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Liberty Breaks All-Conference Honoree Record

November 20, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Danny Rocco (left) and Rashad Jennings (right) were named Big South Coach and Offensive Player of the Year today by the Big South Conference.

Danny Rocco (left) and Rashad Jennings (right) were named Big South Coach and Offensive Player of the Year today by the Big South Conference.

Liberty's 2007 football season concluded last Saturday at Gardner-Webb and three days later, records are still falling to cap off a year for the ages. On Tuesday, a Big South Conference record 22 Liberty players were named to all-conference squads, highlighted by Danny Rocco being named Coach of the Year and Rashad Jennings' Offensive Player of the Year selection.

With the figure, Liberty sets a new conference benchmark with 22 all-conference honorees. Gardner-Webb held the previous league record with 20 selections in 2002 and 2003. Liberty also tied the Bulldogs for the most first-team all-conference selections, matching the 2002 Gardner-Webb squad's 13 first-teamers.

Rocco was tabbed the league's Coach of the Year for the second-straight season, after guiding Liberty to its first-ever Big South Conference title. The Flames posted a perfect 4-0 conference mark and an 8-3 record overall, becoming the fifth team in the 35-year history of Liberty football to record eight or more victories in a year.

Rocco is the second head coach in Big South history to garner the honor in consecutive seasons, joining Gardner-Webb's Steve Patton in 2002 and 2003. Last year, Rocco was named the league's top skipper after guiding Liberty to the nation's best turnaround from the previous season.

Jennings (Jr., RB, Forest, Va.) set a new Big South record with 15 rushing touchdowns over nine games, while establishing a new league standard by averaging 154.3 all-purpose yards per game. The running back becomes the second player in Liberty history to be named the conference's top offensive player, joining Dre Barnes who was duly honored in 2003.

Jennings was named Big South Offensive Player of the Week four times during the 2007 campaign. Seven 100-yard rushing performances helped the junior finish the year with a career-high 1,113 rushing yards. The running back ranks No. 13 nationally in rushing average (123.7), No. 6 in scoring (11.6 points per game) and No. 26 in average all-purpose yardage.

Liberty, who led the league and finished the year ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring average, dominated the first-team all-conference squad with 13 selections. Liberty had six offensive honorees, followed by four defensive and three special teams all-conference selections.

The baker's dozen included: Steven Ackley (DL), Marshal Ausberry (OL), Patrick Calvary (DB), Noah Greenbaum (K), Wynton Jackson (PR) , Jennings (RB), Stevie Ray Lloyd (LB), Chris Luck (TE), Eddie Pinigis (OL), Dan Pope (LS), Vince Redd (LB), Stephen Sene (OL) and Brock Smith (QB).

The Flames also had a league-leading nine players named to the second-team all-conference squad. The near double-figure total included: Dominic Bolden (KR), Colin Dugan (DL), Mike Godsil (OL), Ryan Greiser (DB), Nick Hursky (LB), Wynton Jackson (WR), Zac Kolegue (P), Britt Stone (OL) and Zach Terrell (RB).

Greiser was named to the Big South all-academic team for the second-straight year, rounding out Liberty's plethora of all-conference honorees.

A pair of Gardner-Webb players were bestowed two of the remaining three top honors. Senior defensive lineman Brian Johnston was named Defensive Player of the Year, followed by linebacker Jeffrey Williams' selection as Freshman of the Year.

Charleston Southern's Nick Ellis kept the reign of placekickers alive as the league's top student-athlete. The senior kicker/punter was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

2007 Big South Football All-Conference Teams

First-Team All-Conference
Offense
QB - Brock Smith, Jr., Liberty
RB - Rashad Jennings, Jr., Liberty
RB - Mike Tolbert, Sr., Coastal Carolina
WR - Jerome Simpson, Sr., Coastal Carolina
WR - Duvaughn Flagler, Sr., Gardner-Webb
WR - Dee Brown, Jr., Charleston Southern
TE - Chris Luck, r-Sr., Liberty
OL - Stephen Sene, r-Sr., Liberty
OL - Eddie Pinigis, Sr., Liberty
OL - Marshal Ausberry, r-Sr., Liberty
OL - Demario Deese, Jr., Gardner-Webb
OL - Britt Leggett, r-Jr., Coastal Carolina

Defense
DL - Brian Johnston, Sr., Gardner-Webb
DL - Steven Ackley, Sr., Liberty
DL - Tommy Lloyd, r-Sr., VMI
DL - Adrain Grady, r-Sr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Jada Ross, r-Sr., Charleston Southern
LB - Vince Redd, r-Sr., Liberty
LB - Mario Brown, Jr., Gardner-Webb
LB - Stevie Ray Lloyd, Sr., Liberty
DB - Marrio Norman, r-Jr., Coastal Carolina
DB - Patrick Calvary, Jr., Liberty
DB - Brandon Autry, r-So., Coastal Carolina
DB - Cedric McGowan, So.., Gardner-Webb

Special Teams
PK - Noah Greenbaum, Sr., Liberty
P- Michael Hanna, Jr., Gardner-Webb
LS - Dan Pope, r-Jr., Liberty
KR - Tim Maypray, Jr., VMI
PR - Wynton Jackson, r-Sr., Liberty

Second-Team All-Conference
Offense
QB - Kyle Hughes, So., VMI
RB - Zach Terrell, Jr., Liberty
RB - Howard Abegesah, So., VMI
WR - Wynton Jackson, r-Sr., Liberty
WR - Tim Maypray, So., VMI
WR - Dobson Collins, Jr., Gardner-Webb
TE - Ryan Ard, Jr., Charleston Southern
OL - Robert Brown, Sr., VMI
OL - Ricky Howell, Sr., Charleston Southern
OL - Ivan Anderson, Sr., Gardner-Webb
OL - Mike Godsil, Jr., Liberty
OL - Britt Stone, r-Jr., Liberty

Defense
DL - Dennis Justiniani, Sr., Charleston Southern
DL - Colin Dugan, Jr., Liberty
DL - Phillip Oboh, So., Coastal Carolina
DL - Jacob Killeen, r-Jr., Charleston Southern
LB - Jeffrey Williams, Fr., Gardner-Webb
LB - Anthony Steele, Sr., Coastal Carolina
LB - Nick Hursky, Jr., Liberty
LB - D.J. Rice, Jr., Coastal Carolina
DB - Whittmin Reese, Jr., Coastal Carolina
DB - Ryan Greiser, Jr., Liberty
DB - Daniel Cooke, Jr., Gardner-Webb
DB - Okeba Rollinson, r-Jr., Charleston Southern

Special Teams
PK - Nick Ellis, Sr., Charleston Southern
P - Zac Kolegue, Sr., Liberty
LS - Matt Hoisington, Sr., Charleston Southern
KR - Dominic Bolden, Jr., Liberty
PR - Dobson Collins, Jr., Gardner-Webb

All-Academic Team
Nick Ellis, K/P, Sr., Charleston Southern
Whittmin Reese, DB, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Billy Luther, DL, So., Gardner-Webb
Ryan Greiser, DB, Jr., Liberty
Jacob Rochester, LB, Jr., VMI
Sherman Burnett, DL, Sr., Presbyterian

Offensive Player of the Year
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jr., Liberty


Defensive Player of the Year
Brian Johnston, DE, Sr., Gardner-Webb

Freshman of the Year
Jeffrey Williams, LB, Gardner-Webb

Coach of the Year
Danny Rocco, Liberty

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Nick Ellis, K/P, Sr., Charleston Southern

Supporting Information:
QB - Brock Smith (First team)
Posted a banner year, recording career highs to lead the Big South in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage ... finished the year ranked first in the Big South and No. 43 nationally in total offensive yards … ranked No. 9 in the country with a 157.42 passing efficiency rating, marking the second-best ranking in Big South history … completion percentage and passing touchdown total ranks as sixth best in league history … total passing yards ranks seventh best in Big South history … was 47-for-75 (62.7) with 910 yards passing and eight touchdowns against Big South opponents … finished the year posting four-straight games with 200 or more yards passing in a game, setting a new career best … named Big South Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 12.

RB - Rashad Jennings (first team/Offensive Player of the Year)
Bested his Big South first-team all-conference numbers from last year, leading the Big South in rushing yards per game, rushing touchdowns and scoring … ranked second in the Big South in total rushing yards and all-purpose yards … set a new Big South record with 15 rushing touchdowns, 154.3 all-purpose yards per game average, total touchdowns scored and scoring … ranks No. 13 nationally in averaging rushing yards per game, No. 6 in scoring and N. 26 in all-purpose yardage … three-time Big South Offensive Player of the Week … surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven out of nine games played this year … yards per rush average ranks eighth best in Big South history … rushing yards ranks fifth best in league history … rushed for multiple touchdowns in six out of nine games, including five-straight contests … rushed for 494 yards and eight touchdowns against league foes (123.5 per game).

RB - Zach Terrell (second team)
Ranked second in the Big South in rushing touchdowns and third in total rushing yards and average rushing yards per game … rushed for a touchdown in 10 games this year, pushing his streak to 16-straight games with at least one rushing touchdown … ranks second in the Big South in scoring by non kickers and third best overall … finished the year with three 100-yard rushing games … helped the Flames rank No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64) … rushed for 281 yards and five touchdowns against Big South foes this year, averaging 70.2 yards rushing per game in a conference game … finishes the year ranked second in Big South history with 26 career rushing touchdowns.

WR - Wynton Jackson (second team)
Led the team and ranked third in the Big South in receiving yards per game … ranked fourth in total receiving yards and fifth in touchdown receptions … also ranked third in the league in all-purpose yards per game … finished the season with career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns, doubling his touchdown total from his previous three years combined … finished his career ranked fifth in Big South history with 1,923 career receiving yards and 143 career receptions, while adding 12 career touchdown receptions which ranks sixth best in league history … also is the league's most prolific punt return specialist, finishing the year ranked No. 10 nationally in punt return average.

TE – Chris Luck (first team)
Three-time Big South second-team all-conference selection … 2007 Big South preseason first-team all-conference selection … had his second most productive career year at Liberty … averaged a team best 21.9 yards per receptions … over 50 percent of his receiving yards came against Big South competition … used heavily in Liberty's blocking schemes … helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91).

OL - Eddie Pinigis (first team)
2006 Big South second-team all-conference honoree … 2007 Big South preseason all-conference selection … missed the first two games of the season due to an injury … graded out a team-best 89 percent … finished the year by not allowing a sack … committed only four critical errors on 526 total plays … has 102 total knockdowns in nine games, averaging 11.3 knockdowns per game … helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91) … Liberty also finished the year ranked No. 4 in sacks allowed (0.73), No. 7 in tackles for loss allowed (4.18), No. 8 in passing efficiency (158.12), No. 9 in fourth-down conversion rate (66.7) and No. 29 in third-down conversion rate (42.5) … team rushing total was the second highest in program history.

OL - Stephen Sene (first team)
2006 Big South first-team all-conference and VaSID second-team all-state honoree … 2007 Big South preseason all-conference selection … graded out at 85 percent … finished the year by allowing one sack … committed only 10 critical errors on 651 total plays … led the team with 125 total knockdowns, averaging 11.4 per game ... helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91) … Liberty also finished the year ranked No. 4 in sacks allowed (0.73), No. 7 in tackles for loss allowed (4.18), No. 8 in passing efficiency (158.12), No. 9 in fourth-down conversion rate (66.7) and No. 29 in third-down conversion rate (42.5) … team rushing total was the second highest in program history.

OL - Marshal Ausberry (first team)
Graded out at 85 percent … finished the year by allowing one sack … committed only 13 critical errors on 580 total plays … finished with 88 knockdowns, averaging 8.0 per game … helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91) … Liberty also finished the year ranked No. 4 in sacks allowed (0.73), No. 7 in tackles for loss allowed (4.18), No. 8 in passing efficiency (158.12), No. 9 in fourth-down conversion rate (66.7) and No. 29 in third-down conversion rate (42.5) … team rushing total was the second highest in program history.

OL - Mike Godsil (second team)
Graded out at 82 percent … finished the year by allowing two sacks … committed only 24 critical errors on 598 total plays … finished with 115 knockdowns, averaging 10.5 per game … helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91) … Liberty also finished the year ranked No. 4 in sacks allowed (0.73), No. 7 in tackles for loss allowed (4.18), No. 8 in passing efficiency (158.12), No. 9 in fourth-down conversion rate (66.7) and No. 29 in third-down conversion rate (42.5) … team rushing total was the second highest in program history.

OL - Britt Stone (second team)
Graded out at 86 percent … finished the year by allowing two sacks … committed only 12 critical errors on 603 total plays … finished with 110 knockdowns, averaging 10.0 per game … helped the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (42.64), No. 9 with 32 rushing touchdowns, No. 15 in total offense (429.64) and No. 18 nationally in team rushing yards per game (215.91) … Liberty also finished the year ranked No. 4 in sacks allowed (0.73), No. 7 in tackles for loss allowed (4.18), No. 8 in passing efficiency (158.12), No. 9 in fourth-down conversion rate (66.7) and No. 29 in third-down conversion rate (42.5) … team rushing total was the second highest in program history.

DL - Steven Ackley (first team)
Fifth on the team in tackles … second in the Big South in tackles per game by a defensive linemen … finished the year with a career high in total tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles and tackles for loss … ranked fourth in the Big South in tackles for loss … seventh in the Big South in sacks … second on the squad with five quarterback hurries … finished his career with 30.5 tackles for a loss, which ranks fifth best in league history … ranked third on the team with 23 total tackles against Big South opponents (5.75 per game) … finished as the active tackles leader on the team with 181 career tackles.

DL - Colin Dugan (second team)
Had a breakout season, finishing the year with a career high in solo tackles, assisted tackles, total tackles, tackles for loss and sacks … almost doubled last year's total tackle of 36 stops … recorded one of Liberty's 12 fumble recoveries on the year … ranked fifth on the squad in tackles for loss … ranked fourth on the team with 21 tackles against Big South opponents … finished with 3.0 tackles for a loss and 2.0 sacks against league foes … also added 16 of his career-high 18 assisted stops against Big South competition.

LB - Stevie Ray Lloyd (first team)
2006 Big South first-team all-conference and Football Gazette Central All-Region third-team honoree … 2007 Big South preseason all-conference selection … led the team with a career high in solo tackles, assisted tackles and total tackles … ranked fifth overall in the Big South in tackles per game … helped Liberty lead the Big South in pass breakups with five of his own … was one of 11 players to intercept a pass this year on Liberty's squad, allowing the Flames to lead the league and rank No. 10 nationally in total interceptions … ranked second on the squad with 23 tackles against Big South opponents.

LB - Vince Redd (first team)
Ranked fourth on the squad in total tackles … led the Big South in sacks per game … ranked third in the Big South in tackles for loss … also ranked third in passes defended, with two interceptions and six pass breakups … added a team-best 14 quarterback hurries … tied for second on the squad with solo tackles … tied for No. 41 nationally in sacks and No. 42 in tackles for loss … finished with six or more tackles five times on the year … against Big South opponents, he finished tied for fourth on the team with 21 tackles, including 12 solo stops … collected 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against league foes.

LB - Nick Hursky (second team)
Finished the year ranked second on the squad in total tackles … ranked fourth in the Big South in tackles per game … missed two games during the season due to an injury … ranked third on the team and ninth on the squad in tackles for loss … tallied career high marks in assisted tackles, solo stops, total tackles, tackles for loss and sacks … ranked ninth in the Big South in forced fumbles … led the Flames with 28 tackles against Big South opponents … finished with 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks against league foes … finished with an even 14 solo stops and 14 assisted tackles in Big South games.

DB - Ryan Greiser (second team)
2007 Big South preseason all-conference honoree … finished third on the squad with a career high in solo tackles and total tackles … also added a career high in tackles for loss … tied a career high in sacks … was one of 11 players to intercept a pass this year on Liberty's squad, allowing the Flames to lead the league and rank No. 10 nationally in total interceptions … ranks fourth in the Big South among defensive backs in tackles per game … tied for fourth on the squad with 21 tackles against Big South opponents, including a team best 16 solo stops.

DB - Patrick Calvary (first team)
Led the squad and ranks tied for first in the Big South in interceptions … finished the year with a career high in tackles for a loss … tied for the team lead in pass breakups … ranked second in the Big South in passes defended … was one of six players on the year to move over the 100-career tackle mark.

K – Noah Greenbaum (first team)
Led the Big South in kicker scoring, besting a Big South Conference record by 10 points on the year … finished the year with 15 field goals, which ranks second-best in Big South Conference history … also set a new Big South record with 56 point after attempts … set a new school record for points scored, shattering the previous school record of 79 points … also set new program records in field goals and extra points made … ranked tied for No. 14 nationally in points per game … also ranks No. 14 in the country in field goals … finished five games with 10 or more points scored.

P - Zac Kolegue (second team)
Punting time was limited late during the year due to Liberty's prolific scoring offense … would have led the Big South had he been eligible for conference rankings with a 40.9 yards per punt average … had just nine punts over the last five games of the year … Liberty did not punt oce against VMI during the game … finished seven out of 10 games with a punting average over 40 yards per punt … placed six punts inside the opponents 20-yard line … was the first Liberty punter in 12 years to finish the year with a punt average above 40 yard per kick … and just the fifth punter in program history.

LS - Dan Pope (first team)
Three-year starter at long snapper … helped punter Zac Kolegue become the first punter in 12 years at Liberty to finish with a punting average over 40 yards per punt … due to Liberty's prolific scoring offense, Pope was limited to 38 punt snaps to Kolegue, who had he been eligible, would have led the Big South in punting … also helped placekicker Noah Greenbaum set a new Big South record in kicker scoring (101 points) and in extra points made (56) … Greenbaum's 15 field goals ranks as the second most in Big South history.

KR - Dominic Bolden (second team)
Led the Big South Conference in kickoff return average by nearly five yards per return … returned one kickoff for a touchdown, giving the junior three over his career to set a new Big South record … also set a new Big South record with his kickoff return averaging, which ranked No. 3 nationally in the statistical category … total kickoff return yardage ranks fourth best in league history and tied for second best in program history … also had a breakout year as a wide receiver, finishing with a career high six receiving touchdowns, 415 receiving yards and 24 receptions … helped the junior finish the year ranked No. 3 the nation in scoring.

PR - Wynton Jackson (first team)
2006 Big South first-team all-conference return specialist … led the Big South Conference in punt return average by over five yards per return … was the only returner in the Big South to return a punt for a touchdown this year … finished the year ranked No. 10 nationally in punt return average … was one of two players nationally to return more than one punt for a touchdown … total punt return yardage and average return ranked fourth best in league history … became only the fourth player in Big South history to return more than one punt for a touchdown during the same season … helped the senior finish the year ranked No. 3 in the Big South in all-purpose yards … finished his career as the Big South's all-time leader in career punt returns (43) and punt return yards (525) … ranks fourth in Big South history by averaging 12.6 yards per punt return.