SIAC announces preseason football honors

Courtesy of the SIAC

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has announced their All-SIAC preseason football team featuring 26 returning players from the 2022 SIAC Football All-Conference team. 

This year’s preseason team is led by Fort Valley State’s Kelvin Durham who was selected as this year’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year alongside Loobert Denelus, Benedict College, who was tabbed as the 2023 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year announced Wednesday during the league’s media day in Atlanta, Ga.

All nominations and votes are submitted by head coaches and sports information directors.

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Kelvin Durham| Fort Valley State University | Quarterback | R-Sophomore | Homestead, FL

In his second season directing the FVSU offense, Durham achieved notable accolades such as the SIAC Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and a spot on the All-SIAC 1st Team as a quarterback. His exceptional performance propelled him to the top ranks in various offensive categories within the SIAC.

Leading the league in passing touchdowns and total offense yards with 2,252 yards, he proved to be an essential asset for his team. Durham consistently displayed his prowess, ranking second in total offense per game with an average of 225.2 yards, as well as in total offense touchdowns (19), passing yards (1,994 yards), and pass completions (147).

His passing accuracy was commendable, completing 147 of 242 passes, resulting in 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Throughout the season, he accumulated a total of 1,994 passing yards with a completion rate of 60.74%. Additionally, he showcased his versatility by rushing 44 times for 258 yards and scoring three touchdowns, averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry.

Notably, Durham had six games where he passed for 198 or more yards, consistently making an impact on the field. Among his standout performances, he had a remarkable game against Allen, completing 20 of 32 passes for a season-high 334 yards, with three touchdowns. In another remarkable display of his skills, he went 15-of-25 for 255 yards and threw five touchdowns, while also rushing 6 times for 60 yards against Morehouse.

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Loobert Denelus| Benedict College|Defensive Lineman | Senior | Naples, FL

In the 2022 season, Denelus was recognized as the SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the AFCA All-American team, solidifying his status as one of the top defensive players in the league. His impact was evident in his outstanding rankings in crucial defensive categories.

He led the SIAC and ranked fifth in Division II in sacks per game, averaging an impressive 1.17 sacks per game. Additionally, Denelus showcased his ability to disrupt opposing offenses by ranking second in the SIAC and ninth in Division II in tackles for loss (TFL) per game, with an average of 1.8 TFL per game.

As a leader of the Benedict defense, he played an instrumental role in their success. Under his guidance, the defense held opponents to an average of just 12.9 points per game, making them the top-ranked defense in the SIAC and fourth in Division II. Furthermore, their total defense was formidable, allowing only 248.2 yards per game, ranking them first in the SIAC and seventh in Division II.

Preseason Rankings

This year’s season is highlighted with a modified eight-game conference schedule which will allow each of the 13 SIAC football teams to face the remaining eight member institutions twice during a four-year period.

Benedict has been predicted to dominate the league and repeat as SIAC Champions and potentially face Albany State in the championship game scheduled for November 11, according to a preseason poll voted on by head coaches and sports information directors. 

Led by 2022 SIAC and AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year, Chennis Berry, the Tigers of BC made a historic run last year with an undefeated regular season culminating in their first-ever SIAC football title. They overwhelmed Tuskegee with a commanding 58-21 victory and made their first-ever playoff appearance. The Tigers boasted the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 games, dating back to the previous season, and showcased a solid defense that ranked seventh nationally in total defense and third in passing yards allowed.

Albany State makes a triumphant return as a top contender in this year’s preseason poll under the guidance of their new head coach, Quinn Gray, Sr. The Golden Rams concluded their 2022 campaign with a solid overall record of 7-3 and a conference record of 5-2. 

2023 SIAC Football Preseason Rankings

  1. Benedict
  2. Albany State
  3. Tuskegee
  4. Fort Valley State
  5. Savannah State
  6. Lane
  7. Edward Waters
  8. Miles
  9. Central State
  10. Clark Atlanta
  11. Allen
  12. Kentucky State
  13. Morehouse

2023 SIAC Football Preseason Awards

Superlative Awards

Preseason Offensive Player of the YearPreseason Defensive Player of the Year
Kelvin Durham, Fort Valley StateLoobert Denelus, Benedict

2023 SIAC Football Preseason Teams

First Team
Offensive LinemanJosh SimonAlbany StateSeniorAtlanta, GA
Offensive LinemanKyle FrazierSavannah StateJuniorAugusta, GA
Offensive LinemanRiyon AdamsSavannah StateJuniorVidalia, GA
Offensive LinemanKyle FrazierSavannah StateJuniorAugusta, GA
Offensive LinemanJemeil JacksonFort Valley StateJuniorHampton, GA
Tight EndGentry SparksFort Valley StateJuniorTallahassee, FL
Wide ReceiverJacquez JonesLaneJuniorOrlando, FL
Wide ReceiverCorintheus EdmondsFort Valley StateSeniorAtlanta, GA
Running BackNoah Zaire ScotlandBenedictSophomoreWalhalla, S.C.
Running BackShamarcus PooleSavannah StateJuniorSandersville, GA
QuarterbackKelvin DurhamFort Valley StateSophomoreHomestead, FL
Defensive LinemanTim AldermanFort Valley StateJuniorFort Valley, GA
Defensive LinemanLoobert DenelusBenedictSeniorNaples, FL
Defensive LinemanJeremy DeesTuskegeeSeniorEvergreen, AL
Defensive LinemanMike WhiteCentral StateSophomoreSpringfield, OH
LinebackerVincent HillTuskegeeSophomoreFairburn, GA
LinebackerJalil LenoreCentral StateSophomoreChicago, IL
LinebackerKentrell LawsonFort Valley StateJuniorMarianna, FL
Defensive BackZelly AldridgeTuskegeeJuniorGallon, AL
Defensive BackJaree TurnerAlbany StateJuniorOcala, FL
Defensive BackWalter TatumLaneJuniorNotasulga, AL
Defensive BackLandon AustinFort Valley StateSophomoreMontezuma, GA
KickerNoah ShalzLaneSophomoreSmyrna, TN
PunterRyan DuffTuskegeeSeniorMobile, AL
Punt ReturnerHakeem EllingtonFort Valley StateSeniorSummerville, S.C.
Kick ReturnerJaylin PetersonMilesJuniorBirmingham, AL
Second Team
Offensive LinemanEric BlairMilesSeniorMiami, FL
Offensive LinemanTyler LoweryMilesSeniorEvergreen, AL
Offensive LinemanMitchell RomigBenedictJuniorJacksonville, FL
Offensive LinemanRoger SmithBenedictSophomoreCleveland, OH
Offensive LinemanDylan LampkinEdward WatersSeniorJacksonville, FL
Tight EndHenry CalixteLaneSophomoreOrlando, FL
Wide ReceiverBrandon BrockCentral StateSeniorNorfolk, VA
Wide ReceiverAntonio MeeksTuskegeeSophomoreLilburn, GA
Running BackKamran WardAlbany StateSophomoreOscilla, GA
Running BackDeondra DuehartBenedictSophomoreMacon, GA
QuarterbackDionte BonneauAlbany StateJuniorAtlanta, GA
Defensive LinemanJayden BroughtonBenedictJuniorMonks Corner, S.C.
Defensive LinemanAaron MillerBenedictJuniorDecatur, GA
Defensive LinemanRoosevelt ThompsonMilesJuniorDixon Mills, AL
Defensive LinemanJalen PughAlbany StateSophomoreJonesboro, GA
LinebackerDialo MosleyFort Valley StateSophomoreAtlanta, GA
LinebackerGary BourrageAllenSeniorKemper, MS
LinebackerDedrick StarkesBenedictJuniorColumbia, S.C.
Defensive BackJoshua HeywardBenedictJuniorJohns Island, S.C.
Defensive BackDartrelle RolleEdward WatersSeniorMiami, FL
Defensive BackGraderius BrownMilesJuniorLinden, AL
Defensive BackAntonio Kennon Jr.TuskegeeJuniorAtlanta, GA
KickerKenneth LockhartSavannah StateSeniorHinesville, GA
PunterIshmael SandersEdward WatersSeniorJacksonville, FL
Punt ReturnerRashad JordanAlbany StateSeniorAtlanta, GA
Kick ReturnerJustin HarrisFort Valley StateJuniorFort Valley, GA

Related posts

Leave a Comment