Citadel Rakes in SOCON Awards


SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Southern Conference tri-champion Appalachian State put a league-high 12 players on the all-conference first and second football teams, shared the lead league with five all-freshman honorees, and claimed two of the individual postseason awards, as voted by the league's nine head coaches and announced by the league office Tuesday.

Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein repeated as Offensive Player of the Year, while Mountaineer linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough and Chattanooga defensive lineman Davis Tull shared Defensive Player of the Year honors. Appalachian State wide receiver Sean Price was named the league's Freshman of the Year, and offensive lineman Mike Sellers of The Citadel took the Jacobs Blocking Award. The Citadel's Kevin Higgins and Samford's Pat Sullivan shared Coach of the Year honors.

The coaches named first and second teams in offense, defense and special teams. Because of a tie in the voting, the first-team defense had five defensive linemen, bringing the total to 26 honored on the first teams and 25 on the second teams. The coaches also named all-freshmen teams in offense, defense and special teams, honoring 25 players. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players or themselves in the selection process. All nine teams had at least one all-conference selection and one all-freshman selection.

Appalachian State, which shared the regular-season SoCon crown with Georgia Southern and Wofford, had five first-team selections and seven second-team selections, both league highs. GSU and Furman shared that distinction with five first-team picks each. Wofford was second with nine total all-conference picks, with three on the first teams and six on the second teams.

The Mountaineers and Paladins claimed five picks each on the all-freshman team, while Western Carolina had four.

In becoming just the fourth player in league history to be named the Offensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons, Breitenstein rushed for 1,653 total yards, 150 yards per game and 16 touchdowns, all third nationally. The Valle Crucis, N.C., senior surpassed 100 yards in all but one game on the season, including a SoCon-record 321 yards in a win at Elon on Sept. 29. Breitenstein is a two-time winner of the league's offensive player of the week award this season, and is on the watch list for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the most outstanding player at the FCS level. Entering postseason play, he is third in SoCon career history with 30 100-yard rushing games, fourth with 5,348 rushing yards and fifth with 62 touchdowns.

Kimbrough leads the SoCon with 128 total tackles on the season, with 64 of those solo stops, and is second in the league with 11.6 tackles per game. He's tied for fourth in the SoCon with 9.0 tackles for loss and is also among the league leaders in sacks with 3.5 on the season. Kimbrough also added a 36-yard interception on the year and had two games with at least 15 tackles, including a career-best 17 against Furman on Nov. 10. The Decatur, Ga., senior becomes the 10th Appalachian State player to earn the award since its introduction in 1989 and first since 2008.

Tull had a league-best 12.5 sacks on the season for 86 yards. Twelve of those sacks were solo efforts. The Knoxville, Tenn., sophomore also led the league in tackles for loss with 18.5 for 107 yards, with 18 of those solo stops. Tull forced three fumbles on the year, tied for fourth in the SoCon, and had 56 tackles, 40 of them solo. He had six quarterback hurries, tied for the team lead.

Price was the runaway choice for Freshman of the Year after a regular season in which the wide receiver led all freshmen nationally with 68 receptions, 1,029 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, all Appalachian State freshman records, in just nine games played. The Reston, Va., native is on the watch list for the Jerry Rice Award, given annually to the top freshman in FCS, and needs just four receptions and 45 yards to break the NCAA Division I FCS freshman records for both, the latter of which is held by Marshall's Randy Moss. Price swept the SoCon offensive player of the week and freshman of the week awards on Nov. 5 and was also the league's freshman of the week on Oct. 1.

Sellers becomes the first Citadel player to earn the Jacobs Blocking Award in the 80-year history of the award. The junior is part of an offensive line that has helped the Bulldogs average more than 300 yards per game on the ground this season. The Citadel turned in 3,307 rushing yards on the year, the third-most in school history and most since 1988. Sellers also helped pave the way for The Citadel's 37 rushing touchdowns, their most since 1994 and third-most in school history.

Higgins earned his first SoCon Coach of the Year award after leading The Citadel to a 7-4 overall record and a 5-3 league mark, good for its most SoCon wins since its league championship season of 1992. Higgins guided the Bulldogs to a pair of stunning upsets in the first half of the season, as The Citadel knocked off No. 3 Georgia Southern and No. 7 Appalachian State on consecutive weekends. Higgins had the Bulldogs nationally ranked for the first time since 2008, and when The Citadel hit No. 10 in The Sports Network poll, it marked the first time since 1992 that the Bulldogs had been in the top 10. Higgins was recently named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the national coach of the year in the FCS.

Sullivan also earned his first SoCon Coach of the Year honor. He guided his team to a 7-4 mark overall and a 5-3 league record, its best since joining the league in 2008. After four straight wins to open the season, the Bulldogs moved into the national rankings for the first time since 1995. Sullivan directed Samford to a pair of wins over ranked opponents on the season, as the Bulldogs took down 15th-ranked The Citadel on Oct. 6 and turned in a thrilling comeback win over No. 6 Wofford in double overtime on Nov. 3.

2012 Coaches All-Southern Conference Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year - Eric Breitenstein, Sr., RB, Wofford

Co-Defensive Player of the Year - Jeremy Kimbrough, Sr., LB, Appalachian State

Co-Defensive Player of the Year - Davis Tull, So., DL, Chattanooga

Freshman of the Year - Sean Price, WR, Appalachian State

Jacobs Blocking Award - Mike Sellers, Jr., OL, The Citadel

Co-Coach of the Year - Kevin Higgins, The Citadel

Co-Coach of the Year - Pat Sullivan, Samford

First Team Offense

QB Jamal Jackson, Jr., Appalachian State

RB Jerodis Williams, Sr., Furman

RB Eric Breitenstein, Sr., Wofford

OL Mike Sellers, Jr., The Citadel

OL Dakota Dozier, Jr., Furman

OL Dorian Byrd, Jr., Georgia Southern

OL Ryan Dudchock, Sr., Samford

OL Jared Singleton, Jr., Wofford

TE Colin Anderson, Sr., Furman

WR Sean Price, Fr., Appalachian State
WR Aaron Mellette, Sr., Elon

First Team Defense

DL Josh Lynn, Sr., Furman

DL Dion Dubose, Sr., Georgia Southern

DL Brent Russell, Sr., Georgia Southern

DL Davis Tull, So., Chattanooga

DL Nicholas Williams, Samford

LB Jeremy Kimbrough, Sr., Appalachian State

LB Wes Dothard, Jr., Chattanooga

LB Alvin Scioneaux, Jr., Wofford

DB Demetrius McCray, Sr., Appalachian State

DB JJ Wilcox, Sr., Georgia Southern

DB Jaquiski Tartt, So., Samford

DB Darius Eubanks, Sr., Georgia Southern

First Team Specialists

PK Cameron Yaw, Sr., Samford

P Sam Martin, Sr., Appalachian State

RS Jerodis Williams, Sr., Furman

Second Team Offense

QB Thomas Wilson, Sr., Elon

RB Steven Miller, Sr., Appalachian State

RB Fabian Truss, Jr., Samford

OL Justin Ward, Sr., Elon

OL Jacob Kirschenbaum, Sr., Samford

OL Calvin Cantrell, Sr., Wofford

OL Tymeco Gregory, Jr., Wofford

OL Jake Miles, So., Wofford

TE Faysal Shafaat, So., Chattanooga

WR Andrew Peacock, Jr., Appalachian State

WR Kelsey Pope, Jr., Samford

Second Team Defense

DL Ronald Blair, So., Appalachian State

DL Chris Billingslea, Sr., The Citadel

DL Derrick Lott, Jr., Chattanooga

DL Tarek Odom, So., Wofford

LB Brandon Grier, Sr., Appalachian State

LB Rock Williams, Sr., Western Carolina

LB Mike Niam, Sr., Wofford

DB Troy Sanders, Sr., Appalachian State

DB D.J. Key, Jr., Chattanooga

DB Kadeem Wise, Jr., Chattanooga

DB Blake Wylie, Sr., Wofford

Second Team Specialists

PK Sam Martin, Sr., Appalachian State

P Cass Couey, Sr., The Citadel

RS Tony Washington, Appalachian State

All-Freshman Offense

Shaq Counts, OL, Appalachian State

Malachi Jones, WR, Appalachian State

Sean Price, WR, Appalachian State

Tracey Coppedge, RB, Elon

Reese Hannon, QB, Furman

Jordan Snellings, WR, Furman

Joe Turner, OL, Furman

Tony Philpot, TE, Samford

Jacob Huesman, QB, Chattanooga

Darius Ramsey, RB, Western Carolina

Troy Mitchell, QB, Western Carolina

All-Freshman Defense

Stephen Burns, DL, Appalachian State

Davante Harris, DL, Appalachian State

Mitchell Jeter, DL, The Citadel

James Riley, LB, The Citadel

Mark Thomas, DE, The Citadel

Reggie Thomas, DB, Furman

Patrick Flowe, LB, Georgia Southern

James Bradberry, DB, Samford

Trey Wesley, DB, Samford

Sertonuse Harris, DB, Western Carolina

Jaleel Lorquet, DB, Western Carolina

All-Freshman Specialists

Alex Hanks, PK, Georgia Southern

Cam Flowers, RS, Wofford

Danny LaMontagne, LS, Furman