SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference Sports Media Association has selected its annual all-conference teams and specialty awards for the 2021 season. ETSU running back Quay Holmes was named the Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year, while Chattanooga defensive end Devonnsha Maxwell and VMI linebacker Stone Snyder shared Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Citadel defensive back Dominick Poole is the Freshman of the Year and ETSU’s Randy Sanders was named the Wallace Wade Coach of the Year.
Due to ties in the voting, there is an additional running back on the all-conference first team and two extra defensive backs and an extra return specialist on the second teams.
Only true freshmen and traditional redshirt freshmen who played four or fewer games last season were eligible for Freshman of the Year honors.
Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year – Quay Holmes, R-Jr., RB, ETSU
Defensive Player of the Year – Devonnsha Maxwell, Jr., DL, Chattanooga
Defensive Player of the Year – Stone Snyder, Jr., LB, VMI
Freshman of the Year – Dominick Poole, DB, The Citadel
Wallace Wade Coach of the Year – Randy Sanders, ETSU
First team offense
QB Liam Welch, Gr., Samford
RB Quay Holmes, R-Jr., ETSU
RB Jacob Saylors, Jr., ETSU
RB Ailym Ford, So., Chattanooga
OL Tre’mond Shorts, R-Jr., ETSU
OL Jason Poe, Gr., Mercer
OL McClendon Curtis, Jr., Chattanooga
OL Cole Strange, Sr., Chattanooga
OL Nick Hartnett, R-Jr., VMI
TE Ryan Miller, Jr., Furman
WR Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
WR Raphael Williams, R-Fr., Western Carolina
First team defense
DL Adrian Hope, Sr., Furman
DL Solomon Zubairu, So., Mercer
DL Devonnsha Maxwell, Jr., Chattanooga
DL Warren Dabney, Sr., VMI
LB Donovan Manuel, R-So., ETSU
LB Ty Boeck, Jr., Chattanooga
LB Stone Snyder, Jr., VMI
DB Tyree Robinson, Sr., ETSU
DB Lance Wise, So., Mercer
DB Brandon Dowdell, Sr., Chattanooga
DB Jerrell Lawson, Sr., Chattanooga
First team special teams
PK Tyler Keltner, So., ETSU
P Jack Culbreath, So., VMI
LS Chandlor Mullins, R-So., ETSU
RS Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
Second team offense
QB Rogan Wells, Gr., Western Carolina
RB Fred Davis, R-Fr., Mercer
RB Irvin Mulligan, Jr., Wofford
OL Haden Haas, Gr., The Citadel
OL Tavon Matthews, So., ETSU
OL Anderson Tomlin, R-Jr., Furman
OL Pearson Toomey, So., Furman
OL Gavin Orr, Sr., Samford
TE Michael Vice, Jr., Samford
WR Jakob Herres, Sr., VMI
WR Michael Jackson, Sr., VMI
Second team defense
DL Parker Stokes, Sr., Furman
DL Seth Simmer, Gr., Samford
DL Ben Brewton, So., Chattanooga
DL Micheal Mason, Jr., Wofford
LB Willie Eubanks III, Sr., The Citadel
LB Jared Folks, Gr., ETSU
LB Kareem Taylor, Gr., Western Carolina
DB Destin Mack, Jr., The Citadel
DB Alijah Huzzie, R-Fr., ETSU
DB Travis Blackshear, Jr., Furman
DB Ethan Caselberry, Sr., VMI
DB Ronald Kent Jr., Jr., Western Carolina
Second team special teams
PK Jerry Rice, R-So., VMI
P Matt Campbell, Jr., The Citadel
LS Robert Soderholm, Sr., VMI
RS Jacob Saylors, Jr., ETSU
RS Calvin Jones, Fr., Western Carolina
– Holmes (Walter Payton Award), Maxwell and Snyder (Buck Buchanan Award), Poole (Jerry Rice Award) and Sanders (Eddie Robinson Award) are all national finalists for FCS legacy awards, as are Samford quarterback Liam Welch (Payton) and Western Carolina safety Andreas Keaton (Rice).
– Holmes is the first ETSU player to earn offensive player of the year honors from the league’s media since wide receiver B.J. Adigun in 1997. Running back George Searcy was the first Buc to earn the honor, in 1989. He is the first running back to earn the offensive award since Wofford’s Eric Breitenstein won his second straight in 2012.
– In 11 games, Holmes has rushed for an FCS-best 1,431 yards. His 130.1 per game also lead the FCS, while he ranks fourth in the subdivision with 1,635 all-purpose yards and fifth at 148.64 per game.
– Chattanooga’s Maxwell paces the SoCon in sacks and tackles for loss, with his 12.0 sacks tied for fifth in the FCS and his 1.09 per game good for eighth. He had a school-record 5.0 sacks in a win over then-No. 10 ETSU on Oct. 16 to earn Stat Perform National Defensive Player of the Week honors and finished the season with 29.5 in his career, putting him a half-sack outside of the league’s career top 10. He 15.5 tackles for loss rank 15tth in the FCS this season and his 1.4 per game rank 17th.
– Maxwell earns Chattanooga’s fifth Defensive Player of the Year honor from the media and the first since defensive lineman Isaiah Mack in 2018.
– VMI’s Snyder is tied for third in the FCS with three fumble recoveries this season. He is fifth nationally and leads the SoCon with 120 total tackles and 10.9 tackles per contest. His 11.0 tackles for loss are tied for second in the SoCon.
– Snyder repeats as the Defensive Player of the Year after becoming VMI’s first-ever selection last season.
– Poole is The Citadel’s first media Freshman of the Year since wide receiver Victor Frazier and running back Stanford Glenn shared the award in 1982 for the only other time a Bulldog has been honored.
– Poole came off the bench in The Citadel’s first two games before starting the final nine. He finished the season with 51 total tackles (27 solo) and had a pair of interceptions, in wins over then-No. 22/18 VMI and Chattanooga. With two picks and a team-high nine pass breakups, Poole tied for second in the league with 11 passes defended on the season.
– ETSU’s Sanders earned his second Wallace Wade Coach of the Year award after leading the Bucs to a 10-1 overall record and a 7-1 SoCon mark for their first outright league title and second overall. Sanders got the 2021 season off to a fantastic start by leading his squad to a win at FBS Vanderbilt, which propelled the Bucs into the national rankings. ETSU enters the postseason ranked in the top 10 in both major national polls.
– Sanders, who is a Robinson Award finalist for the second time in his career, guided the Bucs to a first-round FCS playoff bye and the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Division I Football Championship. ETSU awaits either Davidson or Kennesaw State on Dec. 4.
– SoCon champion ETSU led the way with 11 All-SoCon selections, sharing league-high honors with Chattanooga with seven first-team picks.
– Samford’s Montrell Washington earned a pair of first-team honors, earning spots at wide receiver and return specialist, while ETSU’s Jacob Saylors earned a first-team nod at running back and a second-team spot at return specialist.