Briscoe leads Sam Houston State domination of Southland awards
(STATS) - Following a thoroughly dominant regular season, Jeremiah Briscoe and Sam Houston State were far and away the biggest winners of the Southland Conference's top honors.
Briscoe began what should be a busy award season for the junior quarterback by being named the Southland's Player of the Year, and the top-ranked Bearkats nearly pulled off a sweep of the conference's postseason honors after their 11-0 campaign.
All but one of the Southland's seven awards went to Sam Houston State, the only FCS team yet to lose after defeating its opponents by an average of 28.3 points - none by fewer than 13. The Bearkats placed six players on the all-conference first-team offense and another three on defense.
Briscoe appears to be a favorite for the Walter Payton Award, given to the STATS national FCS player of the year. His 52 touchdown passes are 12 more than any quarterback, including the FBS, and put him within four of the all-time FCS single-season record. He also led the Subdivision with 4,096 passing yards while throwing just seven interceptions.
Two of Briscoe's favorite targets are also taking home hardware, with junior Yedidiah Louis winning Southland Offensive Player of the Year and fellow wideout Nathan Stewart being named Freshman of the Year. Each of them caught 11 TD passes, with Louis making 65 catches for 977 yards while Stewart had 47 receptions for 903 yards.
Bearkats junior defensive end P.J. Hall earned Defensive Player of the Year honors after leading the Southland with 9 1/2 sacks and 20 tackles for loss, and teammate Bridge Blount won Offensive Lineman of the Year.
SHSU's K.C. Keeler was the obvious choice for Southland Coach of the Year. He guided the Bearkats to the second undefeated season in school history, with the other coming in 2011. His team has a first-round playoff bye after reaching the national semifinals last year.
The only player who prevented a complete Sam Houston State sweep was McNeese quarterback James Tabary, who was named Newcomer of the Year. The sophomore transferred from Arkansas State and finished second in the conference behind Briscoe with 3,036 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes.
SOUTHLAND POSTSEASON AWARDS=
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Yedidiah Louis, WR, Sam Houston State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - P.J. Hall, DE, Sam Houston State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Nathan Stewart, WR, Sam Houston State
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - James Tabary, QB, McNeese
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR - Bridge Blount, OL, Sam Houston State
COACH OF THE YEAR - K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston State
ALL-SOUTHLAND FIRST TEAM
QB - Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State
RB - De'Mard Llorens, Northwestern State
RB - Corey Avery, Sam Houston State
TE - Juwaan Rogers, Southeastern Louisiana
WR - Yedidiah Louis, Sam Houston State
WR - Desmond Smith, Central Arkansas
WR - Nathan Stewart, Sam Houston State
OL - Bridge Blount, Sam Houston State
OL - Stockton Mallett, Central Arkansas
OL - Chandler Arceneaux, Nicholls
OL - Tyler Tezeno, Sam Houston State
OL - Taylor Gadbois, Southeastern Louisiana
DL - P.J. Hall, Sam Houston State
DL - Sully Laiche, Nicholls
DL - Jordan Toliver, Central Arkansas
DL - John Franklin, Stephen F. Austin
LB - Garrett Dolan, Houston Baptist
LB - Sam Denmark, Abilene Christian
LB - Justin Johnson, Sam Houston State
DB - Brendan Langley, Lamar
DB - Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas
DB - George Odum, Central Arkansas
DB - Tyler Williams, Central Arkansas
DB - Darion Flowers, Sam Houston State
K - Nik Grau, Abilene Christian
P - Joseph Figenshaw, Sam Houston State
KR - Khalil Thomas, McNeese
PR - Brendan Langley, Lamar
AP - Jatavius Wilson, Central Arkansas