Ten Bulldogs Named to All-MEAC Team; SC State Picked Third - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Ten Bulldogs Named to All-MEAC Team; SC State Picked Third


Ten (10) SC State University players have been named to the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference team, while Coach Buddy Pough’s team has been picked to finish third in the race for the league title, as voted on by MEAC head football coaches and sports information directors.

Bulldog All-America and All-MEAC linebacker Darius Leonard, a redshirt senior, was named MEAC preseasons Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and was one of five Bulldogs earning All-MEAC First Team honors. It was the third such honor for the Lake View native.

The announcements were made Friday (July 28) at the MEAC's annual Football Press Luncheon held Friday at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside Hotel.
North Carolina Central, the defending champion, was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the MEAC, followed by North Carolina A&T State and SC State. Bethune-Cookman and Hampton rounded out the top five spots of this year’s preseason predicted order of finish.

Leonard (6-3, 235), the 2016 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year lived up to expectations last season, finishing with a MEAC-leading and career-high 124 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and four (4) forced fumbles. He collected a season-high 19 tackles in a loss against FBS National Champion Clemson last September.
Also last season, Leonard was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS and was well-recognized on the postseason awards circuit, earning All-American honors from STATS FCS, AFCA Coaches, Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN), Box-to-row, and HERO Sports.

In addition, Leonard was named the Mel Blount National Defensive Player of the Year as selected by SBN, Box-to-row National Defensive Player of the Year, and become the fourth straight Bulldog player to win the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades.

During this year’s preseason, he was previously selected as the MEAC Defensive Player to Watch by Athlon Sports in May and had been named a finalist for this year’s Butkus Award, honoring the nation's best linebacker.

The four other Bulldogs earning preseason All-MEAC First Team honors included redshirt senior linebacker Dayshawn Taylor, graduate defensive back Jason Baxter, and senior offensive linemen Robbie Stephenson and Justin Evans.

Offensive lineman Victor Ishmael, Jr., kicker Tyler Scandrett, defensive lineman Greg Newell and defensive back Devondre Powell, all seniors, all earned preseason All-MEAC second team honors, while senior defensive end Ty Cravens was named to the All-MEAC Third Team.

The Bulldogs open the 2017 season on Sept. 3 in Baton Rouge, LA against Southern University in the annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge, which will be televised live on ESPN2. Kick-off is 1:30 p.m.(CT) and 2:30 p.m. (ET).

Season tickets to SC State home games are still available for more information go online to www.scsuathletics.com or contact the SC State Ticket Office at 803-536-8579 or 1-800-298-9157.

Listed below are the 2017 MEAC Preseason Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason All-MEAC teams:




1. North Carolina Central

2. North Carolina A&T State

3. South Carolina State 

4. Bethune-Cookman

5. Hampton

6. Florida A&M

7. Norfolk State

8. Morgan State

9. Howard

10. Savannah State

11. Delaware State


First Team Offense

QB       Lamar Raynard            Jr.        North Carolina A&T State        High Point, N.C.
RB       Anthony Philyaw          Sr.        Howard                                    Los Angeles, Calif.
RB*     Yahkee Johnson           Sr.        Hampton                                  Richmond, Va.
RB*     Ramone Simpson         Jr.        N.C. Central                             Wilmington, N.C.
WR      Elijah Bell                    So.       North Carolina A&T State        Wheeling, W. Va.
WR*    Brandon Norwood        Sr.        Florida A&M                           Atlanta, Ga.
WR*    Frank Brown                Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
TE        Leroy Hill                    Jr.        North Carolina A&T State        Smithfield, N.C.
C          Darriel Mack                Sr.        North Carolina A&T State        Clio, S.C.
OL       Brandon Parker            Sr.        North Carolina A&T State        Kannapolis, N.C.
OL       Nick Leverett               So.       N.C. Central                             Concord, N.C.
OL       Robbie Stephenson      Sr.       S.C. State                                Fairburn, Ga.
OL       Justin Evans                Sr.       S.C. State                                Florence, S.C.
PK       Uriel Hernandez           Jr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Homestead, Fla.

First Team Defense

DL*     Kevin Thompson          R-Sr.    Bethune-Cookman                    Baltimore, Md.
DL*     Chris Lee                     Sr.        Norfolk State                            Woodbridge, Va.
DL       Ja’Quan Smith             Gr.       N.C. Central                             Miramar, Fla.
DL       Antonio Brown            Sr.        N.C. Central                             Jacksonville, Fla.
LB       Darius Leonard          R-Sr.   S.C. State                                Lake View, S.C.
LB       Dayshawn Taylor        R-Sr.   S.C. State                                Lincolnton, Ga.
LB       Reggie Hunter              Sr.        N.C. Central                             Henderson, N.C.
DB       Alden McClellon          Jr.        N.C. Central                             Lake Butler, Fla.
DB*     Jason Baxter               Gr.      S.C. State                                Manning, S.C.
DB*     Diquan Richardson       Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Alvin, S.C.
DB       Zerius Lockhart            Sr.        North Carolina A&T State        Auburn, Ala.
P          Nathaniel Tilque           Sr.        N.C. Central                             Charlotte, N.C.
RS        Khris Gardin                Sr.        North Carolina A&T State        Morganton, N.C.

*  - Indicates tie

Second Team Offense

QB       Larry Brihm, Jr.            Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Delray Beach, Fla.
RB       Herb Walker, Jr.           Sr.        Morgan State                            Cleveland, Ohio
RB       Mike Waters                 So.       Delaware State                         Philadelphia, Pa.
WR      Kyle Anthony              So.       Howard                                    Miami, Fla.
WR      Mason Rutherford        Sr.        Delaware State                         San Bernardino, Calif.
TE        Demetrius Ferebee        Sr.        Norfolk State                            Roanoke, Va.
C         Victor Ishmael, Jr.      Sr.       S.C. State                                Miami, Fla.                 
OL       Osman Aguilera           Sr.        Florida A&M                           Miami, Fla.
OL       Loubens Polinice          So.       Florida A&M                           Palm Coast, Fla.
OL       Joshua Fala                  So.       Delaware State                         Manteca, Calif.
OL       Cade Pedro                  So.       Delaware State                         Kailua, Hawai’i
PK       Tyler Scandrett           Sr.       S.C. State                                Barnesville, Ga.         

Second Team Defense

DL       Steven Smith                Sr.        Hampton                                  Norfolk, Va.
DL*     Jai Franklin                  Sr.        Morgan State                            Clinton, Md.
DL*     Greg Newell                Sr.       S.C. State                                McDonough, Ga.        
DL       Julian McKnight           Jr.        North Carolina A&T State        Conyers, Ga.
LB       Trenton Bridges            Jr.        Bethune-Cookman                    DeLand, Fla.
LB*     Malik Harris                 Sr.        Delaware State                         Washington, D.C.
LB*     Marcus Albert              Jr.        North Carolina A&T State        College Park, Ga.
DB       Brendan Cole               Sr.        Hampton                                  Hampton, Va.
DB       Orlando McKinley        Jr.        Florida A&M                           Atlanta, Ga.
DB       Terry Jefferson             So.       Florida A&M                           Miami, Fla.
DB       Devondre Powell         Sr.       S.C. State                                Miami, Fla.
P          Uriel Hernandez           Jr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Homestead, Fla.
RS        Frank Brown                Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

*  - Indicates tie

Third Team Offense

QB       Ryan Stanley                So.       Florida A&M                           Pembroke Pines, Fla.
RB       Dorrel McClain            Jr.        N.C. Central                             Cary, N.C.
RB       Brycen Alleyne            Jr.        Delaware State                         Wilmington, Del.
WR      Jalen Wilkes                 Jr.        N.C. Central                             Greenville, S.C.
WR      Jawill Davis                 Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Miami, Fla.
TE        Desmond Noird            Sr.        Florida A&M                           Atlanta, Ga.
C          Phillip Norman             Sr.        Bethune-Cookman                    Sebastian, Fla.
OL       Obinna Nwanko           So.       Florida A&M                           Miramar, Fla.
PK       Wizdom Nzidee            Sr.        Delaware State                         Stone Mountain, Ga.

Third Team Defense

DL*     Stefen Banks                Jr.        Savannah State                         Columbus, Ohio
DL*     Elijah Price                   Sr.        Florida A&M                           Jacksonville, Fla.
DL*     Kenneth Melton            Sr.        North Carolina A&T State        Elizabeth City, N.C.
DL       Tyberius Cravens       Sr.       S.C. State                                Austell, Ga.
LB       Kyle Archie                 Sr.        Norfolk State                            Virginia Beach, Va.
LB       Mulik Simmons            Sr.        Savannah State                         Savannah, Ga.
LB       Brian Cavicante            So.       Delaware State                         Portsmouth, Va.
DB       Carl Garnes                  Jr.        Morgan State                            Columbus, N.J.
DB       Keyjuan Selby              Jr.        Delaware State                         Bear, Del.
DB       Darius Johnson             Jr.        Morgan State                            Baltimore, Md.
DB       Davanta Reynolds        Jr.        N.C. Central                             Tucker, Ga.
P          Fidel Romo-Martinez   So.       Delaware State                         Banning, Calif.
RS        William King                Jr.        Morgan State                            Baltimore, Md.

*  - Indicates tie 

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