Trojans honored by Belt

Published 11:11 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The Sun Belt Conference announced their annual All-Conference football team, and 15 Trojans were honored by the conference coaches. The team is selected by the conference’s eight coaches based on nominations submitted by each institution’s sports information directors.

“The number of players (14) is one of the highest I have seen since I have been here as a coach,” Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. “It speaks volumes of our football program and I am very proud of our players and their accomplishments.”

Among the selections, the Trojans placed eight players on the First Team which included five on the defensive side of the ball for the Sun Belt Conference champions. Troy (8-4, 6-1 Sun Belt) also had five players named to the Second Team, as well as junior quarterback Levi Brown earning Newcomer of the Year and Blakeney earning the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

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“This is a great honor for me,” Blakeney said. “It is also a great honor for our staff. We all work together, and our staff is very deserving. For the first time in three years, we are named Coach of the Year.”

Brown, having played in just nine games, recorded 1,775 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. Of those yards, he threw for 1,097 yards and 10 touchdowns and just one interception against conference foes, while completing 68 percent of his passes. He started his career at Troy by not throwing an interception in his first 116 pass attempts.

“When talking about Levi, to me it was a no-brainer,” Blakeney said. “For a player to come in mid-season and lead a team to a conference championship, speaks volumes of him as a player and a leader. It also shows the heart of our team after all the injuries, to circle the wagons around him, that is a sign of a championship team.”

The First Team featured book ends on both sides of the football for the Trojans, which included two senior offensive tackles and two junior defensive ends.

“All these players were very deserving,” Blakeney said.

Chris Jamison, Dion Small, Brandon Lang, Cameron Sheffield, Boris Lee, Terence Moore, Sherrod Martin and Jerrel Jernigan made the First Team.

DuJuan Harris, Dion Gales, Bear Woods, Tavares Williams and Sam Glusman all were named to the Second Team.

Kennard Burton and Steve McLendon were named Honorable Mention.