MONTGOMERY, Ala.—The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) released the 2014 Preseason All-SWAC team and seven members of the Alabama State University team had their names on the lists.
Leading the way for the Hornets is linebacker Kourtney Berry who not only was named to the first team but was also voted as the conference’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
ASU had one of the top defenses in the SWAC last season and that shows up as defensive tackle Derrick Billups joined Berry as members of the Hornets’ defense named to the first team.
Malcolm Cyrus, who was the 10th leading rusher in the conference last season, joins the two defenders on the SWAC’s Offensive First Team.
ASU also had four players named Second Team All-SWAC. Offensive linemen Tovar Allen and Robert Roquemore received the honor and defensive tackle Justin Mitchell and defensive end Edward Mosley were named on the defensive side.
Berry, Billups, Mosley and Ropuemore are returning players for ASU that received All-SWAC honors following the 2013 season.
“Having these guys named to the all-conference team means our coaches have gone out and recruited the type of athletes we want in the program, are committed to work ethic and have a skill set to be dominant on this level,” Head Coach Reggie Barlow said. “Obviously the players that have been selected have bought into the system and they have done a good job. It’s great to be recognized by the other coaches and SID’s that we have some guys that perform at a high level.”
For the second consecutive season the Hornets have been picked to win the East Division and to win the SWAC Championship. ASU grabbed 93 points along with a SWAC-high 10-first place votes. Alcorn State was not that far behind ASU with 91 points. Jackson State finished with 72 points while Mississippi Valley State finished with 40 and Alabama A&M with 34.
In the West, Southern University, who won the SWAC last season, was picked to finish first with 95 points and eight first place votes. Prairie View A&M was next with 88 followed by Arkansas-Pine Bluff (66), Texas Southern (50) and Grambling State (31).
“You take the predictions for what they are,” Barlow said. “It is an honor that they think our team is good and that we have good athletes. We have been predicted to win this before but you still have to play the game. I think our guys understand that and we’re looking forward to it “
The All-SWAC teams and the predicted order of finish were voted on by the league’s head coaches, members of the media and sports information directors.