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Liberty Places Eight on All-State Team Again

June 8, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty placed eight players on the VaSID Division I all-state team, including first-team honorees (l to r): Rashad Jennings, Dominic Bolden, Britt Stone and Nick Hursky.

Liberty placed eight players on the VaSID Division I all-state team, including first-team honorees (l to r): Rashad Jennings, Dominic Bolden, Britt Stone and Nick Hursky.

For the second year in a row, the Flames' football team had eight different selections to the VaSID Division I all-state football team, as announced earlier today by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID).

Liberty, on the heels of its best season in program history with a 10-2 record and a No. 14 final ranking in the Sports Network FCS poll, evenly split its members amongst the first and second teams.

The Flames had three first-team offensive selections and a first-team defensive nod, while garnering two second-team defensive picks and single honorees on the second-team offense and special teams listing.

Running back Rashad Jennings, wide receiver Dominic Bolden, offensive guard Britt Stone and linebacker Nick Hursky were Liberty's quartet of first-team honorees.

Jennings, who was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of April's NFL Draft, capped off his stellar career at Liberty by reaching new heights and rushing for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns.

He was a consensus first-team FCS All-America selection (Associated Press, Sports Network, Walter Camp Foundation) and finished eighth in the voting for the Walter Payton award, given annually to the top FCS player in the country

Bolden posted the second-highest receiving marks in program history, hauling in 56 receptions for 1,056 yards and nine touchdowns. His 88.0 yards per contest average finished the year ranked No. 18 nationally among FCS receivers, while his touchdown tally fell one shy of the program record.

Stone, a Big South first-team all-conference honoree, helped pave the way for Jennings' record-breaking season, as the guard assisted in Liberty rushing for the second highest team total in program history (2,562 yards). The Flames finished the year ranked No. 9 nationally in total offense (446.67 yards per game) and No. 18 in scoring offense (33.67 points per game).

On the defensive side of the football, Hursky was Liberty's lone first-team all-state honoree. Despite missing the second game of the season due to injuries, the senior led the Flames with 97 tackles, finishing with career high marks in total tackles, solo stops (46) and assisted tackles (51). He ranked third in the Big South in tackles per game (8.8) and fourth in tackles for a loss (12.5).

Hursky's defensive comrades Kevin Richard and Ryan Greiser spotlighted the Flames second-team all-state selections. Richard, a defensive end, started the last 24 games of his career and finished his senior year with 57 tackles, while ranking fourth in the Big South in tackles per game (4.8) by a defensive lineman.

Greiser, a three-time Big South second-team all-conference honoree, ranked third on the team in total tackles (67) and solo stops (37). He finished his career just two tackles shy of hitting the 200 mark, as he tallied 198 stops in three years as a defensive player.

Mike Godsil, who started every game of his career at center as a Flame (45 games), was a two-time Big South all-conference honoree. He helped Liberty protect its quarterbacks at a record-setting pace, ranking No. 4 nationally in fewest sacks allowed (0.67 per game/eight total) in 2008.

Bolden grabbed two of Liberty's eight VaSID all-state honors, as the senior was also named to the second team as a return specialist. A Sports Network third-team All-America selection, Bolden led the Big South and ranked No. 5 nationally in average yards per punt return (18.1).

He was one of eight players nationally to return two punts for a touchdown in 2008. Despite sharing kickoff return duties as a senior, he finished his career as the Big South leader with 1,409 career kickoff return yards and three kickoff returns for a touchdown.

James Madison, who was the nation's longest running No. 1 ranked FCS program in the country (10 consecutive weeks), led all Division I programs with 11 all-state selections.

Liberty was joined by FCS national champion Richmond and Orange Bowl champion Virginia Tech with eight all-state student-athlete selections.

Richmond took two of the top VaSID state honors, as the Spiders' defensive lineman Lawrence Sidbury was named Defensive Player of the Year and Richmond's skipper Mike London was tabbed the Commonwealth's Coach of the Year.

James Madison's Rodney Landers, who was up for consideration for the Walter Payton Award along with Jennings, was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans was selected this year's Rookie of the Year.

Of Liberty's eight all-state selections in 2008, Jennings was the lone repeat honoree. The Flames set a new program standard with eight picks on the Commonwealth's top Division I team in 2007.

2008 VaSID Division I All-State Football Team

First-Team Offense
QB - Rodney Landers (James Madison, Sr.)
RB - Rashad Jennings (Liberty, Sr.)
RB - Josh Vaughan (Richmond, Sr.)
WR - Dominic Bolden (Liberty, Sr.)
WR - Kevin Grayson (Richmond, So.)
TE - John Phillips (Virginia, Sr.)
C - Scott Lemn (James Madison, Sr.)
OG - Matt McCracken (Richmond, Jr.)
OG - Britt Stone (Liberty, Sr.)
OT - Terrence Apted (James Madison, Sr.)
OT - Eugene Monroe (Virginia, Sr.)

Second-Team Offense
QB - Eric Ward (Richmond, Jr.)
RB - Darren Evans (Virginia Tech, Fr.)
RB - Eugene Holloman (James Madison, Sr.)
WR - Justin Brown (Hampton, Sr.)
WR - Kevin Ogletree (Virginia, Jr.)
TE - Rob Varno (William & Mary, Jr.)
C - Mike Godsil (Liberty, Sr.)
OG - Dorian Brooks (James Madison, Jr.)
OG - Sergio Render (Virginia Tech, Jr.)
OT - Theo Sherman (James Madison, So.)
OT - Michael Silva (Richmond, Jr.)

First-Team Defense
DL - Chris Baker (Hampton, Jr.)
DL - Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond, Sr.)
DL - Adrian Tracy (William & Mary, Sr.)
DL - Jason Worilds (Virginia Tech, So.)
LB - Nick Hursky (Liberty, Sr.)
LB - Eric McBride (Richmond, So.)
LB - Clint Sintim (Virginia, Sr.)
DB - Derek Cox (William & Mary, Sr.)
DB - Victor "Macho" Harris (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
DB - Marcus Haywood (James Madison, Sr.)
DB - Justin Rogers (Richmond, So.)

Second-Team Defense
DL - Hassan Abdul-Wahid (James Madison, Sr.)
DL - Dennis Marsh (Norfolk State, Sr.)
DL - Arthur Moats (James Madison, Jr.)
DL - Orion Martin (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
DL - Kevin Richard (Liberty, Sr.)
LB - Wakeem Goode (Hampton, Sr.)
LB - Purnell Sturdivant (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
LB - Brett Warren (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
DB - Don Carey (Norfolk State, Sr.)
DB - Ras-I Dowling (Virginia, So.)
DB - Ryan Greiser (Liberty, Sr.)
DB - Evan McCollough (James Madison, Sr.)
DB - Terrell Whitehead (Norfolk State, Jr.)

First-Team Specialists
PK - Brian Pate (William & Mary, Jr.)
P - Jahmal Blanchard (Hampton, Sr.)
RS - Scotty McGee (James Madison, Jr.)

Second-Team Specialists
PK - Dustin Keys (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
P - David Miller (William & Mary, Jr.)
RS - Dominic Bolden (Liberty, Sr.)

Offensive Player of the Year: Rodney Landers, QB, James Madison
Defensive Player of the Year: Lawrence Sidbury, DL, Richmond
Coach of the Year: Mike London, Richmond
Rookie of the Year: Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech