Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet (Riverhead, N.Y.) and Presbyterian College defensive back Justin Bethel (Blythewood, S.C.) have been voted the 2011 Big South Football Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, by the Conference’s head coaches and media panel, it was announced today by the League office. PC linebacker Donelle Williams (Starke, Fla.) was tabbed Freshman of the Year, while Stony Brook’s Chuck Priore was voted Coach of the Year. In addition, the Big South’s sports information directors voted Coastal Carolina defensive back Marcus Lott (Union, S.C.) as the football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Maysonet is Stony Brook’s first-ever Big South Offensive Player of the Year honoree, and is the first running back since Liberty’s Rashad Jennings in 2008 to win the Conference’s top offensive award. Maysonet is second in the nation in rushing yards per game at 135.00 and yards per carry at 6.94, and his 1,485 rushing yards this season is second-most in a campaign in Big South history. He has scored 15 rushing touchdowns and 16 overall to tie for the League lead, and has rushed for 100 yards in a game eight times this season — second-most in a single season in Conference annals. Maysonet scored four rushing touchdowns in a game twice this year, becoming the first player in Big South history to accomplish this feat, and he ranks 10th nationally in scoring and 22nd in the country in all-purpose yards per game. A two-time Big South Offensive Player of the Week honoree in 2011, Maysonet rushed for a career-best 194 yards against Lafayette before gaining 863 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in six Big South games this season. He closed out the regular-season with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games and five-straight games with a touchdown, helping Stony Brook capture the outright Big South championship.
Maysonet received 14 first-place votes and 28 points, ahead of runner-up Mike Brown (Liberty), who received six first-place votes and 12 points.
Bethel is the first Presbyterian College player to be honored as the Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. He finished the regular-season fourth in the Big South with a career-high 87 tackles (7.9 per game), in addition to ranking third with 10 passes defended and second with four interceptions — one of which he ran back for a touchdown at California. Bethel recorded double-digit tackles in four games, including a career-high 15 at Furman, and finished the year with 3.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack. He also blocked three kicks this season, including two on punts that he returned for touchdowns. A national finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, Bethel was a two-Big South Special Teams Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, and was the College Football Performance Award National Defensive Performer of the Week in Week 3. Bethel helped the Blue Hose defense finish first in scoring defense in Big South games and second in total defense against Conference competition.
Bethel, just the second defensive back to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year and the first since 2003, received eight first-place votes and 20 points, finishing ahead of Marty Patterson (Gardner-Webb), who received six first-place votes and 18 points. VMI’s A.J. Gross was third in the voting with 10 points (three first-place votes).
Williams was fifth overall in the League with 83 tackles, which ranked third among linebackers, and was second on the Blue Hose squad in total stops. He recorded at least 10 tackles in three games, including a career-high 18 in PC’s double-overtime loss at Liberty on Oct. 29, earning Big South Freshman of the Week honors for his effort. Williams, who had an additional three games with at least eight stops, led the team with 10 tackles at Charleston Southern and had two tackles-for-loss among his eight tackles at Coastal Carolina — including a tackle in the end zone that gave PC is first safety in Division I history. He made his collegiate debut with six solo tackles and three assisted stops against nationally-ranked Wofford, and also recovered a fumble in that game. He is the first linebacker to be voted Freshman of the Year since 2007 and the fourth overall.
Williams received eight first-place votes and 24 points, ahead of Gardner-Webb kicker Trever Austin (six first-place votes and 15 points).
Priore earns his second Big South Coach of the Year award in three years after leading Stony Brook to the first 6-0 Big South record in League history and the Seawolves’ first outright and third consecutive Conference title in four years of associate membership. After starting the season 0-3, he led the Seawolves to eight consecutive wins and their first-ever FCS Playoff berth. During its championship run, Stony Brook scored 40 points in a Big South-record seven consecutive games, as well as becoming the first League member to score 40 points in every Conference game in a season. The Seawolves enter the postseason with the nation’s leading scoring offense (39.64 points), third-best rushing offense (287.36) and the sixth-highest total offense (449.36). Stony Brook also led the Big South in rushing defense at 95.36 yards allowed, currently pacing ahead of the Conference single-season record, and has held seven opponents under 100 yards rushing in a game this season. In Conference games, the Seawolves were tops in scoring offense (48.8 points), rushing offense (300.2) total offense (482.8) and total defense (324.2), and second in scoring defense (21.3).
Priore received 14 first-place votes and 34 points, finishing ahead of Presbyterian College’s Harold Nichols (five first-place votes and 20 points).
Lott is a 3.91 student majoring in middle grades education. He helped Coastal Carolina finished 3-3 in the Big South and 7-4 overall — the Chanticleers’ best won-loss record since 2006. Named a CoSIDA Academic All-District IV honoree and among the national honorees for Academic All-America, Lott finished his senior season with 41 tackles in nine games, including 4.0 tackles-for-loss and four pass break-ups. He is the second Coastal Carolina student-athlete to be voted the football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining Josh Hoke (2006).
The Big South also announced its All-Conference first and second teams. The squads are comprised of 12 offensive and defensive players and five special teams players, plus any ties. Liberty led the way with 15 selections, including a League-high seven First-Team honorees. Stony Brook was second with 10 All-Conference members, followed by Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb (9 each), Presbyterian College (7), Charleston Southern (5) and VMI (4).
Maysonet and Bethel each earned a spot on the All-Conference First-Team. Stony Brook’s Brock Jackolski picked up All-Big South First-Team honors as a running back and Second-Team honors as a kickoff returner for the second time in his career.
Gardner-Webb wide receiver James Perry III received All-Conference honors for the fourth time in his career, becoming the seventh football player to be named All-Big South all four years of eligibility. The list of 2011 All-Conference members and award winners, as well as the All-Academic Team, appears below.
2011 BIG SOUTH FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS AND ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS
QB Mike Brown, R-Sr., Liberty
RB Miguel Maysonet, Jr., Stony Brook
RB Brock Jackolski, Sr., Stony Brook
WR Chris Summers, R-Sr., Liberty
WR James Perry III, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
WR Nathan Perera, Soph., Charleston Southern
TE Tommy Shaver, R-Sr., Liberty
OL Joe Faiella, Sr., Stony Brook
OL Rob Bailey, Sr., VMI
OL Jamie Dunaway, Jr., Gardner-Webb
OL Malcolm Boyd, Jr., Liberty
OL Max Travis, Sr., Presbyterian College
DL Preston Pemasa, Soph., Gardner-Webb
DL Ryan Haber, R-Sr., Stony Brook
DL Brian Davis, Sr., Presbyterian College
DL Matt Goods, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb
LB Marty Patterson, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
LB A.J. Gross, R-Sr., VMI
LB Jawara Dudley, Soph., Stony Brook
LB Andrae Jacobs, Jr., Coastal Carolina
DB Justin Bethel, Sr., Presbyterian College
DB Josh Norman, Sr., Coastal Carolina
DB Charles James, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
DB Chris Kuzdale, Sr., Charleston Southern
PK Wesley Skiffington, R-Jr., Stony Brook
P Mike Larsson, Sr., Liberty
LS Richard Wright, R-Soph., Liberty
KR Kevin Fogg, Jr., Liberty
PR Ricky Rhodes, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
QB Kyle Essington, Jr., Stony Brook
RB Kenny Little, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
RB Lance Byrd, Jr., Presbyterian College
WR Pat Kelly, Jr., Liberty
WR Matt Hazel, Soph., Coastal Carolina
WR Tracy Hairston, R-Sr., VMI
TE Jamie Childers, Sr., Coastal Carolina
OL Steve Demilio, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
OL Jamey Cheatwood, R-Soph., Coastal Carolina
OL Toney White, R-Sr., Liberty
OL Tim Franklin, Sr., Coastal Carolina
OL Aaron Lundy, R-Jr., Liberty
DL Asa Chapman, Sr., Liberty
DL Roosevelt Kirk, Sr., Stony Brook
DL Chris Thomas, Jr., Coastal Carolina
DL Francis Bah, R-Soph., Liberty (tie)
DL Derren Evans, Sr., Presbyterian College (tie)
LB Nick Sigmon, R-Fr., Liberty
LB CeeJay Harris, Sr., Presbyterian College
LB Mike Chocholousek, Jr., Charleston Southern
LB Desmond Steward, Sr., Coastal Carolina
DB Byron Allen, R-Sr., VMI
DB Walt Aikens, R-Soph., Liberty
DB Dominick Reyes, R-Jr., Stony Brook
DB Kevin Fogg, Jr., Liberty
PK Trever Austin, Fr., Gardner-Webb
P Patrick Morgano, Jr., Presbyterian College
LS Mike Chocholousek, Jr., Charleston Southern
KR Brock Jackolski, Sr., Stony Brook
PR Niccolo Mastromatteo, Soph., Coastal Carolina