Monday, December 1, 2008

South Carolina State running back Will Ford was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year and was joined on the All-MEAC by ten (10) teammates, including center Raymond Harrison, who was named Offensive Lineman of the Year, marking the third consecutive such honor for the Bulldogs.

Also, Coach of the Year honors went to Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough, who led the Bulldogs to their first playoff berth in 26 years. Under Pough’s guidance, the Bulldogs finished the season with a 10-3 overall mark and clinched the MEAC title with an unblemished 8-0 conference record. SC State ranked in the top 10 of three FCS statistical categories including tackles for loss (4th), sacks allowed (6th), and scoring defense (9th).

Other top conference honors were nabbed by Morgan State linebacker Jarrell Guyton, earned the Defensive Player of the Year honor, while Howard’s Willie Carter, a wide receiver, was tabbed as Rookie of the Year.

Ford led the MEAC in rushing with 1,499 yards and was tied for third in the conference in scoring (78 points). He carried the ball 246 times for an average of 115.3 yards and accounted for 13 touchdowns. Ford, a junior from Travelers Rest, S.C., is just 1,009 yards away from becoming the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher. The Preseason Player of the Year honoree, he received the Rookie of the Year award in 2006 and was recently named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.

Other Bulldogs joining Ford and Harrison on the All-MEAC first team were offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath, tight end Octavius Darby, defensive lineman Cedric Lloyd and safety Markee Hamlin. Earning second-team accolades were linebacker Marshall McFadden, defensive lineman Keyon Brooks, offensive lineman Nygel Pearson, wide receiver Oliver (Tre’) Young and linebacker Tony White.

Guyton earned the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Year honor after leading one of the most dominating defensive units in the FCS. For the second year in a row the Morgan State Bears led the FCS in total defense giving up less than 213.4 yards per game. Guyton collected 35 solo and 35 unassisted tackles for the Bears this season. He put up numbers in almost every defensive statistical category including 70 total tackles, 13 tackles for a loss of 41 yards, four sacks for a 22 yard loss, one interception for a 22 yards return, three broken up passes, one hurry, and one forced and recovered fumble.

Carter was a key offensive performer for the Bison before being sideline late in the season. In the six games he appeared in, he earned two Rookie of the Week honors and caught 44 passes for 477 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 10.8 yards per catch and was instrumental in Howard’s pass offense that finished second in the MEAC averaging 218.5 yards.

Harrison was a key performer in one of the most dominating offensive attacks in the MEAC this season for SC State. The Bulldogs’ third consecutive Lineman of the Year, Harrison helped the SCSU offense amass 4,972 yards of total offense including 2,651 yards on the ground. With Harrison at the lead, the Bulldogs posted the league’s top rusher in running back Ford. Harrison earned Offensive Lineman of the Week honors twice this season.