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Liberty Has 15 Players Named to BSC All-Conference Teams

November 25, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Mitch Hanson was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and one of 15 players named to the Big South all-conference teams.

Mitch Hanson was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and one of 15 players named to the Big South all-conference teams.

Liberty placed a total of 15 players on the 2014 Big South all-conference football teams, which were released earlier today by the league office.

The Big South champion Flames placed nine players on the Big South all-conference first team and six more on the second-team all-conference listing.

Liberty and co-conference champion Coastal Carolina dominated the Big South all-conference teams with 31 of the 58 total all-conference selections (Coastal Carolina – 16; Liberty – 15; Charleston Southern – 8; Gardner-Webb – 7; Monmouth – 7; Presbyterian – 5).

The Flames secured two of the six major awards handed out by the conference office. Kicker John Lunsford was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.

The junior leads the Big South in field goal percentage (73.7) and field goals made (14) and ranks 10th nationally in field goals made per game (1.4). Lunsford is the first player in program history to be named Big South Special Teams Player of the Year.

Senior offensive lineman Mitch Hanson was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Liberty has now had the last three Big South Scholar-Athletes of the Year come from its roster (2012 – wide receiver Pat Kelly; 2013 – linebacker Scott Hyland).

Hanson posted a 3.92 undergraduate GPA in government and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA as a graduate student (Human Services Counseling/Executive Leadership). On the field, the senior has started 35 consecutive career games, including all 12 at right guard this season.

The two-time Capital One Academic All-District honoree ranks third on the team in overall team performance grade and is tied for second on the team in knockdowns. He has allowed only one sack and helped Liberty lead the Big South in fewest sacks allowed (11).

Liberty's Big South first-team all-conference honorees include: D.J. Abnar (RB), Darrin Peterson (WR), Jonathan Burgess (OL), Mitch Hanson (OL), Chima Uzowihe (DL), Dominique Davis (DL), Jacob Hagen (DB), John Lunsford (K) and Trey Turner (P).

Liberty's Big South second-team all-conference selections include: Josh Woodrum (QB), Dexter Herman (TE), Greg Ray (OL), Toby Onyechi (DL), Nick Sigmon (LB) and Nick Newman (LB).

No. 20/23 Liberty will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., this weekend to take on No. 15/15 James Madison in the first round of the 2014 NCAA FCS Playoffs. Kickoff from Bridgeforth Stadium is set for 4 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.           

2014 Big South All-Conference Teams

First-Team All-Conference
Offense

QB - Alex Ross, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
RB - De'Angelo Henderson, R-So., Coastal Carolina
RB - D.J. Abnar, Jr., Liberty
WR - Darrin Peterson, Jr., Liberty

WR - Kenny Cook, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
WR - Neal Sterling, R-Sr., Monmouth
TE - Seth Cranfill, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
OL - Chad Hamilton, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
OL - Kevin Hart, Sr., Coastal Carolina
OL - Clayton Truitt, Sr., Charleston Southern
OL - Jonathan Burgess, Jr., Liberty
OL - Mitch Hanson, Sr., Liberty

Defense
DL - Chima Uzowihe, Jr., Liberty

DL - O.J. Mau, Jr., Gardner-Webb
DL - Roderick Holder, Jr., Coastal Carolina
DL - Dominique Davis, Sr., Liberty
LB - Quinn Backus, Sr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Donelle Williams, R-Jr., Presbyterian College
LB - Aaron Cook, So., Gardner-Webb
LB - Aaron Brown, Jr., Charleston Southern
DB - Jacob Hagen, Sr., Liberty
DB - Ed Britt, Jr., Presbyterian College
DB - Pernell Williams, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
DB - Mike Basile, Fr., Monmouth

Special Teams
PK - John Lunsford, Jr., Liberty
P - Trey Turner, R-Fr., Liberty

LS - Shane Ballard, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
KR - Devin Brown, R-So., Coastal Carolina
PR - Darius Hammond, So., Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference
Offense
QB - Josh Woodrum, Jr., Liberty
RB - Christian Reyes, Sr., Charleston Southern
RB - Lavon Chaney, So., Monmouth
WR - Bruce Mapp, R-So., Coastal Carolina
WR - John Israel, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
WR - Tobi Antigha, Sr., Presbyterian College
TE - Dexter Herman, Sr., Liberty
OL - Mo Ashley, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
OL - Greg Ray, Sr., Liberty
OL - Reece Johnston, R-Sr., Monmouth
OL - Devinn Ritter, Sr., Presbyterian College
OL - Erik Austell, R-So., Charleston Southern

Defense
DL - Toby Onyechi, Sr., Liberty

DL - Calvin Hollenhorst, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
DL - Dylan Black, Sr., Charleston Southern
DL - Darnell Leslie, R-So., Monmouth
LB - John Sieczkowski, Jr., Monmouth
LB - Brett Johnson, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Nick Sigmon, Sr., Liberty
LB - Nick Newman, So., Liberty

DB - Troy McGowens, So., Charleston Southern
DB - Ivan Toomer, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
DB - Demaris Freeman, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
DB - Denzel Rice, Sr., Coastal Carolina

Special Teams
PK - Alex Catron, Sr., Coastal Carolina
P - Ryan Mohr, Sr., Monmouth
LS - Cannon Jordan, R-Sr., Presbyterian College
KR - J.J. Hubbard, Sr., Gardner-Webb
PR - J.J. Hubbard, Sr., Gardner-Webb

All-Academic Team
Christian Reyes, Sr., RB, Charleston Southern
Cody Craig, Gr., TE, Coastal Carolina
Tyler Hough-Jenkins, Gr., DL, Gardner-Webb
Mitch Hanson, R-Sr., OL, Liberty
Joe Johnson, Jr., DB, Monmouth
Ugonna Akoh, R-So., DE, Presbyterian College

Offensive Player of the Year
Alex Ross, QB, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year
Quinn Backus, LB, Sr., Coastal Carolina

Special Teams Player of the Year
John Lunsford, PK, Jr., Liberty

Freshman of the Year
Mike Basile, DB, Monmouth

Co-Coach of the Year
Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina
Harold Nichols, Presbyterian College

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Mitch Hanson, Sr., OL, Liberty

Supporting Information on Liberty's All-Conference Honorees (in order as listed above):

First-Team Honorees:
D.J. Abnar, Jr., RB
Leads the Big South in rushing attempts (254) … second in the BSC in rushing yards (1,116) and rushing touchdowns (13) … finished the regular season with six 100-yard games, including three against conference opponents … 10th player in program history with a 1,000-yard rushing season … recorded six of his 13 rushing touchdowns in conference games.

Darrin Peterson, Jr., WR
Two-time Big South all-conference first-team selection (2013 and 2014) … leads the Big South in receiving yards (1,214), receptions (76), receiving touchdowns (12) and yards per reception (15.97) … two-time CFPA Weekly Award winner (honorable mention) … ranks No. 10 in the country in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (101.2) … posted seven 100-yard games, including three in BSC play … set a Liberty single-season record in receiving yards … game-winning TD catch at App. State.

Jonathan Burgess, Jr., OL
Two-time Big South all-conference selection (second team in 2013 and first team in 2014) … started all 12 games at left guard … Liberty's top offensive lineman … 2014 team captain … led the team in knockdowns … tied for second on the team in overall team performance grade … allowed only one sack … helped Liberty lead the Big South in fewest sacks allowed (11) … Liberty leads the Big South and ranked No. 11 in the country in red zone offense (88.2 percent).

Mitch Hanson, Sr., OL
Two-time Big South all-conference selection (second team in 2013 and first team in 2014) … started all 12 games at right guard … leads the team with 35 consecutive career starts … three-year letterwinner … two-time Capital One Academic All-District honoree … ranks third on the team in overall team performance grade … tied for second on the team in knockdowns …  allowed only one sack … helped Liberty lead the Big South in fewest sacks allowed (11).

Chima Uzowihe, Jr., DL
Two-time Big South all-conference first-team selection (2013 and 2014) … started all 12 games at right end … Capital One Academic All-District … Big South Player of the Week following Liberty's win over Gardner-Webb … leads the Big South in sacks (8.0) … tied for the Big South lead in tackles for a loss (13.0) … sixth in the league in forced fumbles (2) … two blocked kicks, including a blocked field goal to seal Liberty's upset win over No. 1 Coastal Carolina.

Dominique Davis, Sr., DL
Started all 12 games at defensive tackle … ranks fifth on the team and first among defensive linemen in tackles (50) … ranks third in the Big South in sacks (6.5) and tied for fifth in tackles for a loss (10.0) … 3.0 tackles for a loss in a shutout win over Norfolk State … 2.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks, in a shutout win over Gardner-Webb … helped Liberty ranks No. 2 in the BSC with 26 team sacks.

Jacob Hagen, Sr., DB
Two-time Big South all-conference first-team selection (2013 and 2014) … 2013 AP third-team All-American … 2014 Buck Buchanan Award Finalist … second in the Big South in total tackles as a safety (92) … ranked No. 1 in the country in interceptions (8) … second in Big South career rankings with 15 career interceptions … No. 26 in the country in forced fumbles (3) … returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown at North Carolina … three 10-tackle games in 2014.

John Lunsford, Jr., K
Two-time Big South all-conference selection (second team in 2012 and first team in 2014) … led the Big South in field goal percentage (73.7) and field goals made (14) … ranks second in the Big South in total points scored (82) … No. 10 nationally in field goals made per game (1.4) … set a school record with 94 consecutive extra points … two-time BSC Special Teams Player of the Week … kicked a BSC record 60-yard FG against Richmond … kicked the game-winning FG at No. 1 Coastal Carolina.

Trey Turner, R-Fr., P
Led the Big South in punting as a redshirt freshman (41.2 yards per punt) … averaged 40 or more yards per punt in seven of 12 games, including three Big South contests … named Big South Freshman of the Week after Liberty's win at Presbyterian … five of his 13 punts inside the 20-yard line came during Big South contests.

Second-Team Honorees:
Josh Woodrum, Jr., QB
Two-time Big South all-conference second-team selection (2013 and 2014) … three-time Big South Player of the Week … two-time CFPA Weekly Award winner (honorable mention) … missed the final two games of the regular season with an injury … accounted for 55.1 percent of Liberty's total touchdowns (19) and tied for the Big South lead … four 300-yard passing games … ranked second in the Big South in total offense (277.4 yards per game) … leads the BSC in pass efficiency.

Dexter Herman, Sr., TE
Posted career-high numbers in 2014 in receptions (24) and receiving yards (345) … ranks third on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards … came into the year with six career receptions for 84 yards … finished five games with three receptions, including two Big South games … helped Liberty post an FBS win over Appalachian State with a career-high 61 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Greg Ray, Sr., OL
Two-time Big South all-conference second-team selection (2013 and 2014) … started 11 games at center … ranks second on the team with 28 career starts … three-year letterwinner … leads the team in fewest missed assignments … tied for second on the team in knockdowns … allowed only one sack … helped Liberty lead the Big South in fewest sacks allowed (11) … Liberty leads the Big South and ranked No. 11 in the country in red zone offense (88.2 percent).

Toby Onyechi, Sr., OL
Started all 12 games at defensive end … Liberty's most experienced defensive lineman with 36 career games played, including 19 career starts … posted career highs in tackles (38), tackles for a loss and sacks (10.0) … ranks second in the Big South in sacks (7.5) and tied for fifth in tackles for a loss … part of a defensive line that was named Big South Player of the Week following a shutout win at Norfolk State.

Nick Sigmon, Sr., LB
Four-time Big South all-conference selection, including first-team honors in 2012 and 2013 … missed two games due to an injury … Liberty's most experienced linebacker with 41 career starts … one of two active Liberty players with 200-plus career tackles (213) … posted six or more stops in four games … six stops, including four solo tackles to lead Liberty to a road win at Presbyterian.

Nick Newman, So., LB
Had a career year in tackles (71), solo stops (45), tackles for a loss (3.5) and forced fumbles (1) … ranked second on the team in total tackles … tied for third in the Big South in forced fumbles … post a career-best 12 tackles against Richmond and Charleston Southern … recorded 3.0 of his 3.5 tackles for a loss in Big South games … fourth on the team in pass breakups.