PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – University of Southeast Louisiana defensive back Robert alford picked up another playoff honor on Thursday when he was named the 2012 College Sports Journal FCS National Defensive Player of the Year in an organization statement.
Alford, considered the FCS’s top prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft and who will appear in the Senior Bowl on Saturday, won All-America honors for the third time, having previously been named to the Sports Network and Associated Press teams All-America.
The Hammond native, who was a Buck Buchanan Award finalist, has totaled 39 tackles this season for Southeastern and recorded four interceptions (which were tied for the Southland Conference lead), five tackles for loss and eight broken assists. . Alford has averaged 14.1 yards of punt returns this season with one touchdown and has shown his versatility as a part-time kick returner and offensive threat.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet, who finished second for the Walter Payton Award, was named the offensive player of the year on the 63-man CSJ All-America squad.
Maysonet was third nationally on rushing averaging 151 yards per game and finished with 1,964 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 205-pound rusher also had two more touchdowns, one on reception and another on a 75-yard kickoff return, to finish fourth with 23 touchdowns and 138 points.
Maysonet played nine 100-yard rushing and four 200-or-more games, including 233 yards on 26 carries with two scores in a 27-21 victory over Coastal Carolina.
His 7.4-yard-per-carry average was at the top of the FCS this season and Maysonet finished his career with 4,725 career rushing yards, 48 rushing touchdowns and 53 total scores.
Walt Hameline was selected as Coach of the Year after leading Wagner to his first place in the FCS playoffs and the Northeastern Conference title.
With a nine-game winning streak, Wagner won the NEC title and earned the league’s first-ever NCAA playoff victory. The Seahawks went from 4-7 in 2011 to 9-4 in 2012.
The Seahawks entered a game of a season opener against Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Florida Atlantic, losing 7-3, and narrowly lost to No.2 seed Eastern Washington in the second playoff round.
During his 32-year career with Wagner, Hameline is 213-127-2 and led the Seahawks to the 1987 NCAA Division III National Championship. He won the Division III National Coach of the Year award in 1987.
Earl Watford was named lineman of the year after a dominant season as a tackle for a James Madison team that averaged 209 rushing yards and finished 19th nationally.
The 6-4, 300-pound lineman has run under five seconds into the 40-yard dash and is a two-time All-American. He has started 37 of his 43 career games at JMU.
Patrick Murray took top honors as Special Teams Player of the Year after finishing first nationally in field goals, converting 25 of 30 field goals and 30 of 31 extra points for 105 points – a Patriot League record for kicks – and was second in the punt with an average of 46.0.
Murray set school and Patriot League records with 25 field goals and was one goal off the national record of 26, set by Tony Zendejas of Nevada in 1982 and tied by Brian Mitchell in 1990.
He also has four 50-yard field goals this season, the most college kickers this season. Murray had a school record of 55 yards against Cincinnati and 52 yards against Lock Haven.
His 38 all-time field goals were the sixth best in Fordham history.
As a punter, the 5-7, 182-pounder set a new school record with his 46.0 GPA. A total of 18 punts traveled over 50 yards, including a season best of 65 yards and 14 of his punts were down inside the 20s.
Murray has averaged 42.9 yards per punt for his career, the second best average in Ram history.
Marcus Williams, the junior cornerback from North Dakota State who led the Bison to back-to-back NCAA Division I football titles, has been named the FCS playoff MVP.
Williams is tied for fifth nationally in interceptions with seven, including two in the 39-13 national championship win over Sam Houston State.
Williams added value to the Bison with 17 kickoff returns for 475 yards and one touchdown and three punt returns for 78 yards. He made 39 tackles, including four for losses and four break-ups.
Three of his interceptions and 17 of those tackles came in all four of the North Dakota State Championship playoff games.
Appalachian State wide receiver Sean Price and quarterback John Robertson were named co-freshmen of the exclusive CSJ All-Freshman team on Tuesday.
Price, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound freshman, broke nearly all of Appalachian State’s freshman receiving records – many of which were previously held by the all-time top catcher in the Appalachian State. school and current St. Louis Rams player Brian Quick – catching 81 passes for 1,196 yards, averaging 14.8 and eight touchdowns in 10 games.
The Southern Conference freshman was sixth nationally in receptions per game (8.1) and receiving yards per game (119.6) and was 10th in total receiving yards.
He broke FCS records for freshman receptions (Cal State Northridge’s Drew Amerson had 71 in 1999) and freshman yards (Marshall’s Randy Moss at 1,073 in 1996).
Robertson, award winner Jerry Rice (Price ranked third), helped lead the FCS’s biggest turnaround this season as Villanova went from 2-9 to 8-4 and won the automatic playoff offer of the Colonial Athletic Association.
The multi-talented quarterback who rushed for 1,021 yards and 14 touchdowns and had 1,965 yards and threw another 14 scores, while throwing just seven interceptions.
Robertson, who became Villanova’s starting quarterback after an early season loss to Temple, won the CAA Rookie of the Year award.
The Southern Conference led all leagues with 14 team caps, while the Big Sky Conference was second with 11.
Thirteen of the 14 FCS conferences were represented by players from the team, with the Pioneer Football League winning three caps with honorable mention.
Georgia Southern led all teams with four All-American caps, quarterback Jerick McKinnon, defensive tackle Brent Russell, fullback Dominique Swope and safety JJ Wilcox.
Appalachian State, Illinois State, Montana State, and Tennessee State placed three athletes each on the team, while Central Arkansas, Eastern Washington, Fordham, Indiana State, Montana, North Dakota State, Old Dominion, Princeton, Stony Brook and Wofford managed two selections.
In total, 41 teams landed players on the 63-man squad.
The 63 players of the CSJ All-America squad represent 63 scholarships at FCS level and the squad is put together to be a fully functional team, with all positions in attack, defense and special teams.
2012 College Sports Journal All-America Team
Offensive player of the year: Miguel Maysonet, senior, running back, Stony Brook,
Defensive Player of the Year: Robert alford, Southeast Louisiana, Senior
Coach of the Year: Walt Hameline, Wagner
Lineman of the Year: Earl Watford, Senior, Tackle, James Madison
Special Teams Player of the Year: Patrick Murray, senior, kicker-punter, Fordham
FCS Playoff MVP: Marcus Williams, junior, cornerback, North Dakota State
Co-freshmen of the year: Sean Price, Redshirt Freshman, Wide Receiver, Appalachian State; John Robertson, Freshman Redshirt, Quarterback, Villanova
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion, Second Year
Freshman quarterback John Robertson Villanova
Quarterback Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah, Senior
Quarterback / All-Purpose Back Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern, Junior
Running back Shakir Bell, Indiana State, Junior
Running back Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook, senior
Running back Deonte Williams, Cal Poly, senior
Running back Dominique Williams, Wagner, junior
Running back Zach Zenner, South Dakota State, second year
Fullback Eric Breitenstein, Wofford, Senior
Fullback Dominique Swope, Georgia Southern, Second year
All Purpose Backs Carlton Koonce, Fordham, Senior
Wide Receiver Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington, Junior
Wide Receiver Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois, Junior
Wide receiver Aaron Mellette, Elon, senior
Wide Receiver Kevin Norrell, Stony Brook, Senior
Wide Receiver Sean Price, Appalachian State, Freshman
Wide Receiver Tyrone Walker, State of Illinois, Senior
Tight End Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard, Senior
Tight End JC Leonard, State of Tennessee, Grade 2
Tackle Rogers Gaines, State of Tennessee, senior
Attacking Danny Kistler, Montana, Junior
Attacking JC Tretter, Cornell, Senior
Tackle Billy Turner, State of North Dakota, Junior
Guard Sean Davies, UC Davis, Senior
Guard Chris Elkins, Youngstown State, Junior
Guard Earl Watford, James Madison, Senior
Mike Sellars Center, La Citadelle, Junior
Corey Howard Center, Central Arkansas, Senior
Defensive end Mike Catapano, Princeton, Senior
Defensive end Zach Minter, Montana State, Senior
Defensive end Caleb Schreibeis, Montana State, Senior
Defensive end Brandon Thurmond, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, senior
Defensive end Davis Tull, Chattanooga, second year
Defensive end Colton Underwood, Illinois State, junior
Defensive Tackle Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin, Senior
Defensive Tackle Caraun Reid, Princeton, Senior
Defensive Tackle Brent Russell, Georgia Southern, Senior
Defensive Tackle Jared Smith, New Hampshire, Senior
Inside Linebacker Aaron Archie, Indiana State, Senior
Inside Linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough, Appalachian State, Senior
Inside linebacker Robert McCabe, Georgetown, Senior
Inside linebacker Jody Owens, Montana State, Senior
Inside linebacker Stephon Robertson, James Madison, Junior
Outside linebacker Keith Pough, Howard, senior
Away Linebacker Alvin Scioneaux, Wofford, Junior
Away Linebacker Jordan Tripp, Montana, Junior
corner half Robert alford, Southeast Louisiana, Senior
Cornerback Steven Godbolt, State of Tennessee, second year
Cornerback BW Webb, William & Mary, senior
Cornerback Marcus Williams, State of North Dakota, junior
Reinforced Security Darnell Taylor, Sam Houston State, Senior
Strong Security JJ Wilcox, Georgia Southern, Senior
Free Safety Ben Ericksen, State of Illinois, Senior
Free Safety Jaquiski Tartt, Samford, Second year
Kick-off Turner Jerodis Williams, Furman, Senior
Punt Returner Austin Shanks, Northern Arizona, Senior
Returns Specialist Jesse Grandy, Central Arkansas, Senior
Kicker Jimmy Pavel, East Washington, Senior
Kicker-Punter Sam Martin, Appalachian State, Senior
Kicker-Punter Patrick Murray, Fordham, Senior
Gambler Jonathan Plisco, Old Dominion, Senior
Long Snapper Brandon Gabbard, Southeastern Missouri, Senior