CSU earns Big South Postseason Honors

CSU earns Big South Postseason Honors
Charleston Southern safety Cody Cline was named the Big South Defensive Freshman of the Year on Tuesday (Source: CSU Athletics)

Charleston Southern placed 12 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.

Linebacker J.D. Sosebee, defensive linemen Nick Salley, Anton Williams, and Shaundre Mims, defensive back Cody Cline, placekicker Alex Usry, punter Kyle Reighard, and long snapper Ethan Ray were all honored on the First Team. Wide receiver Kameron Brown and offensive linemen Stephen Haralambis and Zack Evans earned Second Team recognition. Linebacker Justin McIntire earned All-Academic recognition.

Sosebee earned All-Conference recognition for the third time in his collegiate career after posting 103 tackles in the 2019 season. He recorded four double-digit tackling efforts, including a career-high 14 stops against Monmouth. He also added tackles for loss in seven games, while adding his first two collegiate interceptions against both North Alabama and Hampton.

Salley picked up First Team honors for the first time in his collegiate career after leading the Big South in tackles for loss (17.5). He was named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List early in the 2019 season and posted multiple tackles for loss in seven games, including a pair of 3.0 TFL games against both Furman and Gardner-Webb. He also tied for the Big South lead with three forced fumbles, while leading all defensive linemen in tackles per game.

Williams finished in the top three in the Big South in sacks, tackles for loss, and fumble recoveries, despite missing the first two games of the 2019 season. He posted one of the most dominant stretches in Big South history with 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery over the final four weeks of conference play. He added double-digit tackles for loss in six games, including 4.5 in the CSU win over Hampton.

Mims continued the theme of dominant defensive linemen with the Buccaneers as the junior tackle led the conference with 10.0 sacks on the season. He posted nine sacks in Big South play, including 3.0 each against both Monmouth and Hampton. He finished sixth in the Big South in tackles for loss (12.0).

Cline was the lone freshman on the Big South's defensive teams as the safety earned First Team recognition. He paced all Big South freshmen in tackles per game and finished seventh in conference play in passes defended. He put together a pair of double-digit tackling efforts in Big South play against Monmouth (10) and Gardner-Webb (11), while earning Freshman of the Week recognition in the CSU win over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Usry led all Big South kickers in scoring average this season and posted the third-most field goals in conference history with 19 conversions on the year. He connected on three 50-plus yard field goals, including a CSU-record 52-yarder in CSU's win over North Alabama. He converted nine field goals in a row at one point in 2019, including two from 50-plus yards during the stretch.

Reighard made it three consecutive seasons with All-Conference accolades as the Salem, Va. native earned First Team honors. He led all Big South punters in punting average (43.0) and set the Big South single season record with 18 punts that traveled over 50 yards. He also pinned 19 punts inside the opponents 20-yard line this season.

Ray claimed First Team honors to cap a season that saw the redshirt junior gain national acclaim. He took the FCS STATS National Special Teams Player of the Week recognition against Gardner-Webb when he recovered two fumbles, and was perfect on his snaps in 2019. He also led the Bucs in punts downed.

Brown returned to his All-Conference form in 2019 as the redshirt senior finished third in the Big South and tied the CSU single season record with 10 touchdown catches. He posted six touchdowns over his final three games, including three in CSU's season finale win over Campbell. He added back-to-back 100-yard receiving efforts this season against North Carolina A&T (110 yards, 2 TDs) and The Citadel (118 yards).

Evans was back on the All-Conference team after earning preseason recognition for the Bucs. The redshirt senior guard started all 12 games and helped pace CSU's offensive efforts as the Bucs averaged 152.8 rushing yards and 208.9 passing yards per game.

Haralambis joined his fellow guard on the postseason squad after earning preseason Phil Steele All-Conference recognition. He also started all 12 games for the Bucs offensively and helped guide CSU to converting 38.7% of their third down opportunities and surrender just 23 sacks on the year.

McIntire earned All-Academic honors for the first time in his collegiate career. The junior linebacker is majoring in Marketing at CSU with a 3.661 GPA. He paced the Bucs in turnovers collected in 2019 with a pair of interceptions and two fumble recoveries, including a pick and a recovery in CSU’s win over Presbyterian.

Charleston Southern redshirt sophomore placekicker Alex Usry capped one of the best seasons in Big South history by earning the conference's Special Teams Player of the Year honors.

Usry joins only Darius Hammond (KR/PR, 2016) as the only two Buccaneers to claim the conference's premier award for specialists since the award's inception in 2013. He earned Special Teams Player of the Week recognition a conference-leading four times in 2019.

The McDonough, Ga. native led all Big South placekickers in scoring average and sat third overall in the conference with 8.2 points per game. He posted the third-most field goals in Big South history with 19, while connecting on three 50-plus yard field goal attempts.

Usry made his debut in week with two field goals, including a 48-yard conversion against The Citadel. From there, he averaged multiple field goal attempts the remaining 10 weeks of the season, including a season-high four conversions against North Alabama.

Usry connected on his first 50-yard field goal of the season on October 12 against Kennesaw State. He followed up the following week with a CSU-record 52-yard conversion on the road against North Alabama to continue a stretch of nine consecutive field goals made.

He later added a 51-yard conversion on the road against Presbyterian, and closed out the season connecting from both 33 and 34 yards in CSU's win over Campbell.

Usry was recognized as the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week following the games against Kennesaw State, North Alabama, Presbyterian, and Campbell.

Charleston Southern safety Cody Cline was honored as the 2019 Big South Football Defensive Freshman of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.

Cline becomes the fourth CSU player in program history to claim honors as one of the top freshmen in the conference, and the first to claim Defensive Freshman of the Year as the award was established following the 2018 season. Cline joins Jonna Lee (2003), Danny Croghan III (2013), and Solomon Brown (2015) as the lone Bucs to claim top freshman honors following their first competition year with CSU.

The Concord, N.C. native earned a starting role with the Buccaneers from the beginning in 2019 and showed he was a player to watch this season with seven tackles (six solo) and a pass breakup in the season opener against Furman. He followed up with six more tackles the following week against South Carolina.

Cline came through in big games throughout the season with nine tackles (seven solo) and a season-high 1.5 tackles for loss against North Carolina A&T in CSU's home opener. He added nine more stops in the crosstown rivalry game against The Citadel.

Cline posted his first double-digit tackling effort with the Bucs against Monmouth with 10 tackles and a pass breakup against the Hawks.

The following week, Cline earned Big South Freshman of the Week recognition with a season-high 11 tackles and his first collegiate interception in CSU's win over Gardner-Webb.

Cline led all Big South freshmen in tackles per game (6.1).