FCS 2018 SWAC Awards

SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Offensive Player of the Year: Noah Johnson, QB, Alcorn State

Alcorn State Braves quarterback Noah Johnson (13) throws against the against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson , a redshirt junior, has thrown for 2,079 passes and 15 touchdowns this season while also running for 960 yards and nine touchdowns. He was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year and is one of four finalists for the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year award, with the winner to be announced in February 2019.

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Defensive Player of the Year: De’Arius Christmas, LB, Grambling State

Christmas was also selected to the STATS FCS All-American third team.
Image: Grambling StateAthletics

Grambling State University senior linebacker De’Arius Christmas was named the SWAC DPOY for 2018. Christmas was first on the team in sacks (5.5) and second in tackles for loss (11.0). The senior linebacker was total third in tackles (55) and registered 30 solo stops. In addition, Christmas added seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, including a 66-yard touchdown return against Alabama State, and one blocked kick.

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Newcomer of the Year: De’Shawn Waller, RB, Alcorn State

Patience and dedication: Waller spent two years at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas before arriving at Alcorn State. Photo: Alcorn State Athletics.

Waller, a junior, worked his way into becoming the premier running back in the SWAC after beginning the season at No. 3 on the Alcorn depth chart. He didn’t start until the seventh game of the year against Alabama A&M.

The Atlanta, Georgia native ended with 1,215 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished the year ranked eighth in the FCS in rushing yards per game (121.5), 15th in total rushing yards, 19th in all-purpose yards (133.0 ypg), 19th in yards per carry (6.5), 20th in rushing TD’s (12), 23rd in scoring (7.8 ppg) and 25th in total touchdowns (13).

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Freshman of the Year: DeJuan Miller, WR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Arkansas-Pine Bluff wide receiver DeJuan Miller was named the SWAC Freshman of the Year after ranking tied for first in the conference in receptions with 56, third in receiving yardage with 801, and was tied for second in receiving touchdowns with six. The Belle Glade, Fla., native eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark three consecutive weeks and recorded a season-high 10 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns versus Grambling State on Oct. 27.

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