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Cordell named SAC Offensive Player of the Year

Seven Pioneers garner All-SAC football recognition

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum College quarterback Bo Cordell has been named the 2013 South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Year announced league officials Wednesday with the release of the SAC Football Awards. The SAC Football Awards are selected by the league’s eight head coaches.

Seven Pioneers were named to the All-SAC Football Team as Cordell, Justin Houston and Wesley Powell earned first team honors, while Brian Alexander, Deon Hicks, David Davis and Josh Davis garnered second team recognition.

Cordell becomes the first Tusculum football player to earn SAC Player of the Year honors multiple times in his career earning the award previously in 2010. He is also one of only four players in league history to earn Offensive Player of the Year distinction on more than one occasion, along with: Todd Cunningham (Presbyterian – 1999, 2000, 2001), Tommy Laurendine (Lenoir-Rhyne – 1988, 1999) and Jonas Randolph (Mars Hill – 2009, 2011).

This marks the fourth time a Pioneer has earned SAC Football Player of the Year accolades. All-America defensive back and return specialist Ricardo Colclough earned 2003 Defensive Player of the Year honors, while All-America quarterback Corey Russell was the 2008 SAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Cordell wraps up one of the most prolific careers ever by a collegiate signal caller. The Cincinnati, Ohio native (Indian Hill HS) owns 15 NCAA Division II records, including career passing yards (16,265 – 4th all NCAA divisions), career completions (1,397 – 3rd all NCAA divisions), career pass attempts (2,187 – 3rd all NCAA divisions) career total offensive yards (16,432 – 4th all NCAA divisions) and total offensive plays in a career (2,572 – 2nd all NCAA divisions).

Cordell currently leads the South Atlantic Conference in six statistical categories this season including: passing yards (3,920 - 4th in NCAA II), passing yards per game (356.4 ypg – 4th in NCAA II), points responsible for (178 – 28th in NCAA II), points responsible for per game (16.2 ppg – 35th in NCAA II) and total offense (365.1 ypg – 5th in NCAA II). Cordell’s 3,920 passing yards are the third-most in school history and fifth-best in SAC history, while his 4,020 total offensive yards are third most in both the TC and SAC record books. Cordell has completed 25 touchdown passes in 2013, which are the third most by a Tusculum player and eighth-most by a SAC quarterback. He owns 13 South Atlantic Conference football records, including career touchdown passes (112) and touchdowns responsible for (127), marks he established in his collegiate finale on Saturday against Mars Hill University.

Cordell becomes only the fifth Tusculum student-athlete to be named a multi-time SAC Player of the Year, joining, Lesley Murray (women’s tennis – 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004), Jasmine Gunn (women’s basketball – 2009-10 & 2010-11), Kyle Moore (men’s basketball – 2009-10 & 2010-11) and Simon Holzapfel (men’s cross country – 2009 & 2010).

Justin Houston, a junior from Cleveland, Tenn., led the conference in receptions per game, averaging 11 catches per game, which is presently the second highest average in the nation (NCAA II). Houston also leads the SAC in all-purpose yards per game (191.40 ypg – 10th in NCAA II) and is second in the conference in receiving yards per game (134.7 ypg – 5th in NCAA II) and eighth in total receiving yards (1,347 – 8th in NCAA II). Houston’s season totals in receptions (110), receiving yards (1,347) and all-purpose yardage (1,914) are all single-season records at Tusculum. He has also tallied seven touchdown catches and returned a kickoff for a program-best 99-yard return for a score earning him SAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Earlier this year, he established a school single-game record with 317 all-purpose yards at Brevard. For his career, Houston has made 150 receptions (6th in TC history) for 1,740 yards (8th in TC history) and 11 touchdowns for the Bradley Central High School graduate.

Wesley Powell, a 6-10 junior tight end from Titus, Ala. (Elmore County HS), finished third on the team with 38 receptions for 520 yards (8th in SAC) and four touchdowns. He averaged 47.3 receiving yards per game (9th in SAC), including a career-best 110 yards on seven grabs against Mars Hill. Powell becomes only the second TC tight end to earn All-SAC first team honors, joining two-time first teamer Jarrell NeSmith (2008 & 2009). In his 31 career outings, he has made 81 receptions for 853 yards and seven touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Brian Alexander returns to the All-SAC second team as he finished second in the conference with his 126 tackles, which are the second most in Tusculum history. The Union Point, Ga. native averaged 11.5 tackles per game, which is the second-best average in the league and 11th in the country. He recorded 10 or more tackles on seven occasions in 2013, including a career-high 20 stops at Carson-Newman. He also tallied 18 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage in a home win against Catawba. The Greene County (Ga.) HS product finished the season with six tackles for loss and three sacks, while forcing a fumble and blocking a kick. Alexander will leave Tusculum as the program’s all-time leader in tackles with 366 stops to his credit. He is also seventh in career tackles for loss (36) and sacks (13) as he posted double-digit tackles on 15 occasions.

Senior defensive lineman Josh Davis was fifth on the team with his 57 tackles, including 27 solo hits. He led the squad in tackles for loss (8), sacks (3.5) and quarterback hurries (12), while also breaking up four passes. The Atlanta, Ga. product recorded a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in seven of his 11 contests in 2013, including a season-high two against Lenoir-Rhyne. The South Atlanta High School graduate wraps up his collegiate career with 103 tackles, including 10 for loss, five sacks, and interception, six passes defended, forced a fumble and recovered three.

Junior receiver Deon Hicks posted a solid 2013 campaign in his first season at Tusculum. The 6-2, 210-pound native of Fresno, Calif., recorded 784 receiving yards on 43 receptions, including seven touchdowns catches. The Fresno City College transfer averaged 87.1 receiving yards per game, which are third in the SAC and 37th in NCAA II. His receiving yardage total was third-best in the conference, while his 4.8 receptions per game average is fourth. Hicks accounted for six games with 100 receiving yards, including the season finale with Mars Hill, where he made six catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the third quarter.

Senior offensive line David Davis rounds out the All-SAC team for the Pioneers. The 6-4, 300-pound native of McEwen, Tenn. (The Ensworth School) started in all 11 games this season. In his 37 career games, he made 27 starts, including 23 in a row in the offensive trenches.

Lenoir-Rhyne and Newberry led the conference with 11 honorees each, while Carson-Newman was third with nine. Tusculum and Wingate tied for fourth with seven selections apiece, while Catawba and Mars Hill tied for sixth with seven honorees each. Brevard rounds out the list with three selections on the All-SAC Team.

The SAC Statistical Individual and Team Champions have been announced. Tusculum led the league in passing offense averaging 365.3 yards per game, which is currently fourth in the nation. It is the sixth passing title in the last seven years for the Pioneers and ninth overall in TC’s 15 years in the league. Cordell claimed SAC Statistical titles for passing yards per game and total offense per game, while Houston claimed titles for receptions per game and all-purpose yards per game.

Tusculum award winners will be recognized on Jan. 15, 2014 at halftime of the Tusculum men’s basketball game with Lincoln Memorial at Pioneer Arena.

- SAC -

2013 All-South Atlantic Conference Football Team
First Team Offense
QB – Bo Cordell, Tusculum
RB – Shaikel Davis, Mars Hill
RB – Brandon Baker, Carson-Newman
RB – Jarrod Spears, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR – Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
WR – Corey Washington, Newberry
WR – Justin Houston, Tusculum
OL – Denzell Goode, Mars Hill
OL – Alex Taylor, Carson-Newman
OL – Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Jamal Ellis, Newberry
OL – Zack Bunn, Lenoir-Rhyne
TE – Wesley Powell, Tusculum
LS – Austin Crook, Newberry
P – Kyle Clark, Newberry
PK – Curt Duncan, Carson-Newman
PK - Zach Neumann, Lenoir-Rhyne

First Team Defense
DL – Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL – Troy Harris, Mars Hill
DL – Letavious Williams, Newberry
DL – Javaris Neal, Carson-Newman
LB – Sammy Siasia, Mars Hill
LB – Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Jaycob Coleman, Carson-Newman
LB – Edmond Robinson, Newberry
DB – Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – L.J. McCray, Catawba
DB – Myer Nolan, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – David Davis, Newberry
RS – L.J. McCray, Catawba

Second Team Offense
QB – Robbie Nallenweg, Wingate
QB - W.T. Murden, Newberry
RB – Isaiah Whitaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB – Kelvin Jeter, Brevard
RB – Tyron Douglas, Carson-Newman
WR – Nate Charest, Catawba
WR – Jordan Berry, Wingate
WR – Deon Hicks, Tusculum
OL – Lucas Mathis, Carson-Newman
OL – Will Poteat, Wingate
OL – David Davis, Tusculum
OL – Nick Allison, Mars Hill
OL – Landon Martin, Newberry
OL - Taylor Fender, Catawba
TE – Brandon Ellington, Wingate
LS – Alex Taylor, Carson-Newman
P – Austin Anthony, Wingate

Second Team Defense
DL – Jimmy Long, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL – Nick Napolitano, Wingate
DL – Jonathan Jean, Catawba
DL – Josh Davis, Tusculum
LB – Brian Alexander, Tusculum
LB – Michael Gruber, Brevard
LB – Jason Taylor, Catawba
LB – B.J. Mazyck, Newberry
DB – Eien Jacob, Carson-Newman
DB – O’Neil Blake, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Jacob McCleery, Brevard
DB – Jon Jimenez, Wingate
RS – Jason Livingston, Newberry

SAC Offensive Player of the Year – Bo Cordell, Tusculum
SAC Defensive Player of the Year – Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
SAC Offensive Freshman of the Year – Trent Miller, Mars Hill
SAC Defensive Freshman of the Year – Rodney Singleton, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jacobs Blocking Trophy – Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
SAC Coach of the Year – Mike Houston, Lenoir-Rhyne

SAC STATISTICAL CHAMPIONS (Regular Season Only)
Rushing Yards per Game – Shaikel Davis, Mars Hill (125.4)
Passing Yards per Game – Bo Cordell, Tusculum (356.4)
Total Offense per Game – Bo Cordell, Tusculum (365.1)
Receptions per Game – Justin Houston, Tusculum (11.0)
Receiving Yards per Game – Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill (144.6)
All-Purpose Yards per Game – Justin Houston, Tusculum (191.4)
Pass Efficiency Rating – W.T. Murden, Newberry (151.8)
Punt Return Average – Jason Livingston, Newberry (12.2)
Kick Return Average – Tim Nalesnik, Wingate (27.3)
Punting Average – Kyle Clark, Newberry (39.0)
Scoring Average (TDs) – De’Andre Thomas, Carson-Newman (8.73)
Scoring Average (Kicking) – Curt Duncan, Carson-Newman (8.55)
Field Goals per Game – Curt Duncan, Carson-Newman (1.27)
Field Goal Percentage – Patrick Smith, Wingate (.860)
Tackles per Game – Sammy Siasia, Mars Hill (14.1)
Sacks per Game – Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne (0.95)
Tackles for Loss per Game – Troy Harris, Mars Hill (1.86)
Interceptions per Game – Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne (0.64)
Scoring Offense – Carson-Newman (39.3)
Scoring Defense – Lenoir-Rhyne (13.8)
Passing Offense – Tusculum (365.3)
Passing Defense – Newberry (200.9)
Rushing Offense – Lenoir-Rhyne (376.9)
Rushing Defense – Lenoir-Rhyne (85.9)
Total Offense – Carson-Newman (487.2)
Total Defense – Lenoir-Rhyne (307.6)
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