UTC Mocs take coaches' top SoCon awards

UTC Mocs take coaches' top SoCon awards

November 27th, 2013 by John Frierson in Sports - College

UTC defensive lineman Davis Tull, who earned his second SoCon defensive player of the year award Tuesday, sacks Wofford quarterback Evan Jacks in the Mocs' 20-10 victory Nov. 9.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Jacob Huesman

Photo by Maura Friedman/Times Free Press.

Tuesday was a good day for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program and the Huesman family in particular.

The Southern Conference announced its coaches' and media postseason awards and all-conference teams, and the co-champion Mocs were very well represented. The coaches voted Russ Huesman coach of the year and quarterback Jacob Huesman offensive player of the year, and defensive end Davis Tull repeated as defensive player of the year.

UTC had seven first-team players and two second-team players on the coaches' squads, as well as three on the all-freshman team. The Mocs had five first-teamers and three second-team players on the media's All-SoCon teams.

"I'm extremely proud of the guys who made an all-conference team, whether it's first team, second team, all-freshman -- it was well deserved," said Russ Huesman, the first coach at UTC to twice (2009 and 2013) be named coach of the year since Joe Morrison in 1977 and '79.

There was a three-way tie for the SoCon title with UTC, Samford and Furman. The muddled top of the league was also reflected in the postseason voting. While the coaches rated the Mocs quite highly, the media went another way.

In the media's postseason honors, Furman's Bruce Fowler was the coach of the year, Samford quarterback Andy Summerlin was the offensive player of the year and Samford linebacker Justin Shade got the defensive award.

Tull, who became UTC's all-time sack leader this season, is the first Moc to win two defensive player of the year awards. The redshirt junior is the first to do it back to back in the SoCon since Appalachian State's Dexter Coackley won three straight from 1994 to '96.

In 2012, Tull didn't have to go through a lot of double-teams as he racked up a school-record 12.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss on his way to the top defensive award. It was much different this season as teams committed two and sometimes three guys to preventing him from making stops in the backfield.

Tull still managed to tie Shade for the SoCon lead with nine sacks and finished with 15 tackles for loss, just behind Shade's league-leading 15.5.

"It's pretty rewarding to get it the second time," Tull said. "Definitely this year in the games it was a lot harder to put up numbers."

Jacob Huesman is UTC's first offensive player of the year. The redshirt sophomore from Baylor School led the Mocs with 894 rushing yards, 1,637 passing yards and a combined 25 touchdowns. He was the media's second-team quarterback.

"It really didn't even cross my mind," he said of being voted the top offensive player. "If you'd have asked me, I'd probably would have said no, I doubt I'll get that. There's other guys that I thought were probably more deserving than me. It's an honor to know that the coaches think that of me."

Tight end Faysal Shafaat and right guard Kevin Revis made the coaches' and media's first-team offense. Tull, safety D.J. Key and cornerback Kadeem Wise made both first-team defenses. Wise is the first player in UTC history to be named all-conference four times.

Linebacker Wes Dothard made the coaches' first team and the media's second, becoming the first Moc in more than 30 years to be first-team All-SoCon three times. Defensive tackle Josh Freeman made the coaches' and media's second team, and kick returner Chaz Moore made the coaches' second team.

Left tackle Corey Levin, running back Derrick Craine and defensive end Keionta Davis made the coaches' all-freshman team.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.