Courtesy of Virginia Union Athletics
Virginia Union University’s Jada Byers has been named the CIAA Offensive Player of the Year and kicker Brady Myers has been named CIAA Special Teams Player of the Year while VUU Head Football Coach Dr. Alvin Parker has been named the CIAA Coach of the Year, the CIAA announced on Friday, November 11.
A total of 17 Virginia Union football players were named Players/Coach of the Year and to the All-CIAA and All-Rookie teams.
Byers, a sophomore running back from Hammonton, N.J., majoring in Social Work, led the nation with 1,809 rushing yards this season and also led all of NCAA Division II with 2,110 all-purpose yards. Byers also led the nation with an average of 180.9 rushing yards per game.
Myers, a true freshman from Orlando, Fla., majoring in Mass Communications, was second only to Jada Byers in scoring in the CIAA. Myers scored a conference-best for kickers with 74 points for the Panthers, hitting a school-record 53 extra points (besting the previous record of 43 set by Roderick Copeland in 1981). Myers also scored seven field goals.
Parker guided VUU to a 9-1 record, marking the most wins for a Virginia Union football team since the 2007 Panther squad won nine games. Parker has also placed VUU in position to make the NCAA Football Playoffs for the first time since 2015.
“This team has done a great job on the field and I’m glad that they were able to be recognized for their efforts,” said Parker. “In order to go 9-1 you have to have a special group of players. Thank you to the CIAA for these superlatives, to have 14 of our student-athletes earn ALL-Conference awards is truly an honor. I believe a few worthy student-athletes were left off, but they should have another game to show why they belong. Extra congratulations go to Brady Myers on receiving the Special Teams player of the year and Jada Byers on receiving the Offensive Player of the year, both extremely well deserved. For a freshman and sophomore to win those awards speaks volumes about the direction of our program. And lastly, I am very humbled to be named the CIAA Coach of the year. In order to be named the coach of the year you have to have a great staff and my guys do a great job of focusing on the mission. I’m very thankful for it all.”
The complete list of VUU players to make the All-CIAA Teams are:
Darian Bryant – Offensive Lineman
Justin Meade – Offensive Lineman
Jada Byers – Running Back
Brady Myers – Kicker
Armonii Burden – Defensive Lineman
Kalen Carver – Tight End
Isaac Anderson – Defensive Lineman
Damontay Rhem – Linebacker
Demetrius Mann – Defensive Back