Lucas Holder, the 2016 Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was one of 13 players named to the Big South All-Conference teams on Tuesday.
The Flames placed 13 players on the 2016 Big South All-Conference Football teams released by the conference office earlier today.
Liberty had six players receive first-team honors, while the Flames placed seven players on the second-team listing. Additionally, junior offensive lineman Lucas Holder was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Flames' 13 honorees helped Liberty secure a share of the Big South title with Charleston Southern, the program's eighth conference crown in the last 10 seasons.
Liberty and Charleston Southern both placed 13 players on the all-conference teams. The Buccaneers led all schools with eight first-team honorees, while the Flames had the largest grouping of second-team selections.
Gardner-Webb and Kennesaw State each had 11 all-conference award winners, while Monmouth had five and Presbyterian rounded out the league with four selections.
Holder is the fourth player in program history to be named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the second offensive lineman in three years (joining Mitch Hanson in 2014).
Holder, who was also a second-team all-conference selection, is a two-year starter, including the first 10 games of this season (sat out the Coastal Carolina game due to an injury).
The native of Hillsville, Va., is a versatile athlete who started at three different positions on the offensive line this season. He graded out as Liberty's second highest offensive lineman this year and ranked second on the team in knockdowns.
Holder completed his undergraduate degree in government in three years, finishing with a 3.69 GPA. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in public policy: public administration and holds a 3.90 GPA. Last month, Holder was named to the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
Joining Holder as this year's major award winners are Gardner-Webb quarterback Tyrell Maxwell (Offensive Player of the Year), Charleston Southern defensive lineman Anthony Ellis (Defensive Player of the Year), Charleston Southern return specialist Darius Hammond (Special Teams Player of the Year) and Gardner-Webb defensive back Jaylan Foster (Freshman of the Year). Charleston Southern's Jamey Chadwell repeated as Big South Coach of the Year.
Liberty's All-Big South first-team selections include: Dante' Shells (Sr., WR), Juwan Wells (So., DL), Nick Newman (Sr., LB), Alex Probert (Fr., K), Trey Turner (Jr., P) and Hunter Winstead (Jr., LS).
The Flames All-Big South second-team honorees include: Kendall Couamin (Sr., TE), Holder (Jr., OL), Dontae Duff (R-Fr., OL), Dexter Robbins (Sr., LB), Chris Turner (So., DB), Alpha Jalloh (Sr., DB) and Frankie Hickson (R-Fr., KS).
Four of Liberty's players have made multiple all-conference teams during their playing careers. Newman (first team – 2016; second team – 2014 and 2015), Trey Turner (first team – 2014 and 2016; second team – 2015) earned their third all-conference honors, while Chris Turner (second team – 2015 and 2016) and Hunter Winstead (first team - 2016; second team 2015) has been named to the team the last two years .
2016 Big South Football All-Conference Teams
First-Team All-Conference Offense QB - Tyrell Maxwell, Jr., Gardner-Webb RB - Mike Holloway, Sr., Charleston Southern RB - Chaston Bennett, Sr., Kennesaw State WR - Reggie White Jr., R-So., Monmouth WR - Justin Sumpter, R-So., Kennesaw State WR - Dante' Shells, Sr., Liberty TE - Mike Estes, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb OL - Erik Austell, R-Sr., Charleston Southern OL - Malik Letatau, Sr., Kennesaw State OL - Frank Cirone, Jr., Charleston Southern OL - David Sutton, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb OL - Alex Thompson, Jr., Monmouth
Defense DL - Anthony Ellis, Jr., Charleston Southern DL - Juwan Wells, So., Liberty DL - Tonarius Portress, Jr., Kennesaw State DL - Desmond Johnson, R-Fr., Kennesaw State LB - Chad Geter, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb LB - Solomon Brown, R-So., Charleston Southern LB - Aaron Cook, Sr., Gardner-Webb LB - Nick Newman, Sr., Liberty DB - Mike Basile, Jr., Monmouth DB - Troy McGowens, Sr., Charleston Southern DB - Dante Blackmon, R-Sr., Kennesaw State DB - Jaylan Foster, Fr., Gardner-Webb
Special Teams PK - Alex Probert, Fr., Liberty P - Trey Turner, R-Jr., Liberty LS - Hunter Winstead, R-Jr., Liberty KR - Darius Hammond, Sr., Charleston Southern PR - Darius Hammond, Sr., Charleston Southern
Second-Team All-Conference Offense QB - Chandler Burks, R-So., Kennesaw State RB - Khalil Lewis, R-So., Gardner-Webb RB - Darius Hammond, Sr., Charleston Southern WR - Kameron Brown, R-Fr., Charleston Southern WR - Darren Ambush, Sr., Monmouth WR - DaShawn Davis, So., Presbyterian TE - Kendall Couamin, Sr., Liberty OL - Caleb Smith, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb OL - Lucas Holder, R-Jr., Liberty OL - Zach Mitchler, R-So., Kennesaw State OL - Will Millikan, So., Gardner-Webb OL - Dontae Duff, R-Fr., Liberty
Defense DL - Darnell Leslie, R-Sr., Monmouth DL - Khari Rosier, Sr., Presbyterian DL - P.J. Fuimaono, Jr., Gardner-Webb DL - Obinna Ntiasagwe, R-Jr., Presbyterian LB - Zane Cruz, Jr., Charleston Southern LB - Anthony Gore Jr., R-So., Kennesaw State LB - Izzy Sam, R-Jr., Kennesaw State LB - Dexter Robbins, Sr., Liberty DB - Corbin Jackson, Sr., Charleston Southern DB - Chris Turner, R-So., Liberty DB - Derrick Farrow, Sr., Kennesaw State DB - Alpha Jalloh, Sr., Liberty
Special Teams PK - Paul Schumacher, Jr., Gardner-Webb P - Brett Norton, So., Presbyterian LS - Joseph Smith, R-Sr., Charleston Southern KR - Frankie Hickson, R-Fr., Liberty
All-Academic Team Ben Robinson, RB, Sr., Charleston Southern Paul Schumacher, PK, Jr., Gardner-Webb Chandler Burks, QB, R-So., Kennesaw State Lucas Holder, OL, R-Jr., Liberty Darren Ambush, WR, Sr., Monmouth Ryan Brown, DE, Sr., Presbyterian
Offensive Player of the Year Tyrell Maxwell, QB, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Defensive Player of the Year Anthony Ellis, DL, Jr., Charleston Southern
Special Teams Player of the Year Darius Hammond, RS, Sr., Charleston Southern
Freshman of the Year Jaylan Foster, DB, Fr., Gardner-Webb
Coach of the Year Jamey Chadwell, Charleston Southern
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Lucas Holder, OL, R-Jr., Liberty
Liberty's Big South All-Conference Selections:
First Team Selections
Dante' Shells – WR, Sr. Veteran wide receiver who started all 11 games this season … tied for the Big South lead and ranks No. 32 nationally in receiving touchdowns … had a stretch early in the year where he recorded a receiving touchdown in four-straight games … recorded his fourth career 100-yard game, finishing the Robert Morris game with 170 yards on six receptions and a touchdown … seventh player in program history with 2,000 career receiving yards (2,061).
Juwan Wells – DL, So. Led the Flames with a career high tackle total (79) … ranks third in the Big South in total tackles … finished the season fifth in the Big South in tackles for a loss and fourth in sacks … in two seasons at Liberty, he has recorded 18.5 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks … also finished the year with a team-best nine pass breakups … posted four double-digit tackle efforts.
Nick Newman – LB, Sr. Three-time Big South All-Conference honoree (first team – 2016; second team – 2014 and 2015) … finished his final year at Liberty ranked third on the team in tackles … Liberty's active career tackles leader with 236 career stops in 45 career games played (5.2 tackles per game) … one of four players on Liberty's roster to finish the season with multiple interceptions, helping the Flames rank No. 22 in the country in interceptions … 12 tackles against SMU and an interception … 10-tackle effort against Coastal Carolina.
Alex Probert – K, Fr. Jerry Rice Award nominee (top FCS freshman player in the country) … set school record for most points scored by a freshman … leads BSC and ranks No. 9 nationally in field goals per game (1.36) … leads BSC and ranks No. 21 nationally in FG percentage (78.9) … BSC Freshman of the Week after hitting 3-of-4 field goals attempts against Gardner-Webb … BSC Special Teams Player of the Award after scoring 12 points against Kennesaw State.
Trey Turner – P, Jr. Three-time Big South All-Conference honoree (first team – 2014 and 2016; second team – 2015) … second in the Big South in punting average after leading the conference the last two seasons ... three-time Big South Special Teams Player of the Week this season … ranks No. 37 nationally in punting … averaged 40.0 yards per punt in seven of 11 games in 2016, including four of five Big South contests … has averaged 40.0 yards per punt in 20 of 36 career games played.
Hunter Winstead – LS, Jr. Two-time Big South All-Conference honoree (first team – 2016; second team – 2015) ... 2016 Big South preseason all-conference selection … three-year starter … has finished the last two seasons 100 percent on snaps … has helped punter Trey Turner earn All-Big South honors the last two seasons … Trey Turner finished second in the Big South in punting this year after leading the conference the last two seasons … Trey Turner ranks No. 37 nationally in punting.
Second Team Selections
Kendall Couamin – TE, Sr. After missing the entire 2015 season due to an injury, saw playing time in all 11 games, including nine starts … more than tripled his career receiving total, coming into the year with a combined six receptions … recorded 14 of his 20 receptions against Big South teams … had a career day against Charleston Southern, recording three receptions for 93 yards … scored his first career touchdown against CSU on a 65-yard play.
Lucas Holder – OL, Jr. Two-year starter, including the first 10 games this year ... versatile athlete who started at three different positions on the offensive line this season … graded out as second highest offensive lineman this year … second in knockdowns … allowed 1.5 sacks … also handles snaps on PATs and field goals ... completed his undergraduate degree in three years … 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
Dontae Duff – OL, R-Fr. Started all 11 games during his first season on the field … graded out as Liberty's top offensive lineman this season … led the team in knockdowns … allowed 2.0 sacks, ranking second on the team … started at three different positions this year (center, right guard and left guard) … helped freshman quarterback Steven Calvert throw for 1,931 yards, third most by a freshman in program history.
Dexter Robbins – LB, Sr. Team captain who finished second on Liberty's roster in tackles … led the Flames in stops during Big South play, including 75.0 percent of his Big South tackles being solo stops … finished his career as Liberty's second-highest active career tackles leader (156) … two double-digit tackle efforts, including 10 solo stops against Charleston Southern … two blocked field goals, including one to give Liberty the win in overtime against Gardner-Webb.
Chris Turner – DB, So. Two-time Big South All-Conference honoree (second team – 2015 and 2016) … fourth on Liberty's roster in solo tackles … 91.9 percent of his stops in 2016 were solo efforts (all 17 against Big South foes) … second on Liberty's roster with three interceptions, helping the Flames rank No. 22 nationally in interceptions … opened the season with nine tackles at Virginia Tech … recorded two of his three interceptions against Charleston Southern … seven solo stops against Monmouth and his first career forced fumble.
Alpha Jalloh – DB, Sr. Ranked third among Liberty's defensive backs in total tackles … tied for the Big South lead and ranks No. 3 nationally in fumble recoveries … one of six active players on Liberty roster with 100 career stops (115) … one of six players on Liberty's roster with an interception, helping the Flames rank No. 22 nationally … recorded a season high of seven stops against both Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina.
Frankie Hickson – KR, R-Fr. Ranks second in the Big South in average yards per kickoff return and No. 22 nationally … set a school record with a 99-yard return for a touchdown against Kennesaw State … had seven kickoff returns against both Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina … finished the year with 707 total kickoff return yardage, the second most in program history … also finished his rookie season at Liberty with 94 carries, 450 yards and four touchdowns.
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