The Citadel’s Eubanks Named SoCon Defensive Player of the Year

The Citadel’s Eubanks Named SoCon Defensive Player of the Year
The Citadel's Willie Eubanks III was named the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday (Source: The Citadel Athletics)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Citadel junior linebacker Willie Eubanks III was selected as the 2019 Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year by both the league’s coaches and media members as the all-conference teams were announced Tuesday afternoon.

VIDEO: The Citadel's Eubanks named SoCon Def. Player of the Year

Eubanks was not the only Bulldog honored on Tuesday as he was joined on the coaches first team by wide receiver Raleigh Webb, defensive lineman Joseph Randolph II and punter Matt Campbell. Offensive lineman Drew McEntyre and defensive back Chris Beverly were selected to the coaches second team.

The media selected Eubanks, McEntyre, Randolph and Campbell to the first team, with Webb and Beverly named to the second team.

Freshman Hasan Black was chosen by the coaches to the All-Freshman Team.

Eubanks becomes the program’s first player to take home the league’s top defensive honor by both the coaches and media. He is just the second player to win the honor by the coaches, joining Mitchell Jeter in 2015. He is the fourth player to earn the honor from the media. Brian Ruff (1975,1976), Scott Thompson (1986) and Kailik Williams (2016) are the previous selections by the media.

The superlative comes just one day after Eubanks was tabbed a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, honoring the top defensive player in the FCS. Eubanks closed out the season with 112 tackles, 63 solo, 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception, one fumble recovery and 11 quarterback hurries.

Eubanks recorded double-digit tackles in six of the 12 games this season, including three of the last four games. He posted a season-high 13 tackles and three quarterback hurries against Elon. He recorded 10 solo tackles and forced a fumble on a sack against Samford. Against Chattanooga, Eubanks was credited with nine solo tackles, while adding four tackles-for-loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

Randolph is being honored for the second-straight year as he was a second-team selection by the coaches and first-team honoree by the media in 2018. He closed out his career by recording 48 tackles, including a SoCon-leading 14.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.0 sacks

Randolph recorded a TFL in nine of the 12 games, including 3.0 tackles-for-loss against Samford. He added a pair of games in which he registered two sacks, including the overtime victory over Georgia Tech.

Campbell was a unanimous first-team selection for the second consecutive year. The sophomore led the conference by averaging 44.1 yards on 35 punts. Ten of his punts traveled at least 50 yards, with 12 resulting in fair catches and 13 being inside the 20-yard line.

McEntyre was the anchor of the offensive line that helped the Bulldogs rush for 268.2 yards per game, including rushing for over 300 yards in six games. During the Bulldogs’ four-game win streak, the offense put together back-to-back huge days on the ground with 360 rushing yards against Furman and 378 yards against Mercer.

Webb’s 2019 campaign was the best by a Bulldog receiver since former All-American Andre Roberts was drafted in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in 2010. Webb caught 30 passes for 617 yards and a league-best 10 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in nine of the 12 games, including starting the season with a TD in five-straight games. He also rushed seven times for 47 yards and averaged 18.0 yards on seven kickoff returns.

Webb put together back-to-back 100-yard receiving games when he caught two passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns against Samford, and followed it up with a career-high 10 catches for 110 yards against VMI. He added a third 100-yard performance with two catches, including the game-winning 73-yard touchdown reception, for 107 yards at ETSU.

Beverly started all 12 games at safety and ranked second on the team with 71 tackles. He added 2.0 tackles-for-loss, one interception, one forced fumble and six pass break-ups.

His biggest play of the season came against ETSU when he stopped the receiver on the one-yard line on a 4th-and-goal play to secure the victory for the Bulldogs. He followed that up with his first career interception against Chattanooga.

Black was named to the freshman team after posting 23 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and four quarterback hurries. He posted a season-high six tackles in his first career start against Mercer. He recorded his first career sack at Chattanooga and ended the year with five stops against Wofford.