Offensive Player of the Year: Joe Newman, QB, Wofford
Newman, a senior quarterback from Riverdale, Georgia, is just the second Terrier to ever be named Offensive Player of the Year. Previously Eric Breitenstein won the award in 2011 and 2012. He is also the first Wofford quarterback to ever receive All-Southern Conference honors. Newman has started all 11 games this season and is the team’s leading rusher with 880 yards and 13 touchdowns on 118 carries. He has completed 64-of-115 passes with seven touchdowns. He is the first Wofford quarterback to throw for more than 1,000 yards in back to back seasons since Travis Wilson (1999-01).
Defensive Player of the Year: Willie Eubanks III, LB, The Citadel
Eubanks, a 6-2, 215-pound junior from Augusta, Ga., led The Citadel with 112 tackles this season, the most for the Bulldogs since 2000. He was second in the SoCon in tackles, third in tackles for loss with 11.5 and eighth in sacks with four.
He also forced three fumbles, intercepted a pass, broke up four passes and had 11 quarterback hurries for the 6-6 Bulldogs, who went 4-4 in SoCon play.
Freshman of the Year: Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga
Ford led all freshmen at the FCS level with 108.1 rushing yards per game and tied for the team lead with nine rushing touchdowns.
“The best thing about him being freshman of the year,” Mocs coach Rusty Wright said in a UTC release, “is he has four A’s and a B right now going into the finals. That proves what he does on and off the field is the same, and he is very deserving.”
Jacobs Blocking Award: Blake Jeresaty, OL, Wofford
Jeresaty, a junior center from Charleston, South Carolina, becomes the fifth Terrier to earn the Jacob Blocking Trophy and the first since 2011. He is part of an offensive line that is ranked first in the nation in fewest sacks allowed, with only one (0.09 spg). The line paves the way for the nation’s second-ranked rushing attack at 323.5 yards per game. He leads the team in knockdown blocks with 117 on the season. He was named All-Southern Conference second team last season. He was also named CoSIDA Academic All-District the past two years.
Coach of the Year: Scott Wachenheim, VMI
Wachenheim guided the Keydet football team to five wins overall in 2019 – the most since 2003 when VMI posted a 6-6 mark. VMI closed out the regular season with a 31-24 win over Chattanooga last Saturday to finish with a 4-4 mark in SoCon play which marked the first time since 1979 that the Keydets had secured four conference wins in a season. VMI also captured the Silver Shako Trophy for the first time since 2002 with a 34-21 win over The Citadel October 5 in the “Military Classic of the South”.
Wachenheim becomes the first VMI coach named SoCon Coach of the Year since Cal McCombs in 2002.
Wachenheim was also named as a finalist to the 33rd annual Eddie Robinson Award which honors the FCS Coach of the Year and joins 14 other FCS coaches nationally to be considered for the STATS FCS award.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as the Southern Conference Coach of the Year by my peers in my profession,” said Wachenheim. “It is also a tribute to the outstanding job my staff has performed this season.”
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