Ten Alabama State players earned all-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors, including redshirt freshman linebacker Kourtney Berry, who was chosen as the newcomer of the year.
Berry joins Southern quarterback Dray Joseph and Alcorn State running back Arnold Walker, who were chosen as co-offensive players of the year, defensive player of the year Jer-ryan Harris of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and freshman of the year Javancy Jones of Jackson State as the major honorees for the annual all-conference team.
Berry, who spent 2012 recovering from a knee injury, burst onto the collegiate scene with 105 tackles in 2013, ranking only behind Harris in the conference. The Hornets’ middle linebacker also had 12.5 tackles for loss and a team-high seven sacks.
Other Hornets making the first team included tailback Isaiah Crowell, defensive tackle Derrick Billups, center Edmond Davis and kicker Bobby Wenzig, who was chosen to the first team as a punter by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors and to the second team as a placekicker.
Crowell finished as the league’s second leading rushing behind Walker with 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns while Davis, a four-year starter, paved the way for the conference’s top-rated rushing attack. Billups, a junior, was the heart and soul of the Alabama State defensive front, recording a team-leading 13 tackles for loss along with four sacks and 34 tackles for the conference’s top-rated rushing defense.
Wenzig spent half of the season splitting time between punter and placekicker before handing over kicking duties to freshman Alex Louthan, but still finished as one of the league’s best kickers with 12 field goals in 17 attempts and 27 extra points in 28 attempts. He finished as the conference’s second leading punter and is the second leading punter in career punting average at the school.
The rest of the first team includes offensive linemen Issac Sampson of Alcorn State, Dillon Bonnet of Prairie View A&M, Jordan Arthur of Jackson State and Johnathan Smith of Jackson State; wide receivers Deandre Cooper of Prairie View A&M, Lee Doss of Southern and tight end Johnathan Dorsey of Alabama A&M; Alcorn State placekicker Haiden McCraney and return specialist Tavoris Doss; defensive linemen Amir Bloom of Texas Southern and Robert Simpson of Mississippi Valley State; Alabama A&M linebacker Robert Nelson; and defensive backs Qua Cox of Jackson State, Avery Boykin of Mississippi Valley State, Brandon Thomas of Texas Southern and C.J. Morgan of Alcorn State.
Alcorn State and Alabama State led the way with 10 selections each with both squads landing five players on the first team. Jackson State was second with eight picks, with four receiving first-team honors.
In addition to Wenzig, others making the second team for Alabama State were defensive ends Carlton Jones and Edward Mosley, guard Robert Roquemore and return specialist Myles Everett, the only SWAC player who ranked among the top four in both punt return and kickoff return statistics.