Nine Trojans earn All-Sun Belt Conference honors

Published 8:53 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NEW ORLEANS – Troy added to its impressive history of All-Sun Belt Conference players as nine Trojans were named to the 2012 Sun Belt All-Conference Team, released Wednesday by the league office.

Since the Trojans joined the Sun Belt in 2004, Troy players have appeared on the All-Sun Belt Team 93 times including 41 first team All-Sun Belt selections; both numbers lead the league over that time period. Troy also has the most league wins among Sun Belt Conference members since joining the conference with 45 and the highest all-time conference winning percentage in Sun Belt history with a .672 mark (45-22) ahead of Middle Tennessee’s second-place .578 percentage (52-38).

Center Kyle Wilborn, wide receiver Chip Reeves and safety Brynden Trawick were all named to the All-Sun Belt First Team. Running back Shawn Southward, quarterback Deon Anthony (as an all-purpose selection), defensive end Tony Davis and linebacker Kanorris Davis were named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. Quarterback Corey Robinson and wide receiver Eric Thomas were both honorable mention selections.

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“All of these guys are more than deserving of these honors,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I am extremely proud of what they accomplished not only this season, but also throughout their careers. We are very appreciative for their efforts and hard work they put in.

“One guy who didn’t make the list but probably should have is Will Scott,” Blakeney said. “He led the league in net punting and made some big field goals for us this year.”

Troy’s nine overall selections are the third most in the league just one behind Arkansas State and Western Kentucky, while the three defensive selections on the first and second team are tied for the most in the league with Arkansas State and Western Kentucky.

The Troy offense led the Sun Belt Conference in total yards (498.8) and passing yards (331.5), while ranking 13th and eighth nationally in those two categories.

Wilborn, a senior, led an offensive line that was decimated by injuries to one of the top units in the country. Troy finished 25th in the NCAA allowing just 1.25 sacks per game despite attempting 42.4 passes per contest. Wilborn, who started 47 games over his career, led the Trojans with an 87 percent grade for the season and had 122 knockdowns in 896 snaps.

Reeves led the Sun Belt and ranked 28th nationally averaging 87.5 yards per game in addition to leading the league in catches of over 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards; he finished fourth in the NCAA in catches of over 30 and 50 yards. The senior was the only Sun Belt player to have five 100-yard receiving games this season and the first player in Troy history to do so four times. Reeves finished 120 yards shy of the single-season school receiving record after hauling in 65 catches for 1,050 yards and six touchdowns.

Reeves, Southward and Robinson combined to become the first-ever Troy trio to reach the 3,000 yards passing, 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving plateaus in the same season. Robinson threw for 3,141 yards and Southward rushed for 1,012 yards.

Trawick, who was a second team All-Sun Belt selection last year, finished his senior season with 83 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups. He intercepted Sun Belt Player of the Year Ryan Aplin – one of just four on the year by Aplin – and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. Trawick earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording 15 tackles, including a pair for a loss, at North Texas.

Southward became the seventh player in Troy history to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season. The senior rushed for 10 touchdowns and finished his career with 33 rushing touchdowns, which was just one shy of the school record. Southward topped the 100-yard mark four times on the season, the most by a Troy player since 2004.

Anthony was named to the All-Sun Belt team as an all-purpose player after he tied for the Sun Belt lead among quarterbacks with eight rushing touchdowns on the season despite splitting time with Robinson. The junior finished the year second in the league in passing efficiency (153.5) and led the league with a 69.6 completion percentage. Anthony, who was named the Allstate Sugar Bowl Manning Award Player of the Week earlier in the year, threw nine touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Tony Davis led all Troy defensive linemen with 39 tackles and the senior added 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. He forced a pair of fumbles both of which came on sacks against Western Kentucky.

Kanorris Davis led all Trojans and ranked 10th in the Sun Belt averaging 7.5 tackles per game. He finished fourth in the league with 62 solo tackles despite missing Troy’s game at Tennessee. The senior finished the year strong with 13 tackles against Arkansas State and 10 at Middle Tennessee. Davis forced a pair of fumbles at Middle Tennessee and recovered a loose ball against Western Kentucky.

Robinson led the Sun Belt averaging 285.5 yards per game through the air despite splitting snaps with Anthony. The junior is one of just three active players in the NCAA to throw for over 3,000 yards in his first three collegiate seasons and will enter his senior season as the NCAA’s active leader in attempts, completions and yards.

Thomas finished the year ninth in the Sun Belt with 4.6 catches per game and eighth averaging 55.6 receiving yards per contest. The junior’s seven touchdown grabs were good for third in the league. Thomas was featured on SportsCenter for his touchdown catch against Western Kentucky and he caught six passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns at Tennessee.