SoCon Media All-Conference Football Team Revealed
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/25/2009
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Defensive Player of the Year Josh Beard of Chattanooga
Courtesy: Chattanooga

Edwards, Beard, Johnson and Huesman Earn Major Awards


SPARTANBURG, S.C. Record-setting Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards was named Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season while a resurgent Chattanooga team earned two of the four major awards in the voting by the Southern Conference Sports Media Association. Western Carolina running back Michael Johnson was named the Freshman of the Year, and the group also selected all-conference teams on offense, defense and special teams.


Chattanooga senior defensive end Josh Beard earned Defensive Player of the Year honors while the media tabbed UTC head coach Russ Huesman as its Coach of the Year.


Edwards was a unanimous choice as the Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the first two-time winner of the award since Walter Payton Award-winning running back Louis Ivory of Furman in 2000-01. A leading candidate to earn his second consecutive Payton Award this season, Edwards is the SoCon’s all-time career leader in total offense, and he leads the league in that category again this season. The Greenwood, S.C., native is also tops among league players in scoring, passing efficiency and passing yards per game, and he became the first player in Southern Conference history to lead his team to four straight league championships as the starting quarterback.


Beard, a 6-1, 250-pound senior defensive end, leads the Southern Conference and is tied for the national lead with 12 sacks on the season, a number that equals the ninth-highest single-season total in league history. The Lincolnton, Ga., native recorded at least one sack in eight games in 2009, including a stretch in mid-October where he tallied two sacks in three consecutive games. In addition to his sacks, Beard tallied 62 tackles and four quarterback hurries. He is the first-ever Chattanooga player to be honored by the SoCon media as a league player of the year.


Western Carolina’s Johnson was the top freshman rusher in the SoCon in 2009, amassing 568 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair of games where he topped 100 yards against nationally-ranked opponents Appalachian State and Elon. A native of Decatur, Ga., Johnson started nine games during his freshman campaign and added 25 receptions for 137 yards out of the backfield.


Huesman, in his first year as the head coach of his alma mater, guided Chattanooga to a five-game improvement from a year ago. The Mocs finished 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the Southern Conference, following a winless league campaign in 2008. The Mocs’ four league win were the most since 1998 while the overall winning record was just the second for the program in the last 12 years.


SoCon champion Appalachian State placed 15 players on the all-conference team, including nine first-team selections. Eight Elon players were honored along with seven from Chattanooga and five each from The Citadel, Furman and Samford.



2009 Media All-Southern Conference Football Team


Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year Armanti Edwards, Sr., QB, Appalachian State *

Defensive Player of the Year Josh Beard, Sr., DE, Chattanooga

Freshman of the Year Michael Johnson, RB, Western Carolina

Wallace Wade Coach of the Year Russ Huesman, Chattanooga


* - Unanimous selection


First Team Offense

QB    Armanti Edwards, Sr., Appalachian State

RB     Chris Evans, Jr., Samford

RB     Devon Moore, Jr., Appalachian State

OL     Mario Acitelli, Sr., Appalachian State

OL     David Harrison, Sr., Elon

OL     Jon Weber, Sr., Samford

OL     Pat Illig, Jr., Wofford

OL     Brett Irvin, Jr., Appalachian State

TE     Alex Sellars, Jr., The Citadel

WR    Terrell Hudgins, Sr., Elon

WR    Andre Roberts, Sr., The Citadel


First Team Defense

DL     Josh Beard, Sr., Chattanooga

DL     Andre Campbell, Sr., Elon

DL     Jabari Fletcher, Jr., Appalachian State

DL     Brent Russell, Fr., Georgia Southern

LB     D.J. Smith, Jr., Appalachian State

LB     Kadarron Anderson, So., Furman

LB     Bryce Smith, Jr., Samford

DB    Mark LeGree, Jr., Appalachian State

DB    Jordan Tippit, So., Chattanooga

DB    Ryan Steed, So., Furman

DB    Cortez Gilbert, Sr., Appalachian State


First Team Specialists

PK     Craig Camay, Sr., Chattanooga

P       Bob Hooper, So., Samford

RS     CoCo Hillary, Jr., Appalachian State



Second Team Offense

QB    Scott Riddle, Jr., Elon

RB     Tersoo Uhaa, So., Furman

RB     Jamal Shuman, So., Elon

OL     Chris Werden, Sr., Elon

OL     Daniel DeHaven, Sr., The Citadel

OL     Tyler Haynes, Sr., Furman

OL     Pat Mills, Jr., Appalachian State

OL     Chris Harr, Jr., Chattanooga

TE     Ben Jorden, So., Appalachian State

WR    Blue Cooper, Sr., Chattanooga

WR    Adam Mims, Jr., Furman


Second Team Defense

DL     John Michael Clay, Jr., Samford

DL     Lanston Tanyi, So., Appalachian State

DL     Eric Ludwig, Sr., Elon

DL     Joshua Williams, Fr., Chattanooga

LB     Adrian McLeod, Sr., Western Carolina

LB     Chris Collins, Sr., Western Carolina

LB     Jacque Roman, Sr., Appalachian State

DB    Karlos Sullivan, Sr., Elon

DB    Buster Skrine, Jr., Chattanooga

DB    Cortez Allen, Jr., The Citadel

DB    Ed Gainey, So., Appalachian State


Second Team Specialists

PK     Jason Vitaris, Jr., Appalachian State

P       Chris Tommie, Sr., Wofford

RS     Andre Roberts, Sr., The Citadel

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