All-SOCON teams announced

Sports

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.

2021 SCSMA All-Southern Conference Football Team

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

Notes:

– 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.

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