SoCon Announces Award Winners
By Southern Pigskin Staff
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The Southern Conference league office has released the 2011 award winners.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - League champion Georgia Southern placed nine student-athletes on the 2011 Southern Conference Football All-Conference team and won or shared in three of the league's five major awards in balloting conducted by the league's head coaches.
Junior defensive lineman Brent Russell was named the Defensive Player of the year while head coach Jeff Monken was tabbed the Southern Conference Coach of the Year. Freshman running back Dominique Swope was named Co-Freshman of the Year with Chattanooga quarterback Terrell Robinson. Wofford's Eric Breitenstein was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year, while teammate Nate Page earned the Jacobs Blocking Award, which is given annually by the Jacobs family to the top blocker in the league.
Monken was named Coach of the Year in just his second season at the helm in Statesboro. He guided the Eagles to a 9-2 mark this season, including a 7-1 record in league play to give the Eagles their sixth outright Southern Conference championship and ninth overall. It is the fifth time a Georgia Southern head coach has won the award. The Eagles earned the No. 3 seed in the FCS Playoffs and will host either Old Dominion or Norfolk State December 3.
A finalist for the Buck Buchanan award that goes to the nation's top defensive player, Russell was tabbed the league's top defender. The junior has recorded 48 tackles, including 11.5 for loss this season. A disruptive force on the defensive line, Russell has tallied five sacks, two quarterback hurries and a blocked kick this season. He has anchored a unit that ranks 23rd in the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 20.8 points per game.
Breitenstein leads the SoCon and ranks 11th nationally with 122.1 rushing yards per game. He finished the regular season with 1,343 yards and 16 touchdowns. A junior, Breitenstein has rushed for at least 100 yards in nine games this year and turned in a season-high 217 yards against Elon on October 29. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry for the Terriers.
Chattanooga's Terrell Robinson went 3-1 as the Mocs' starting quarterback. He was named the league's Freshman of the Week three straight times in October, and on the season, Robinson completed 27 of 43 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns. A dual threat for UTC, Robinson also carried 90 times for 417 yards and 5 TDs.
Swope came on late in the season for Georgia Southern and earned the league's Freshman of the Week honor three times, including each of the last two weeks. Swope finished the regular season with 591 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 91 carries. He ran for a game-high 165 yards at Wofford November 12 as the Eagles clinched the league championship. The following week Swope recorded 153 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown at Alabama, recording the most yards against the top defense in the FBS in 2011.
Page becomes the third Terrier to earn the Jacobs Blocking Award, joining Pat Illig (2010) and Eric Deutsch (2003). The senior is a part of an offensive line which has powered the Terriers' rushing attack. Wofford leads all of FCS with 356 yards per game on the ground. The Terriers also boast one of the top scoring units in the nation as they average 33.4 points per game, the 23rd best mark in the country.
The Eagles led all teams with nine players selected to the all-conference team, including five first-team honorees. Appalachian State placed eight on the all-conference team while Furman and Chattanooga each had seven honorees.
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players in the voting process.
2011 Coaches All-Southern Conference Football Team
Offensive Player of the Year - Eric Breitenstein, Jr., RB, Wofford
Defensive Player of the Year - Brent Russell, Jr., DL, Georgia Southern
Co-Freshman of the Year - Terrell Robinson, QB, Chattanooga & Dominique Swope, RB, Georgia Southern
Jacobs Blocking Award - Nate Page, Sr., OL, Wofford
Coach of the Year - Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern
First Team Offense
QB Chris Forcier, Sr., Furman
RB Fabian Truss, So, Samford
RB Eric Breitenstein, Jr., Wofford
OL Orry Frye, Sr., Appalachian State
OL Mike Sellers, So., The Citadel
OL Ned Cuthbertson, Sr., Elon
OL Brett Moore, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL Nate Page, Sr., Wofford
TE Colin Anderson, Jr., Furman
WR Brian Quick, Sr., Appalachian State
WR Aaron Mellette, Jr., Elon
First Team Defense
DL Derek Douglas, So., The Citadel
DL Brent Russell, Jr., Georgia Southern
DL Josh Williams, Jr., Chattanooga
DL Eric Eberhardt, Sr., Wofford
LB Jeremy Kimbrough, Jr., Appalachian State
LB Ryan Consiglio, Sr., Chattanooga
LB Wes Dothard, So., Chattanooga
DB Demetrius McCray, Jr., Appalachian State
DB Ryan Steed, Sr., Furman
DB Laron Scott, Sr., Georgia Southern
DB Corey White, Sr., Samford
First Team Specialists
PK Adrian Mora, Sr., Georgia Southern
P Cass Couey, Jr., The Citadel
RS Laron Scott, Sr., Georgia Southern
Second Team Offense
QB Jaybo Shaw, Sr., Georgia Southern
RB Travaris Cadet, Sr., Appalachian State
RB Jerodis Williams, Jr., Furman
OL Dakota Dozier, So., Furman
OL Dorian Byrd, So., Georgia Southern
OL William Maxwell, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL Ryan Dudchock, Jr., Samford
OL Jake Miles, Jr., Wofford
TE Ben Jorden, Sr., Appalachian State
WR Kelsey Pope, So., Samford
WR Joel Bradford, Sr., Chattanooga
Second Team Defense
DL Ameet Pall, Sr., Wofford
DL Josh Lynn, Jr., Furman
DL Chris Billingslea, Jr., The Citadel
DL John Douglas, Sr., Georgia Southern
LB Joshua Jones, Sr., Elon
LB Kadarron Anderson, Sr., Furman
LB Alvin Scioneaux, Wofford
DB Troy Sanders, Jr., Appalachian State
DB D.J. Key, So., Chattanooga
DB Chris Lewis-Harris, Sr., Chattanooga
DB Kadeem Wise, So., Chattanooga
Second Team Specialists
PK Cameron Yaw, Jr., Samford
P Sam Martin, Jr., Appalachian State
RS Fabian Truss, So., Samfor