league head coaches and sports information directors and announced on Tuesday.

 

Jacksonville State junior defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler was named Defensive Player of the Year and offensive tackle Justin Lea was named OVC Freshman of the Year while their coachJohn Grass was tabbed the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year. The other major award went to Eastern Kentucky junior running back Dy'Shawn Mobley who was named Offensive Player of the Year.

 

Jacksonville State led the way with eight first-team selections and had 18 total selections across the first-team, second-team and All-Newcomer squads, the most in school history. Eastern Illinois was second with 12 picks across the three teams, including five first-team and five second-team selections.

 

John Grass was named the Roy Kidd OVC Coach of the Year, while Junior Devaunte Siger earned the OVC Defensive Player of the Year award and Justin Lea was named the OVC Freshman of the Year.

 

Eight Gamecocks earned All-OVC first-team honors, including Eli Jenkins (QB), DaMarcus James (RB), Max Holcombe (C), Adam Wright (OG), Devaunte Sigler (DL), LaMichael Fanning (DL)Jermaine Hough (DB) and Hamish MacInnes (P). It marks the most first-team All-OVC selections for the Gamecocks in school history.

 

Six other Gamecocks earned All-OVC second-team honors, including Josh Barge (WR), Bo Brummel (TE), Justin Lea (OT),Chris Landrum (DL), Caleb Lawrence (DL) and Ben Endress (LB). It also marks the most All-OVC second-team selections for Jacksonville State in school history.

 

Sigler, Fanning and Brummel were each also named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer team.

 

Second-ranked Jacksonville State (10-1, 8-0 OVC) enters the playoffs having won 10 games in a row since a season-opening loss to nationally-ranked FBS foe Michigan State, which is tied for the second longest active streak in the country as the No. 3 national seed. 

 

The 10 overall wins also set the JSU record for most regular season wins by a coach in program history, and the 10 wins also is the most regular-season wins by any coach in Ohio Valley Conference history in their debut season. A season ago Grass was the offensive coordinator for the Gamecocks, helping the team advance to the FCS Quarterfinals for the first-time ever as the offense set 42 school records.

 

This season after taking over the head coach role he led his alma mater to a 10-1 overall record and 8-0 OVC mark, the first perfect Conference record for the Gamecocks since joining the OVC in 2003.

 

His first season as a collegiate head coach also saw him lead the team to 10-straight victories, a No. 2 national ranking (the highest ranking for the program since 2010), the program's fourth OVC Championship and fifth appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship. 

 

Grass is just the fifth coach in OVC history to lead his team to the Conference Championship in his first season as a collegiate head coach while his 10 regular season victories are the most-ever for a first-year head coach in OVC history. Entering the playoffs, the Gamecocks rank fourth nationally in total offense (510.5 yards/game) and 14th in total defense (309.7 yards/game), and he is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award given to the National Coach of the Year. Grass is the second JSU coach to be named OVC Coach of the Year, joining Jack Crowe from 2004.

 

The OVC Coach of the Year award is named after Eastern Kentucky legend Roy Kidd, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, who won the OVC Coach of the Year award a record 10 times during his career (1964-2002) and retired with 314 victories, the second-most in I-AA/FCS history.

 

Sigler made a huge impact in his first season with Jacksonville State after transferring from Auburn. Playing on a formidable defensive line (that saw all four starters earn All-OVC honors), the junior tallied 31 tackles (18 solo), 8.0 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, an interception, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and blocked a kick.

 

Sigler had five tackles, a sack and forced fumble in a victory at nationally-ranked Chattanooga, added a season-high six tackles against UT Martin and had two tackles-for-loss, a sack, interception and forced fumble in a victory at nationally-ranked Tennessee State. His play led a defensive unit that ranked first nationally in third down conversion defense (24.7%), 14th in total defense (309.7 yards/game) and 19th in scoring defense (20.3 points/game). Sigler is the first Jacksonville State player to be named OVC Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Lea started every game at tackle for the OVC champion Gamecocks and is the lone OVC player among the 25 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman player in the FCS. He helped block for an offense that ranks fourth nationally in total offense (510.5 yards/game), fifth in rushing offense (287.6 yards/game) and 19th in scoring offense (36.0 points/game).

 

Jax State also ranks first nationally in average plays/game (83.5), has produced four games of 600 or more yards of total offense and is one of just two FCS teams to have four players with 500 or more rushing yards on the season. Lea is the second Jacksonville State player to be named OVC Freshman of the Year since the award was started in 2004, joining quarterback/punter Coty Blanchard in 2010. He is the first offensive lineman to earn the honor in the 11-year history of the award.

 

Jenkins, native of Birmingham, has thrown for 1,617 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 614 yards on 114 carries and five touchdowns. The sophomore signal-caller has completed 115-of-198 passes and averages 147.0 yards per game to rank sixth in the league.

 

James, from Demopolis, is just the second player in Jacksonville State history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons after rushing for 1,023 yards this year on 187 carries with 13 touchdowns. He tied the school record with 48 career-rushing yards and is second on the Gamecock's career rushing list with 3,426 yards.

 

Holcombe, from Tuscaloosa, set the Ohio Valley Conference and school record with 48 consecutive starts at his center position, while Wright (Centerpoint) has started every game at his offensive guard position this season. The duo has helped block for a Gamecock offense that ranks fourth nationally in total offense (510.5 yards/game), fifth in rushing offense (287.6 yards/game) and 19th in scoring offense (36.0 points/game). 

 

Fanning joins Sigler as member of the All-OVC defensive line and the Hamilton, Ga., native has 26 tackles, five tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one pass break-up and one forced fumble. Both players were also named to the OVC All-Newcomer squad. The duo leads a defensive unit that ranks first nationally in third down conversion defense (24.7%), 14th in total defense (309.7 yards/game) and 19th in scoring defense (20.3 points/game).

 

Hough, from Lovejoy, Ga., is ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference with 1.2 passes defended per game and also first in the OVC with 0.40 interceptions per game. He has 36 tackles, including 24 solo stops, and four tackles for loss.

 

MacInnes averages 39.5 yards per punt this season to rank third in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Victoria, Australia, native has 14 punts inside the opponents 20-yard line and four touchbacks, with six punts longer than 50 yards this season.

 

Barge, from Carrollton, Ga., averages 78.8 receiving yards per game to rank second in the OVC. He has 53 receptions for 867 yards and four touchdowns. In just his second year at JSU, he ranks fifth on the Gamecocks' career pass receiving list with 1,752 yards on 111 receptions.

 

Brummel, a native of Arlington, Wash., has played in all 11 games this season and has seven receptions for 124 yards, and four of his seven receptions have gone for touchdowns. He averages 17.7 yards per catch, with a long touchdown reception of 58 yards. He was also named to the OVC All-Newcomer team.

 

Landrum, from Sweetwater, has 31 tackles and is second on the team with 9.0 tackles for loss with three sacks and a team-high three forced fumbles. Lawrence, from Opelika, has 25 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks on the season. The duo leads a defensive unit that ranks first nationally in third down conversion defense (24.7%), 14th in total defense (309.7 yards/game) and 19th in scoring defense (20.3 points/game).

 

Endress, native of Ashland, leads the Gamecocks with 97 tackles, including 46 solo stops. He also leads the team with 9.5 tackles for loss with a pair of sacks and three pass breakups. He has 218 career tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss during his four-year career.

 

 

Offensive Player of the Year: Dy'Shawn Mobley, EKU

Defensive Player of the Year: Devaunte Sigler, Jax State

Freshman of the Year: Justin Lea, Jax State

Coach of the Year: John Grass, Jacksonville State

 

ALL-OVC FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB- Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State, So.

RB - DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State, Sr.

RB - Dy'Shawn Mobley, Eastern Kentucky, Jr.

WR - Adam Drake, Eastern Illinois, Sr.

WR - Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri, Jr.

TE - Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois, Sr.

C - Max Holcombe, Jacksonville State, Sr.

OG - Collin Seibert, Eastern Illinois, Sr.

OG - Adam Wright, Jacksonville State, Jr.

OT - Charles Sweeton, UT Martin, Sr.

OT - Brett Eyckmans, Eastern Kentucky, Jr.

 

DEFENSE

DL - Devaunte Siger, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DL - LaMichael Fanning, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DL - Samquan Evans, Tennessee State, Sr.

DL - Anthony Bass, Tennessee State, Sr.

LB - Tony Bell, UT Martin, Sr.

LB - Nick Thrasher, Tennessee State, Sr.

LB - Kamu Grugier-Hill, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

DB - De'Ante Saunders, Tennessee State, Sr.

DB - Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DB - Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

DB - Marty Jones, Tennessee Tech, Sr.

 

SPECIALISTS

PK - Ryan McCrum, Southeast Missouri, So.

P - Hamish MacInnes, Jacksonville State, Jr.

RS - Pokey Harris, Murray State, Sr.

 

ALL-OVC SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

QB-Jalen Whitlow, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

RB - Abou Toure, UT Martin, Sr.

RB - DeMichael Jackson, Southeast Missouri, Jr.

WR - Josh Barge, Jacksonville State, So.

WR - Janawski Davis, Murray State, Sr.

TE - Bo Brummel, Jacksonville State, Jr.

C - Nick Borre, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

OG - Trey Shelton, Eastern Kentucky, Jr.

OG - Robert Myers, Tennessee State, Sr.

OT - Justin Lea, Jacksonville State, R-Fr.

OT - Evan Kanz, Eastern Illinois, So.

 

DEFENSE

DL - Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

DL - Chris Landrum, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DL - Caleb Lawrence, Jacksonville State, Sr.

DL - Gabe Terry, Tennessee State, Jr.

LB - Ben Endress, Jacksonville State, Sr.

LB - Tyrelle Johnson, Eastern Kentucky, Jr.

LB - Robert Haynes, Eastern Illinois, Sr.

DB - Brandon Stanley, Eastern Kentucky, Sr.

DB - Daniel Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State, Sr.

DB - Tim Hamm-Bey, Southeast Missouri, Sr.

DB - Austin Tallant, Tennessee Tech, Sr.

 

SPECIALIST

PK-Andrew Lloyd, Eastern Kentucky, Sr.

P - Jonathan King, Tennessee Tech, R-Fr.

RS - Ladarius Vanlier, Tennessee Tech, Jr.

 

ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM

QB - Jalen Whitlow, Eastern Illinois, Jr.

K/P - Nick Bruno, Eastern Illinois, Fr.

RB - Dy'Shawn Mobley, Eastern Kentucky, Jr.

OT - Justin Lea, Jacksonville State, Fr.

DE - LaMichael Fanning, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DT - Devaunte Sigler, Jacksonville State, Jr.

TE - Bo Brummel, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DE - Gabe Terry, Tennessee State, Jr.

WR - Brock McCoin, Tennessee Tech, R-Fr.

P - Jonathan King, Tennessee Tech, R-Fr.

LB - Nick Dance, UT Martin, Jr.

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