The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced its postseason awards with representation from Mississippi leading the way.
Jackson State was one award away from a clean sweep with Deion Sanders (Coach of the Year), Shedeur Sanders (Offensive Player of the Year), Aubrey Miller, Jr. (Defensive Player of the Year), and Kevin Coleman (Newcomer of the Year) all taking home hardware. Rounding out the five major awards was Alcorn State’s Jarveon Howard (Newcomer of the Year).
Deion Sanders – who recently announced his decision to accept the Colorado job – was voted top coach in the conference for the second straight year after guiding the Tigers to a perfect 11-0 regular season record and the program’s 19th SWAC championship.
Shedeur Sanders, also Colorado-bound, is the first Tiger to be named Offensive Player of the Year since Casey Therriault accomplished the feat in 2010. Sanders’ award comes after the sophomore finished a record-breaking regular season with 3,083 passing yards and 37 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
Miller, following in the footsteps of former teammate James Houston IV, was named Defensive Player of the Year after totaling 98 tackles (53 solo), one sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five pass breakups, and one touchdown during the regular season. The senior linebacker had eight games with more than 10 tackles, including a 19-tackle performance against Texas Southern on Nov. 5.
Coleman, recruited as a 4-star out of St. Louis, was awarded Freshman of the Year honors after catching 24 passes for 324 yards and one touchdown. The all-purpose player also averaged 25.3 yards on nine kickoff returns and 8.7 yards on six punt returns.
Howard, a transfer from Syracuse, finished his senior season as the SWAC’s top rusher with 1,270 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. The Columbia, Miss. Native had five games of over 100 yards, including a 299-yard performance against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 24.
Overall, 19 players from Mississippi’s three SWAC schools were named all-conference:
- QB Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State (first team)
- RB Jarveon Howard, Alcorn State (first team)
- RB Sy’Veon Wilkerson, Jackson State (first team)
- OL Tyler Brown, Jackson State (first team)
- WR Dallas Daniels, Jackson State (first team)
- DL Malachi Bailey, Alcorn State (first team)
- DL Nyles Gaddy, Jackson State (first team)
- LB Aubrey Miller, Jr., Jackson State (first team)
- LB Ronnie Thomas, Mississippi Valley State (first team)
- DB Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig, Jackson State (first team)
- LS Jason Longcor, Alcorn State (first team)
- OL Will Ready, Alcorn State (second team)
- OL T.J. Yarbrough, Alcorn State (second team)
- WR Shane Hooks, Jackson State (second team)
- TE D.J. Stevens, Jackson State (second team)
- DL Justin Ragin, Jackson State (second team)
- LB Claudin Cherelus, Alcorn State (second team)
- DB Isaiah Bolden, Jackson State (second team)
- PK Alejandro Mata, Jackson State (second team)