Courtesy of Stephen Featherston, Assistant Director of Communications, Tennessee State Athletics
Nine Tennessee State football team members earned Big South-OVC All-Conference honors as the league released its All-Conference Teams and Superlative Award winners on Tuesday afternoon, highlighted by Terrell Allentaking home the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Of the nine Tigers selected, three players landed on the first team with defensive lineman Terrell Allen, linebacker Monroe Beard III, and placekicker James Lowery.
TSU had four players selected for the second team in running back Jordan Gant on the offensive side of the ball and safety Jeremiah Josephs on the defensive side. Punter Jackson Foster and long snapper Carson Buchanan represent the special teams on the second team.
True freshman Eriq George was named the league’s Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Deveon Bryant represents the Tigers on the All-Academic Team.
Named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award that is given out to the best defensive player annually in college football, senior defensive lineman and second-year Tiger Terrell Allen dominated offensive lines across the Big South-OVC, and teams took notice as he was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year while earning a spot on the first team.
Allen finished his final season by leading the nation in sacks (14.5) and in tackles for loss (28). The Little Rock native finished with 68 tackles (44 solo, 28 assists), forcing five fumbles and recording 10 QB hurries. He had a four-game span of recording 4.0+ TFLs and set a TSU record with 6.5 against Lindenwood, while also recording 4.5 sacks in the contest. His 28.0 TFLs is also a new TSU record.
Despite missing the final two games of the year, linebacker Monroe Beard III still managed to lead the Big South-OVC in total tackles with 95 (53 solo, 42 assists) as he rightfully found a spot on the First Team as a linebacker. The Arkansas-Pine Bluff transfer set a TSU single-game record with 19 tackles against UT Martin. He had five games of 11+ tackles which were all in a consecutive span. The Chattanooga native finished with 4.0 TFLs, and 4.0 pass breakups and picked off a pass in his final game against Charleston Southern.
James Lowery took over this season for Kaleb Mosley and earned a spot as the First Team placekicker after leading the league in made field goals with 12. The fourth-year Tiger finished the season 12-of-15 on field goal attempts while connecting on 28 of his 30 PAT tries, leading the team with 64 points. Lowery connected on two field goals from 50+ yards as he nailed a 50-yard game-winner against Gardner Webb while his 51-yard make came on the road at Kennesaw State. The Florida native had an 11-consecutive made-field goal streak. He was 4-of-4 from 40-49 yards and 2-of-2 from 50+. Lowery also had 54 kickoffs for 3,250 yards and 15 touchbacks.
Jordan Gant earned a spot on the Second Team as a running back after having a productive redshirt freshman season. Gant became the feature back for the Tigers after an injury and he made the most of his opportunity as he led the team in rushing yards (553), touchdowns (10), and attempts (144). Gant ran for a career-high 105 yards on the road at Kennesaw to go along with two scores. He logged four rushing touchdowns on 12 carries with 83 yards in a win over Lincoln. He also tacked on 11 receptions for 101 yards.
Graduate transfer Jeremiah Josephs finishes his lone season as a Tiger with Second Team All-Conference honors as a defensive back. He finished third on the team with 64 tackles (45 solo, 19 assists). Josephs finished tied for the team lead with two interceptions while also breaking up six passes. He has 4.0 TFLs and one sack. He recorded 11 tackles and 2.5 TFLs on senior day against Tennessee Tech.
Punter Jackson Foster earned a spot on the Second Team after leading the league with punts inside the 20 with 28. Foster punted 73 times for 2,848 yards for an average of 39.0 yards per kick. He had a league-leading 28 fair catches. His long punt of 66 yards was the second-best in the league, while he had five kicks over 50 yards. Foster also served as the holder.
James Lowery and Jackson Foster’s jobs would not be doable if it wasn’t for long snapper Carson Buchanan who takes home Second Team honors. Buchanan played in all 11 games and served as the long snapper and short snapper on field goals. Of 119 combined punt, field goal, and extra point attempts, Buchanan was a perfect 117-of-117 on his snaps and served as the holder on the other two. The Nashville native finished with a tackle at Notre Dame.
Deciding to stay home and play for his father, true freshman Eriq George’s decision has been a good one thus far as he was named the Big South-OVC Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year. Playing in just nine games due to injury, George managed to log 25 tackles (13 solo, 12 assists), 6.0 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks. The Nashville native started his career by taking down Sam Hartman for no gain against Notre Dame while finishing with four tackles in his debut. George’s best game came against Kennesaw State as he finished with five tackles, 2.0 TFLs, and one sack. He recovered a fumble against Lindenwood.
Deveon Bryant was named to the Big South-OVC All-Academic Team. Bryant has carried a 4.0 GPA through grad school as he is pursuing his master’s degree in education in Human Performance and Sports Sciences. The sixth-year QB had his best career season as he finished 62-of-115 through the air for 631 yards and two scores. He tallied 317 rushing yards and three scores on 63 attempts.
Defensive Player of the Year
Terrell Allen – DL
First Team All-Conference
Terrell Allen – DL
Monroe Beard III – LB
James Lowery – PK
Second Team All-Conference
Jordan Gant – RB
Jeremiah Josephs – DB
Jackson Foster – P
Carson Buchanan – LS
Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year
Eriq George – DL
Deveon Bryant – QB