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10 Selected to VaSID All-State Football Squad
Liberty led all programs in the Commonwealth with 10 selections to the 2013 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division all-state football team, which was released by the organization earlier today.
Four of Liberty's 10 selections were named to the first-team all-state listing, including Walt Aikens/CB, Brandon Apon/TE, Jacob Hagen/S and Hunter Steward/OL.
Liberty paced the way in the Commonwealth with six second-team all-state selections, including Jonathan Burgess/OL, Mitch Hanson/OL, Darrin Peterson/WR, Greg Ray/OL, Desmond Rice/RB and Chima Uzowihe/DL.
Eight programs in Virginia had players selected to the 53-man all-state listing. Liberty finished the voting with 10 selections, followed by nine honorees for Virginia and Virginia Tech.
William & Mary ranked fourth with seven selections, followed by five all-state award winners from James Madison and Richmond. Old Dominion and Norfolk State rounded out the group with four selections from each school.
William & Mary, Virginia and Virginia Tech led the Commonwealth with five first-team honorees.
Old Dominion, who averaged 519.0 total offensive yards per game and finished the year with an 8-4 overall record, had the top two offensive players on the list.
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke was named VaSID Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He finished the season throwing for 4,022 yards and 33 touchdowns. Running back Gerard Johnson, the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year, ranked third on the Monarchs' roster by rushing for 372 yards and five touchdowns.
James Madison's Stephon Robertson was named the VaSID Defensive Player of the Year after finishing his senior year with 141 tackles, 17.0 tackles for a loss and 5.0 sacks.
The organization's Defensive Rookie of the Year was Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, who was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year with six interceptions and 58 tackles.
William & Mary's Jimmy Laycock was selected the VaSID Coach of the Year. The Tribe posted the second-best turnaround in school history (+5 wins from 2012/7-5 overall record), while facing the 14th-toughest schedule in the country based upon opponent winning percentage.
2013 VaSID University Division All-State Football Teams
QB – Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion
RB – Kevin Parks, Virginia
RB –Dae'Quan Scott, James Madison
WR – Larry Pinkard, Old Dominion
WR – Tre McBride, William & Mary
TE – Brandon Apon, Liberty
TE – Jake McGee, Virginia
OL – Matt Crisafi, William & Mary
OL – Andrew Miller, Virginia Tech
OL – Hunter Steward, Liberty
OL – Morgan Moses, Virginia
OL – Austin Gund, Richmond
DL – Mike Reilly, William & Mary
DL – James Gayle, Virginia Tech
DL – Jordan Stanton, James Madison
DL – Eli Harold, Virginia
LB – Stephon Robertson, James Madison
LB – Jack Tyler, Virginia Tech
LB – Lynden Trail, Norfolk State
CB – Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
CB – Walt Aikens, Liberty
S – Anthony Harris, Virginia
S – Jerome Couplin, III, William & Mary
S – Jacob Hagen, Liberty
PK – Brandon Jordi, Richmond
P – A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech
RS – Aaron Evans, Old Dominion
RS – Tre McBride, William & Mary
QB – Michael Strauss, Richmond
RB – Rolandan Finch, Norfolk State
RB – Desmond Rice, Liberty
WR – Stephen Barnette, Richmond
WR – Darrin Peterson, Liberty
WR – Ben Edwards, Richmond
TE – Joseph Hawkins, Norfolk State
OL – Josh Wells, James Madison
OL – Luke Bowanko, Virginia
OL – Greg Ray, Liberty
OL – Jonathan Burgess, Liberty
OL – Mitch Hanson, Liberty
DL – Derrick Hopkins, Virginia Tech
DL – Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech
DL – Chima Uzowihe, Liberty
DL – Brent Urban, Virginia
LB – Airek Green, William & Mary
LB – Luke Rhodes, William & Mary
LB – Henry Coley, Virginia
CB – Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
CB – Darrin Marrow, Norfolk State
S – Dean Marlowe, James Madison
S – Kyshoen Jarrett, Virginia Tech
PK – Jarod Brown, Old Dominion
P – Alec Vozenilek, Virginia
VaSID Offensive Player of the Year
Taylor Heinicke, QB, Old Dominion
VaSID Defensive Player of the Year
Stephon Robertson, LB, James Madison
VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year
Gerard Johnson, RB, Old Dominion
VaSID Defensive Rookie of the Year
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Coach of the Year
Jimmy Laycock, William & Mary
Liberty's 2013 VaSID University Division All-State Honorees (in alphabetical order):
Walt Aikens, Sr., DB
Three-time Big South all-conference honoree (first team in 2013; second team in 2011 and 2012) … 2013 Big South preseason-all-conference … tied for the team lead in tackles (62) … led the team and ranks No. 3 in the Big South in solo tackles (50) … helped Liberty rank No. 2 in the country in interception (19), recording three interceptions to give him seven for his career … ranked seventh in the Big South in passed defended (9) … ranked fourth in interceptions (3).
Brandon Apon, Sr., TE
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … Big South's all-time career leader with eight career touchdowns as a tight end … team captain … ranked No. 2 on the team in touchdown reception (4) … posted career numbers this season in receptions (14) and receiving touchdowns … doubled his career receiving touchdown total in 2013 and almost doubled his receiving yards total … recorded a touchdown in three-straight games.
Jonathan Burgess, So., OL
2013 Big South second-team all-conference … played in 11 games and started nine at left guard … tied for the highest graded on the team in 2013 … led the team with 69 knockdowns … allowed one sack in 2013 … versatile play, serving as the back-up at center … helped Liberty set a new program record with 36 rushing touchdowns … ranks second in the Big South in rushing yards per play and first in passing efficiency.
Jacob Hagen, Jr., DB
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … 2013 AP All-America third-team selection ... had a breakout year in 2013, ranking third on the team in tackles (61) … posted career numbers in total tackles, solo tackles (34), assisted tackles (27) and interceptions … led the Big South and ranked No. 7 nationally with six interceptions … five of his six interceptions were recorded in conference games … tied for the Big South lead with 13 passes defended.
Mitch Hanson, Jr., OL
2013 Big South second-team all-conference … has started 23 consecutive games … 2013 Capital One Academic All-District selection … graded out fourth on the team as the starter at right tackle … helped Liberty set a new program record with 36 rushing touchdowns … led the Big South with fewest sacks allowed (14) … ranks second in the Big South in rushing yards per play and first in passing efficiency.
Darrin Peterson, So., WR
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … led the Flames and ranks No. 2 in the Big South in receptions (57) and receiving touchdowns (7) … posted four 100-yard receiving games during the year, including games against Coastal Carolina and VMI … two multiple receiving touchdown games … second-best sophomore receiving season in program history with 809 receiving yards.
Greg Ray, Jr., OL
2013 Big South second-team all-conference … Started 11 games at center (missed one game due to injury) … 17 career starts … finished the season without allowing a sack … led the team with the fewest mental errors ... helped Liberty set a new program record with 36 rushing touchdowns … led the Big South with fewest sacks allowed (14) … ranks second in the Big South in rushing yards per play and first in passing efficiency.
Desmond Rice, Jr., RB
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … finished the year with the second most rushing touchdowns in program history (16) … ranks No. 2 in the Big South in rushing touchdowns and yards per rush (5.2) … two 100-yard rushing games … eight of his 16 rushing touchdowns were against conference opponents … had a career game with 170 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Coastal Carolina … five multiple rushing touchdown games.
Hunter Steward, Sr., OL
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … 2013 Big South preseason-all-conference … started 11 games at left tackle (missed one game due to injury) … first round draft pick in last year's CFL Draft (No. 6 pick overall) … two-year starter on the offensive line, allowing only one sack in two seasons … tied for the highest graded on the team in 2013 … 58 knockdowns … helped Liberty set a new program record with 36 rushing touchdowns.
Chima Uzowihe, So., DL
2013 Big South first-team all-conference … started all 12 games … led Liberty and ranks No. 2 in the Big South in sacks (7.0) … second on the team and No. 5 in the Big South in tackles for a loss (9.0) … one of three players on Liberty's roster with a forced fumble and fumble recovery … recorded four of his seven sacks against Big South foes … third on the team in pass breakups (4) … recorded one of Liberty's three blocked kicks on the year.