CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charleston Southern placed 10 players on the Big South All-Conference teams as voted on by the conference’s head coaches and media panel, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Cornerback James Allen, linebacker J.D. Sosebee, and defensive linemen Solomon Brown and Johnny Robinson all earned First Team All-Conference recognition. Safeties Brandon Rowland and Shadarius Hopkins, offensive linemen Joe Gold and Brackin Smith, long snapper Ethan Ray, and punter Kyle Reighard were all recognized on the Second Team. Allen doubled up to earn Big South All-Academic honors.
Allen earned All-Academic recognition for the second consecutive season. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native is majoring in Criminal Justice while minoring in Business Administration. He is posting a 3.675 GPA with plans to graduate this December from CSU.
In addition to his prowess in the classroom, Allen put together one of the best seasons by a defensive back in Big South Conference history on his way to earning First Team honors. Allen led the Big South with six interceptions and returned a CSU and conference-record three for touchdowns in 2018. He is currently tied for the FCS lead in pick-sixes on the year and is fourth in FCS in passes defended with 1.6 per game. Allen saved his best game of the season for his final conference game recording three interceptions and returned one 52 yards for a score in CSU's 12-7 win over Campbell.
Sosebee was once again among the conference's leading tacklers for the second consecutive season. The redshirt junior linebacker finished fifth in the Big South with 7.1 tackles per game. The Gainesville, Ga. native also led the Big South with three fumble recoveries. Among his season highlights included four double-digit tackling efforts including a career-high 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss against Savannah State. He added 11 tackles and two more behind the line of scrimmage against Campbell.
Brown earned All-Conference First Team recognition for the fourth consecutive season after pacing the conference with 11.5 tackles for loss. Brown finished runner-up for the Big South Defensive Player of the Year and led the Big South's defensive linemen with 7.0 tackles per game. He posted a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss against Savannah State and added three more tackles behind the line of scrimmage at Campbell.
Robinson was back on the First Team for the second consecutive season after finishing among the conference's sack and forced fumble leaders. Robinson finished sixth in the Big South with 3.0 sacks on the year and added two forced fumbles. Among his season highlights included eight tackles against Kennesaw State. He added two tackles for loss and a sack against Elon at Buccaneer Field.
Rowland made his first appearance on the postseason All-Conference team after leading the Big South's defensive backs with 6.6 tackles per game. He increased his totals to 7.0 tackles per contest in conference competition. Rowland picked off a pass in the end zone and blocked a field goal against Savannah State midway through the season. He added a season-high 12 tackles (eight solo) against Kennesaw State.
Hopkins was back on the All-Conference team for the second season after shifting from cornerback to safety in his senior year. He earned Defensive Player of the Week honors following a 16-tackle game against Elon and added a tackle for loss and forced a fumble against the Phoenix. He added a forced fumble against Hampton and added his first interception of the year in the Big South finale against Campbell.
Gold earned All-Conference recognition for the first time in his CSU career after starting all 10 games at center for the Buccaneers. The Fort Myers, Fla. native posted 60 knockdown blocks and helped pave the way for the Buccaneers to rush for 200 yards in six different games this season.
Smith was also a first-time All-Conference selection after starting all 10 games at left tackle for the Buccaneers this season. The Florence, S.C. native was a five-time weekly captain as selected by the CSU coaching staff and posted 80 knockdowns.
Ray lived up to his preseason All-Conference recognition in earning Second Team All-Conference honors as the long snapper. The redshirt sophomore averaged a 0.72 snap time and helped the Bucs' unit post snap-to-kick averages of 2.06. He was responsible for six fair catch calls in special teams coverage and downed the ball inside the opponents' 10-yard line four times in 2018.