USA South 2017 Football All-Conference Awards

USA South 2017 Football All-Conference Awards

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2017 All-Conference awards for football. The Ferrum College duo of Brian Mann and Montel Lee were named Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. The Huntingdon College pair of Linell Tarver and Mike Turk were named Defensive Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. Maryville College's Elijah Hairston collected Offensive Rookie of the Year honors to wrap-up the individual awards. Finally, the USA South also recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

All honors are determined by votes from the football coach at each institution.

Mann, a sophomore running back from Pearisburg, Virginia becomes the first player in USA South football history to be named Player of the Year after collecting Rookie of the Year accolades the previous season. He led the Conference in rushing for the second consecutive season, gaining 1,556 yards on a League-high 274 carries for a Conference-best 5.7 yards per attempt. Also USA South-highs were Mann's 17 rushing touchdowns and 193.5 all-purpose yards per game. His average of 155.6 rushing yards per game increased to 170.3 versus Conference competition. For Mann's efforts this season, he earned his second consecutive First Team All-Conference honor as a running back. Finally, he was named USA South Offensive Player of the Week four times this fall. 

Hairston, a freshman running back from Hiram, Georgia, becomes just the second Scot (Melvin Burston, 2011) to be named USA South Offensive Rookie of the Year. He led all Conference rookies in rushing with 501 yards on 105 carries for an average of 4.8 yards per attempt with five touchdowns. In League-only games, Hairston averaged 60.9 rushing yards per game while scoring all five of his touchdowns. Finally, he collected USA South Rookie of the Week honors twice this fall.

Lee, an Andalusia, Alabama senior defensive lineman earns his second consecutive USA South Defensive Player of the Year honor which is now added to his 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year accolade. He now becomes the first player in USA South football history to be named a two-time USA South Defensive Player of the Year and a Defensive Rookie of the Year in his career. He once again led the Conference with 13.5 sacks this year and adds to his own USA South career sacks record which is now at 39. Additionally, Lee tallied a League-high 23.5 tackles-for-loss which also adds to his USA South career record which sits at 80.5. His tackles-for-loss resulted in opponents losing 147 total yards this fall. Lee added 45.0 total tackles, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery this season. For his efforts, Lee was named a First Team All-Conference defensive lineman for the fourth consecutive year. Finally, he collected USA South Defensive Player of the Week accolades once this fall.

Tarver, a freshman linebacker from Honolulu, Hawaii becomes the third consecutive Hawk to be named USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has collected 59 total tackles and 2.5 sacks this season. Tarver has totaled 38 solo tackles and 21 assisted take downs so far this fall. His 2.5 sacks came against USA South opponents and ranked tied for ninth in League-only contests. Finally, Tarver was named USA South Rookie Defensive Player of the Week four times this season.

Turk, in his 14th season at Huntingdon, becomes the first coach in USA South football history to earn Conference Coach of the Year honors three consecutive years. He led his team to a third-consecutive League title as the Hawks finished a perfect 7-0 in Conference play. With the regular season championship, Huntingdon earned its third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Hawks concluded the regular season with a 9-1 overall record and are currently ranked nationally.


Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year

Coach of the Year

Brian Mann

Elijah Hairston

Montel Lee

Linell Tarver

Mike Turk

The 2017 USA South Football All-Conference Team:

  First Team Second Team
Running Back Vic Jerald, Huntingdon
Brian Mann, Ferrum
Sean Bowman, Averett
E'Montie Dears, Methodist
Quarterback Connor Blair, LaGrange Chip Taylor, Huntingdon
Wide Receiver Marcus Campbell, LaGrange
Trey Lancaster, N.C. Wesleyan
Otis Porter, Huntingdon
Dylan Cummings, Methodist
Mac Seagle, Maryville
Johnny White, Ferrum
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback Colton Chinn, Huntingdon Josh Bare, Ferrum
Offensive Line Jesse Benavides-Munoz, Maryville
Wilson Gregory, Averett
Chris Hering, Huntingdon
Adam Mann, Huntingdon
Jordan Patti, Ferrum
Justin Byrd, Maryville
Breon Foust, N.C. Wesleyan
Thomas McFadden, N.C. Wesleyan
Sam Powers, Ferrum
DJ Twitty, Methodist
Defensive Line DeAngelo Collington, Maryville
Kenneth Covington, Averett
Montel Lee, Ferrum
Al Matthews, Ferrum
Donnell Alexander, N.C. Wesleyan
Shareef Boddie, Averett
Will England, Methodist
Jacorey Jackson, Maryville
Linebacker Dejon Brooks, Averett
Trey Hayes, Huntingdon
Antonio Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan
Cedric Brown, Maryville 
Tyus Brown, Ferrum
Brandon Williams, Huntingdon
Defensive Back Tyriek Able, Averett
Eddie Graham, N.C. Wesleyan
Rod Smith, Ferrum
Jarrett White, Huntingdon
Demetrius Beverly, Huntingdon
Pierre Chadwick, Maryville
Kwajay Witcher, Ferrum
Anthony Wood, Huntingdon
Return Specialist Delquan Bigelow, Averett Kevin Norcott, Averett
Place Kicker Cole Westberry, Averett Chase Young, Huntingdon
Punter Cole Westberry, Averett Kenneth Horne, Maryville


All-Sportsmanship Team
Desmond Springs, Averett
Bubba Craven, Brevard
CJ Kaashif, Ferrum
Tolan Jones, Greensboro
Anthony Wood, Huntingdon
Nicholas Searcy, LaGrange
Alex Gobble, Maryville
Landon Cheviron, Methodist
Cody Vaillancourt, N.C. Wesleyan