|Ten Skyhawks earn All-OVC honors |
|Posted: Friday, December 5, 2008 1:19 pm |
|The University of Tennessee at Martin had 10 players claim 2008 Ohio Valley Conference postseason awards. Five Skyhawks were named to the 2008 All-OVC first team, while five players earned second team honors and were named to the league’s All-Newcomer Team. |
Junior quarterback Cade Thompson, junior wide receiver Mike Hicks and senior offensive lineman Kevin Bannon were named to the first team.
Thompson completed 190-of-328 passes for 2,680 yards and 24 touchdowns. Hicks had 66 catches for 894 yards and 12 TDs. Bannon graded out at 80 percent and only allowed one sack.
Senior defensive lineman Ray Williams and junior defensive back Dontrell Miller were named to the All-OVC first-team defense. Williams had 56 total tackles, eight tackles for a loss and five sacks. Miller had 78 total tackles, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and five defensive touchdowns.
Running back Brandyn Young, offensive tackle Joe Gibbs, linebacker Josh Bey and senior punter Adam Ivey earned All-OVC second team honors. Young rushed for 702 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gubbs graded out at 87 percent and did not allow a sack all year. Bey led the Skyhawks in tackles with 88 and recorded 16.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and an interception. Ivey averaged 41.3 yards per punt this season. His longest punt of the season was 59 yards and he had 11 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Hicks was also named to the All-Newcomer team.
Four different schools claimed the four major 2008 Ohio Valley Conference postseason awards which were released last week. Tennessee State senior running back Javarris Williams was named Offensive Player of the Year, Murray State senior linebacker Nathan Williams was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year, Tennessee Tech wide receiver Tim Benford earned the Freshman of the Year award and first-year Eastern Kentucky head coach Dean Hood was named the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year.
The All-OVC first-team included 14 seniors, 10 juniors and a sophomore while the second-team had 15 seniors, eight juniors and one sophomore.
Javarris Williams completed his career at Tennessee State and the OVC by rushing for 4,329 yards, the fifth-highest total in league history and fourth-highest mark nationally among active players. In 2008 he ran for 1,037 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 games (he missed the final two games of the year due to injury).
Nathan Williams, a candidate for the 2008 Buck Buchanan Award given to the nation’s top FCS defensive player, overcame season-ending injuries in each 2004 and 2007 to come back for a rare sixth-year of eligibility in 2008. This year he finished the season with 179 tackles, which was a Murray State single-season record and the most at any level of NCAA football in 2008. His 14.92 tackles/game ranked first in the FCS, as did his 76 solo stops.
Benford set the Tech single-season record for receptions (68) and tied the school mark for receiving touchdowns (10) during his freshman campaign. He finished the season with 782 receiving yards (fifth most in the OVC) while his 5.7 receptions a contest was second-best in the league. Benford caught five or more passes in a game in nine of 12 contests in 2008.
In his first season as head coach at Eastern Kentucky, Hood led the Colonels to an 8-3 overall record, 7-1 Conference mark and the program’s 20th OVC Championship in earning the Roy Kidd Coach of the Year award. After starting the year 1-3, Hood led the team to seven straight wins.