SWAC announces 2009 football honors

By SWAC Media Relations
Updated: December 10, 2009

BIRMINGHAM — Prairie View A&M QB K.J. Black and Grambling State DE Christian Anthony headline the 2009 Southwestern Athletic Conference All-Conference Football Team announced Wednesday.

Black was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year, and Anthony was voted the Defensive Player of the Year. Texas Southern QB Arvell Nelson was voted the Newcomer of the Year, and GSU K Ari Johnson was voted the Freshman of the Year.

The team was voted on by conference head coaches and sports information contacts, along with selected members of the media.

Black, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior from Louisville, has led the Panthers to their first Western Division Championship and seven consecutive wins. Black completed 144 of 202 passes (71.3%) for 1,775 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions.

He also ranked second in the FCS in passing efficiency rating (172.18). Black posted a pair of 300-yard passing games and had five multi-TD passing games, including a career-high five scoring passes in the regular season finale vs. Univ.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Anthony (6-foot-4, 275 from Birmingham) led the SWAC in solo tackles (55) as he tied for sixth in the conference with 76 tackles. Anthony was third in the conference in sacks (8.0), second in tackles for loss (15.0), and was the only defensive linemen in the country with five interceptions, two of them returned for touchdowns.

He also led the SWAC in forced fumbles (five) and fumbles recovered (three).

Nelson (6-foot-5, 210; Cleveland) led Texas Southern to their first winning season and first winning record in conference play since 2000. He was third in the conference in completion percentage (57.6%) and ranked second in passing yards (2,392 yards) with 12 touchdowns.

Johnson (5-foot-11, 180, Corona, Ca.) led all SWAC players (both kickers and non kickers) in scoring with 90 points. He converted 36 of 38 extra points and 18 of 23 field goals (78.3 percent).

A total of 19 players earned All-Conference Honors in consecutive years – WR Thomas Harris, K Jeremy Licea, DE Jeremy Maddox, and OL Xavier Manuel (Alabama A&M), DE Christian Anthony, OL Revay Smith, RS Kiare Thompson and RB Cornelius Walker (Grambling State), OL Eric Jones and DB Malcolm Palmer (Jackson State), RB Donald Babers, DB Anthony Beck, OL James Dekle, DE Quinton Spears and P Pedro Ventura (Prairie View A&M), QB Bryant Lee and WR Juamorris Stewart (Southern), DB De’Markus Washington (Texas Southern) and DB Kevin Thornton (Univ.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff).

Additionally, RB Ulysses Banks earns All-Conference for the third time in his career (return specialist in 2006; running back in 2007.)

Upperclassmen dominated the 2009 All-SWAC team, especially on the first team where all but one selection was a senior. There were 23 seniors (13 first teamers) selected, 19 juniors (11 first teamers) and eight sophomores (one first teamer) to the 50-man team.

Division champion teams Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M led the way with nine all-conference selections. The Panthers had six first-team selections, the most of any team, while AAMU had four first-team players.

Grambling State had seven players selected (five-first teamers), followed by Southern which had six players selected (five first teamers).

Texas Southern had four selections on the squad, while Alabama State (two first teamers), Alcorn State (one first teamer), Jackson State (one first teamer), Mississippi Valley State and Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (one first teamer) each had three all-conference selections.