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Uzowihe Spotlights Liberty's Big South Honorees

November 24, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Uzowihe Spotlights Liberty's Big South Honorees

Following a year that saw him rewrite program and conference sack records, Liberty's Chima Uzowihe was named the 2015 Big South Defensive Player of the Year.

Uzowihe's selection as the league's top defensive player this season highlighted Liberty's selections to the 2015 Big South football all-conference teams, which were announced by the league office this afternoon.

The Flames had 11 players named to the all-conference teams, with four players earning first-team honors and seven second-team selections.

Coastal Carolina led all programs with 14 all-conference selections (eight first-team; six second-team), followed by Charleston Southern with 13 all-conference honorees (seven first-team; six second-team).

With the honor, Uzowihe becomes the first player in program history to be named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year.

The senior finished the season with 52 tackles (34 solo, 18 assisted), including 17.0 tackles for a loss (86 yards) and 8.0 sacks (62 yards). He also added a team-best six quarterback hurries, along with four pass breakups and a forced fumble.

The senior led the Big South and ranked No. 17 in the country in tackles for a loss (1.5 per game). He also led the conference and ranked No. 18 in the nation in sacks per game (0.73).

Uzowihe, a three-time All-Big South first-team honoree, is one of 25 finalists for the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award.

The native of Houston, Texas, finished his career with a program and Big South-best 25.0 sacks. His 44.0 career tackles for a loss ranks second in program history and third in the Big South record book. During his four-year career, he recorded 150 tackles (84 solo, 66 assisted), 10 pass breakups, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

The senior also tallied four blocked kicks during his career, spotlighted by a blocked field goal attempt on the game's final play against No. 1/1 Coastal Carolina, last year. Uzowihe's fourth career blocked kick sealed a 15-14 upset win over the Chanticleers and pushed the Flames into the NCAA FCS Playoffs for the first time in program history.

Liberty's All-Big South first-team selections include: Darrin Peterson (Sr., WR), Jonathan Burgess (Sr., OL), Maximilian Sommer (Sr., OL) and Uzowihe (Sr., DL).

The Flames All-Big South second-team honorees include: Josh Woodrum (Sr., QB), Zac Parker (Jr., WR), Nick Newman (Jr., LB), Chris Turner (R-Fr., DB), John Lunsford (Sr., K), Trey Turner (So., P) and Hunter Winstead (So., LS).

Joining Uzowihe as this year's major award winners were Coastal Carolina running back De'Angelo Henderson (Offensive Player of the Year), Coastal Carolina kick returner specialist Devin Brown (Special Teams Player of the Year), Charleston Southern linebacker Solomon Brown (Freshman of the Year), Charleston Southern's Jamey Chadwell (Coach of the Year) and Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross (Scholar-Athlete of the Year).

2015 Big South Football All-Conference Teams

First-Team All-Conference
Offense

QB - Alex Ross, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
RB - De'Angelo Henderson, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
RB - Darrell Bridges, R-So., Presbyterian
WR - Darrin Peterson, Sr., Liberty
WR - Bruce Mapp, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
WR - Darren Ambush, Jr., Monmouth
TE - Mike Estes, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
OL - Jonathan Burgess, Sr., Liberty
OL - Erik Austell, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
OL - Maximilian Sommer, R-Sr., Liberty
OL - Sam Ekwonike, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
OL - Voghens Larrieux, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina

Defense
DL - Chima Uzowihe, Sr., Liberty

DL - O.J. Mau, Sr., Gardner-Webb
DL - Anthony Ellis, So., Charleston Southern
DL - Jabarai Bothwell, Jr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Chad Geter, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
LB - Aaron Brown, Sr., Charleston Southern
LB - Donelle Williams, R-Sr., Presbyterian College
LB - Solomon Brown, R-Fr., Charleston Southern
DB - Mike Basile, So., Monmouth
DB - Ed Britt, Sr., Presbyterian
DB - Malcolm Jackson, Sr., Charleston Southern
DB - Taylor Henkle, R-Fr., Kennesaw State

Special Teams
PK - Ryan Granger, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
P - Stephen Doar, R-Sr., Presbyterian
LS - Joseph Smith, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
KR - Devin Brown, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
PR - Darius Hammond, Jr., Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference
Offense
QB - Josh Woodrum, Sr., Liberty (tie)

QB - Austin Brown, Sr., Charleston Southern (tie)
RB - Lavon Chaney, Jr., Monmouth
RB - Darius Hammond, Jr., Charleston Southern
WR - Nathan Perera, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
WR - Chris Jones, R-Soph., Coastal Carolina
WR - Zac Parker, Jr., Liberty
TE - Hakeem Valles, R-Sr., Monmouth
OL - Jackson Williamson, Jr., Charleston Southern
OL - Benny Timmons, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
OL - Alex Thompson, So., Monmouth
OL - Chase Tidwell, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
OL - Malik Letatau, Jr., Kennesaw State

Defense
DL - Roderick Holder, Sr., Coastal Carolina
DL - Ugonna Akoh, R-Jr., Presbyterian
DL - Jebrai Regan, Sr., Gardner-Webb
DL - Calvin Hollenhorst, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Alex Scearce, Jr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Nick Newman, Jr., Liberty
LB - Payton Minnich, Jr., Monmouth
LB - Aaron Cook, Jr., Gardner-Webb
DB - Troy McGowens, Jr., Charleston Southern
DB - Derrick Farrow, Jr., Kennesaw State
DB - Chris Turner, R-Fr., Liberty
DB - Joe Johnson, Sr., Monmouth

SPECIAL TEAMS
PK - John Lunsford, Sr., Liberty
P - Trey Turner, So., Liberty
LS - Hunter Winstead, So., Liberty

PR - Chris Jones, R-So., Coastal Carolina

All-Academic Team
Aaron Brown, Sr., LB, Charleston Southern
Alex Ross, Gr., QB, Coastal Carolina
James Needham, Jr., LS, Gardner-Webb
Prentice Stone, R-Sr., WR, Kennesaw State
Trey Turner, So., P, Liberty
Joe Johnson, Sr., DB, Monmouth
Ugonna Akoh, R-Jr., DE, Presbyterian

Offensive Player of the Year
De'Angelo Henderson, RB, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year
Chima Uzowihe, DL, Sr., Liberty

Special Teams Player of the Year
Devin Brown, KR, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year
Solomon Brown, LB, R-Fr., Charleston Southern

Coach of the Year
Jamey Chadwell, Charleston Southern

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Alex Ross, R-Sr., QB, Coastal Carolina

Liberty's Big South All-Conference Selections:

First Team Selections
Darrin Peterson – WR, Sr.

Three-time Big South all-conference selection (first team, 2013, 2014 and 2015) … 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … spent most of the season on the 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year watch list … 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America first team honoree … led the Big South in receptions (68), receiving yards (906), receiving touchdowns (7) and receptions per game (6.8) … finished his career as Big South all-time leader with 3,170 receiving yards, while adding 215 career receptions (second in Big South history) and 27 career touchdowns (fourth in Big South history) … also finished his career as the program's all-time leader with 15 100-yard receiving games, adding three during the 2015 season.

Jonathan Burgess – OL, Sr.
Three-time Big South all-conference selection (second team, 2013; first team, 2014 and 2015) ... 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America first team honoree ... three-year starter … team captain … led the team in knockdowns … moved to center midseason due to injury … allowed one sack … helped Liberty lead the Big South in passing yards (259.9 yards per game).

Maximilian Sommer – OL, Sr.
2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … two-year starter … 34 career games played, including 24 career starts … second on the team in knockdowns in 2015 … helped Liberty lead the Big South in passing yards (259.9 yards per game) and quarterback Josh Woodrum finish his career with 10,266 career passing yards … allowed two sacks in 2015.

Chima Uzowihe – DL, Sr.
Three-time Big South all-conference selection (first team, 2013, 2014 and 2015) … 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … finalist for 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year … 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America second team honoree … led the Big South in sacks (17.0) and tackles for a loss (8.0) … ranked No. 18 nationally in sacks per game (0.73) and No. 17 in tackles for a loss per game (1.5) … Liberty and Big South career sacks leader (25.0) … second in program and third in Big South history in tackles for a loss (44.0).

Second Team Selections

Josh Woodrum – QB, Sr.
Three-time Big South all-conference selection (second team, 2013, 2014 and 2015) … 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … finished his career as Liberty's all-time leader in passing yards (10,266), completions (833) and attempts (1,304) … program record holder and ranks No. 2 in Big South history with 10,690 career total offensive yards … second in program history and third in Big South history with 61 career touchdown passes … posted six of his 14 career 250-yard passing games during the 2015 season … ranked No. 12 in the country in completions per game (22.00) and No. 13 in passing yards (2,772) during the 2015 season … finished his career ranked No. 9 in the country among FCS quarterbacks in completions, No. 10 in passing attempts, No. 11 in passing yards and No. 18 in total offense.

Zac Parker – WR, Jr.
Ranked second on the team in receptions (49) and receiving yards (464) … helped Liberty lead the Big South in passing offense (259.9 yards per game) … tied for second in the Big South in receptions per game (4.45) and receptions … posted his first career 100-yard game against No. 7 Montana … had a 60-yard touchdown catch at West Virginia … also led the team in punt returns (11), including a 71-yard return for a touchdown against Gardner-Webb.

Nick Newman – LB, Jr.
Two-time Big South all-conference selection (second team, 2014 and 2015) … led Liberty in total tackles (74) and solo stops (49) … ranked No. 9 overall in the Big South and No. 6 among linebackers in tackles per game (6.7) … fifth on Liberty's roster in tackles for a loss (5.5) … one of five players on Liberty's roster with a forced fumble … three double digit tackles performances during the season, including a career-best 13 tackles at No. 8 Charleston Southern.

Chris Turner – DB, R-Fr.
Saw playing time in all 11 games, including seven starts … tied for the Big South lead in interceptions (4) … tied for No. 26 in the country in interceptions per game (0.4) … posted most interceptions by a Liberty freshman since 1999 … No. 8 in the Big South in passes defended (8) … tied a season high with four stops against Gardner-Webb and Kennesaw State.

John Lunsford – K, Sr.
Three-time Big South all-conference selection (second team, 2012 and 2015; first team, 2014) … 2014 All-America kicker … 2015 CFPA FCS Placekicker Award Watch List … 2015 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List (combined athletic accomplishments and community service) … 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America first team honoree  … finished his career as the NCAA FCS career record holder with 12 50-plus yard field goals … Liberty's all-time leader in career extra points made (150) and second in field goals (48) and career scoring (294 points) … ranks fourth in Big South history in career points scored and extra points made … finished his career ranked No. 12 in the country among FCS kickers in field goal attempts (79) and No. 23 in field goals.

Trey Turner – P, So.
Two-time Big South all-conference selection (second team, 2015; first team, 2014) … 2014 VaSID all-state … 2015 Big South Preseason all-conference … finished his second year in a row averaging 40-plus yards per punt (40.3) … 12 of his career-high 16 punts inside the 20-yard line came during Big South play … averaged 40 or more yards per punt in three of six Big South games … had a touchdown saving tackle against Presbyterian.

Hunter Winstead – LS, So.
Two-year starter at long snapper … 2015 Big South Preseason All-Conference … helped punter Trey Turner finished his second year in a row averaging 40-plus yards per punt (40.3) … had solo tackles against West Virginia and Monmouth.