BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southern University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff received the four major 2013 Southwestern Athletic Conference postseason football awards in voting conducted by league head coaches and sports information directors. The conference made the announcement on Friday prior to the 2013 Toyota SWAC Football Championship on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Southern senior quarterback Dray Joseph and Alcorn State senior running back Arnold Walker were named Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Arkansas-Pine Bluff senior linebacker Jer-ryan Harris was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year while Alabama State’s redshirt freshman linebacker Kourtney Berry landed the Newcomer of the Year award. Rounding out the postseason accolades, Jackson State defensive lineman Javancy Jones was tagged Freshman of the Year.
Alcorn State and Alabama State led the way with 10 selections apiece with both landing five players on the first team. Jackson State was second with eight picks with four receiving first-team honors. The count includes Alabama A&M and Prairie View A&M with six apiece, Southern and Texas Southern each with three, and Mississippi Valley State posting both selections on the first team. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Grambling State close out the list with a player on this year’s postseason squad.
Joseph led Southern to an 8-4 overall record (7-2 SWAC) and its first Western Division title since 2004. He helped SU post its first winning season since 2009 becoming the school’s all-time leader in passing yards on Nov. 16 vs. Clark Atlanta. Joseph finished out the season with a league best, 3,236 passing yards, becoming the second quarterback in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a single season. He leads the SWAC in passing yards per game (269.7) and passing touchdowns (27). Joseph passed for over 200 or more yards in 10-of-12 games during the regular season.
Walker capped his collegiate career leading Alcorn State and the SWAC in rushing yards (1,191) and rushing touchdowns (16). He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and led the SWAC averaging 99.2 rushing yards per game. He finished second in the SWAC in scoring (96) and ranks fourth in the conference in all-purpose yards (1,368). Walker claimed Alcorn State’s 30-year old all-time career rushing record with 2,806 yards. He also claimed the record for most points scored in a season. For the year, he rushed for at least 100 yards in 7-of-12 games recording 100 or more yards in six straight contests. He helped power Alcorn State to a 9-3 record (7-2 SWAC), the Braves’ first winning season since 2006 and nine-win campaign since 1984.
Harris anchored UAPB’s defense finishing atop the SWAC in tackles with 107 (56 solo). He currently sits sixth in the FCS. To close out the season, he gathered three tackles for loss (7 yards), one quarterback hurry, and a fumble recovery returned for a 37-yard touchdown.
In his first season on the field for JSU, Jones recorded 48 tackles (21 solo) to go along with a team high, 12 tackles for loss. He captured five sacks, two pass deflections, a forced fumble, blocked kick and a defensive touchdown (punt block recovery). Early in the year, he was nominated for the Jerry Rice Award. (FCS Freshman of the Year).
In his first collegiate season after responding from an injury that applied a redshirt year, Berry posted a team-leading 107 total tackles (57 solo, 48 assists) in the 11 games. In addition, he complemented his stops with seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. He also finished the year with an interception, two fumble recoveries, three pass break ups and two quarterback hurries. Berry was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week once, the league’s Newcomer of the Week twice, while spotlighting a defense that finished second in the SWAC in points allowed (25.8). He was also selected as a nominee for the Jerry Rice Award (FCS Freshman of the Year.
Joseph, Walker, Harris, Berry and Jones join the 2013 All-SWAC Football First Team that includes: running back Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State), offensive linemen – Issac Sampson (Alcorn State), Dillon Bonnet (Prairie View A&M), Edmond Davis (Alabama State), Jordan Arthur (Jackson State), Johnathan Smith (Jackson State), wide receivers – Deandre Cooper (Prairie View A&M), Lee Doss (Southern) tight end Johnathan Dorsey (Alabama A&M), place kicker Haiden McCraney (Alcorn State), punter Bobby Wenzig (Alabama State) return specialist Tavoris Doss (Alcorn State), defensive lineman Derrick Billups (Alabama State), Amir Bloom (Texas Southern), Robert Simpson (Mississippi Valley State), linebacker Robert Nelson (Alabama A&M) and defensive backs Qua Cox (Jackson State), Avery Boykin (Mississippi Valley State), Brandon Thomas (Texas Southern) and C.J. Morgan (Alcorn State) .
Co-Offensive Player of the Year
Dray Joseph (Southern)
Arnold Walker (Alcorn State)
Defensive Player of the Year
Jer-ryan Harris (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
QB – Dray Joseph (Southern)
RB – Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State)
RB – Arnold Walker (Alcorn State)
OL – Issac Sampson (Alcorn State)
OL – Dillon Bonnet (Prairie View A&M)
OL – Edmond Davis (Alabama State)
OL – Jordan Arthur (Jackson State)
OL – Johnathan Smith (Jackson State)
WR – DeAndre Cooper (Prairie View A&M)
WR – Lee Doss (Southern)
TE – Johnathan Dorsey (Alabama A&M)
DL – Derrick Billups – (Alabama State)
DL – Amir Bloom (Texas Southern)
DL – Javancy Jones (Jackson State)
DL – Robert Simpson (Mississippi Valley State)
LB – Jer-ryan Harris (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
LB – Kourtney Berry (Alabama State)
LB – Robert Nelson (Alabama A&M)
DB – Qua Cox (Jackson State)
DB – Avery Boykin (Mississippi Valley State)
DB – Brandon Thomas (Texas Southern)
DB – C.J. Morgan (Alcorn State)
K – Haiden McCraney (Alcorn State)
P – Bobby Wenzig (Alabama State)
RS – Tavoris Doss (Alcorn State)
Newcomer of the Year
Kourtney Berry (Alabama State)
Freshman of the Year
Javancy Jones (Jackson State)
QB – Jerry Lovelocke (Prairie View A&M)
RB – Barrington Scott (Alabama A&M)
RB – Courtney Brown (Prairie View A&M)
OL – Derrick Jead (Jackson State)
OL – Jonathan Scott (Alcorn State)
OL – Anthony Mosley (Southern)
OL – Robert Roquemore (Alabama State)
OL – Detonio Dade (Alcorn State)
WR – Zach Pendleton (Jackson State)
WR – Montarius Smith (Alabama A&M)
TE – Jordan Payne (Alcorn State)
DL – Deion Roberson (Alcorn State)
DL – Carlton Jones (Alabama State)
DL – Tedderick Terrell (Jackson State)
DL – Edward Mosley (Alabama State)
LB – Raheem Cardwell (Prairie View A&M)
LB – Jerome Howard (Prairie View A&M)
LB – Steve Orisakwe (Grambling State)
DB – Lawrence Barnett (Alabama A&M)
DB – Derrick Harris (Alabama A&M)
DB – Devon Francois (Alcorn State)
DB – Cameron Loeffler (Jackson State)
K – Bobby Wenzig (Alabama State)
P – Cory Carter (Texas Southern)
RS – Myles Everett (Alabama State)