Sun Belt Announces Post-Season Football Awards

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NEW ORLEANS – Leading Arkansas State to its second consecutive Sun Belt Conference football championship, quarterback Ryan Aplin was named SBC Player of the Year for the second year in a row as the conference released its 2012 All-SBC football teams on Tuesday.

The selections were made by a vote of the league head coaches and selected members of the media.

Aplin, a two-time SBC Offensive Player of the Week winner this season, became the SBC’s all-time leader in career offensive (297.5 per game) and passing yards (3129) this season. He finished the 2012 campaign ranked 21st in total offense, 25th in passing efficiency, 30th in passing yards per game and 33rd in points.

The Tampa, Fla. native threw 23 touchdown passes this season with seven multi-touchdown games, including a career-high four in one contest. The senior threw for over 300 yards in five games this season and was a Senior CLASS Award Finalist. Additionally, Aplin was on the watch lists for the Manning Award, Walter Camp, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Senior Bowl.

Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning earned SBC Offensive Player of the Year after tossing a league-best 27 touchdown passes. He finished the season 252-of-389 for 2830 yards and also rushed for 441 yards and seven scores. Browning ended the year ranked second in total offense (297.4 ypg), third in passing (257.3 ypg) and fifth in passing efficiency (145.2).

The junior, from Mabank, Texas, posted three 300-yard passing performances this season, including 412 and 69 rushing yards in the victory over eighth-ranked Arkansas. Browning is just one of three quarterbacks in the league to total 400 or more passing yards in a single game this season.

Grabbing a team-high 909 receiving yards on 92 receptions, ASU’s J.D. McKissic earned SBC Freshman of the Year. The redshirt ranked second in the SBC in receptions per game, as his 92 are the most ever by a freshman in conference history.

The Phenix City, Ala. native tallied three 100-yard receiving games and caught a touchdown pass in four different games. He registered a career-high 138 yards against Troy (11/17) and notched a career-high 12 receptions in two different outings.

Leading the nation with 1.25 sacks per game, WKU’s Quanterus Smith earned SBC Defensive Player of the Year. The senior also ranks fourth nationally with 1.38 tackles for loss per game and his 12.5 sacks was just a half-sack shy of tying the SBC single-season record. He recorded multiple tackles for a loss in five games this season, including a career-best 5.5 in a win at ASU (9/29).

The Loganville, Ga. native set a conference record when he finished with 5.0 sacks in a win over FIU (10/27), the second highest single-game total in NCAA history. Smith broke threw for 3.0 sacks at Alabama which was the most the Crimson Tide allowed to an opposing player this season. He forced three fumbles on the year and returned one for 75 yards for a touchdown.

ULM head coach Todd Berry earned SBC Coach of the Year after leading the Warhawks to its first winning season in the FBS-era (1994-present). At 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play, Berry leads the Warhawks to their first-ever bowl game as they will clash with Ohio at the 2012 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. on December 28.

Berry led ULM to a 5-2 road record and 3-2 at home. The Warhawks ranked first in the SBC with 15 interceptions and 1630 rushing yards allowed on the season. Offensively, Berry’s squad ranked second in scoring (35.5 ppg), pass offense (296.7 ypg) turnover margin (+8) and fourth in total offense (481.8 ypg). ULM was also one of the most disciplined teams in the conference, committing just 539 penalty yards on the season, second-best in the league.

ASU and WKU placed the most student-athletes on the All-SBC teams with ten apiece. The Red Wolves will head to Mobile, Ala. to play Kent State at the Bowl, while the Hilltoppers travel to Detroit, Mich. for the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan. Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy each placed nine players on the All-SBC teams, while ULM and Middle Tennessee had eight apiece.

The Ragin’ Cajuns were selected to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl for the second consecutive year and will battle East Carolina. The SBC will be sending four teams to postseason bowl games for the first time in the league’s 12-year history.

2012 All-Sun Belt Conference Football Teams

As voted on by the league head coaches and media

Player of the Year

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)

Offensive Player of the Year

Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Jr., QB)

Defensive Player of the Year

Quanterus Smith (WKU, Sr., DL)

Freshman of the Year

J.D. McKissic (Arkansas State, Fr., WR)

Coach of the Year

Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)

David Oku (Arkansas State, Jr., RB)

Antonio Andrews (WKU, Jr., RB)
Brent Leonard (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Sr., WR)

Anthony Amos (Middle Tennessee, r-Sr., WR)

Chip Reeves (Troy, WR, Sr.)

Jack Doyle (WKU, Sr., TE)

Zack McKnight (Arkansas State, Sr., OL)

Micah James (Middle Tennessee, Sr., OL)

Aaron Fortenberry (North Texas, Sr., OL)

Kyle Wilborn (Troy, Sr., OL)

Adam Smith (WKU, Sr., OL)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

Ryan Carrethers (Arkansas State, Jr., DL)

Tourek Williams (FIU, Sr., DL)

Emeka Onyenekwu (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DL)

Quanterus Smith (WKU, Sr., DL)

Nathan Herrold (Arkansas State, Sr., LB)

Jake Johnson (South Alabama, Sr., LB)

Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)

Johnathan Cyprien (FIU, Sr., DB)

Jemarlous Moten (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DB)

Brynden Trawick (Troy, Sr., DB)

Jonathan Dowling (WKU, So., DB)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

Brett Baer Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., K)

Brett Baer Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., P)

Reggie Whatley (Middle Tennessee, r-So., Return Specialist)

Antonio Andrews (WKU, Jr., All Purpose)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense

Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Jr., QB)

Benny Cunningham (Middle Tennessee, Sr., RB)

Shawn Southward (Troy, RB, Sr.)

J.D. McKissic (Arkansas State, Fr., WR)

William Dukes (Florida Atlantic, So, WR)

Harry Peoples (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., WR)

Nexon Dorvilus (Florida Atlantic, Jr, TE)

Caylin Hauptmann (FIU, Sr., OL)

Leonardo Bates (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Jonathon Gill (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Sr., OL)

Andrew Huval (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., OL)

Josh Allen (Louisiana-Monroe, Jr., OL)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense

Tim Starson (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)

Omar McLendon (Middle Tennessee, Sr., DL)

Alex Page (South Alabama, Jr., DL)

R.J. Young (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Sr., LB)

Tony Davis (Troy, Sr., DL)

Zach Orr (North Texas, Jr., LB)

Kanorris Davis (Troy, Sr., LB)

Brent Harstad (Florida Atlantic, Sr., DB)

Isaiah Newsome (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Jr., DB)

Kevin Byard (Middle Tennessee, r-Fr., DB)

Zac Whitfield (North Texas, Fr., DB)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams

Brian Davis (Arkansas State, Jr., K)

Will Atterberry (North Texas, Sr., P)

Deon Anthony (Troy, Jr., All Purpose)

Antonio Andrews (WKU, Jr., RS)

All-Sun Belt Conference Honorable Mention

Taylor Stockemer (Arkansas State, Sr., WR); Qushaun Lee (Arkansas State, So., LB); Daniel McKinney (Florida Atlantic, Jr., WR); Andrae Kirk (Florida Atlantic, So., LB); Rupert Bryan (FIU, Sr., OL); Jose Cheeseborough (FIU, Sr., DB); Terrance Broadway (Louisiana-Lafayette, So., QB); Jaron Odom (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL); Je’Ron Hamm (Louisiana-Monroe, Jr., WR); DaCorris Ford (Louisiana-Monroe, r-Sr., LB); Logan Kilgore (Middle Tennessee, r-Jr., QB); Josh Walker (Middle Tennessee, r-Jr., OL); Cyril Lemon (North Texas, So., OL); Mason Y’Barbo (North Texas, So., OL); Enrique Williams (South Alabama, Jr., LB); B.J. Scott (South Alabama, Sr., DB); Corey Robinson (Troy, Jr., QB); Eric Thomas (Troy, WR, Jr.); Kawaun Jakes (WKU, Sr., QB); Jamarcus Allen (WKU, Sr., DL)

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