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BIRMINGHAM - Southern University QB Bryant Lee was named Offensive Most Valuable Player and Jackson State LB Marcellus Speaks was named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Southwestern Athletic Conference football season.
Grambling State QB Greg Dillon earned Newcomer of the Year honors, and Texas Southern CB De'Markus Washington earned Freshman of the Year accolades in voting by conference coaches, sports information personnel, and selected members of the media.
Lee led the SWAC in completions (217), attempts (352), passing yards (2,682) and touchdown passes (20) while throwing just seven interceptions. Lee was seventh in the conference and second in rushing yards among quarterbacks with 534 yards (on 139 attempts) with six touchdowns. Speaks led the SWAC with 115 tackles (54 solo; 20.5 for loss), along with 5.0 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one blocked kick in leading the Tigers to the SWAC Championship Game for the second consecutive year.
The announcement came after the SWAC announced its 2008 All-Conference Football Team with 12 all-conference honorees from 2007 highlighting this season's selections.
The lone unanimous selection on the team is Southern's Juamorris Stewart. He caught 76 passes for 1,138 yards and 12 touchdowns. Stewart finished the season with nine catches for 174 yards and a touchdown during the Bayou Classic. He led the conference in receptions per game (6.9) and in receiving yards per game (103.5)
Among the top overall vote-getters were Prairie View A&M RB Donald Babers (222 carries, 1,085 yards, 11 TDs), Jackson State DE Marcus Benard (80 total tackles, 31 solo, 16 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss), Texas Southern WR/RS William Osbourne (82 rec., 1,092 yards, 7 TDs; 192.3 all-purpose yards per game) and Grambling State DB Jeffrey Jack (74 tackles, 45 solo, INT, 2 blocked kicks).
Seven defensive players, three offensive players and two specialists were among those who were chosen for postseason recognition after receiving the award in 2007. The list includes Ledarius Anthony (DE, Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Zach East (LB, Prairie View A&M), Vincent Lands (DE, Southern), Bryant Lee (QB, Southern), Jeremy Licea (K, Alabama A&M), Jeremy Maddox (DE, Alabama A&M), Xavier Manuel (OL, Alabama A&M), Malcolm Palmer (SS, Jackson State), Eric Perri (K, Jackson State), Marcellus Speaks (LB, Jackson State), Demarcus Stewart (OL, Southern) and Tim Turner (LB, Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff). UAPB running back Martell Mallett was first-team selection in 2006.
Grambling State led the count with nine selections - including four on first team. Jackson State placed eight players on the all-conference squad with four first-team choices. Both Prairie View A&M and Southern each had seven players chosen and each placed four players on the first team. Texas Southern had five selections with three first-team slots while Alabama A&M and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff each had four all-conference players and two first-team selections. Mississippi Valley State had three (one first-team choice) while Alcorn State had two; Alabama State rounded out the list with one second-team selection.
First-Team Offense HT WT CL Hometown
OT Cleveland Collie Prairie View A&M 6-2 285 Sr. Royal Palm Beach, FL
OL Demarcus Stewart Southern 6-0 285 Sr. Plaquemine, LA
C Revay Smith Grambling State 6-1 305 Sr. Port Allen, LA
OL Xavier Manuel Alabama A&M 6-1 307 Jr Vineger Bend, AL
OT Mikeal Harshaw Jackson State 6-4 310 Jr. Memphis, TN
TE Abner Brown Mississippi Valley State 6-3 210 Sr. Daytona Beach, FL
WR Juamorris Stewart Southern 6-3 195 Jr. Baton Rouge, LA
WR William Osbourne Texas Southern 5-8 162 Jr. Marshall, TX
RB Donald Babers Prairie View A&M 5-9 170 Jr. Houston, TX
RB Martell Mallett Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-0 213 Sr. Pine Bluff, AR
QB Bryant Lee Southern 6-2 195 So. Boutte, LA
K Jeremy Licea Alabama A&M 5-7 147 Jr. Ventura, CA
DL Marcus Benard Jackson State 6-4 260 Sr. Ypsilanti, MI
DE Vincent Lands Southern 6-1 250 Sr. Baton Rouge, LA
DE Christian Anthony Grambling State 6-4 246 Jr. Birmingham, AL
DT Melvin Matthews Grambling State 6-5 305 Sr. Clinton, LA
LB Marcellus Speaks Jackson State 6-2 230 Sr. Jackson, MS
LB Zach East Prairie View A&M 6-2 230 Sr. Houston, TX
LB Lee Robinson Alcorn State 6-3 245 Sr. Gloster, MS
CB Jeffrey Jack Grambling State 6-0 208 Sr. Houston, TX
SS Anthony Beck Prairie View A&M 5-11 175 Jr. Channelview, TX
CB Dominique Johnson Jackson State 6-2 200 Sr. Texas City, TX
CB Kevin Thornton Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-1 205 Jr. Little Rock, AR
P Stephon Solomon Texas Southern 6-3 210 Jr. Houston, TX
RS William Osbourne Texas Southern 5-8 162 Jr. Marshall, TX
Second-Team Offense HT WT CL Hometown
OL Bronson Carvalho Alcorn State 6-3 335 Sr. Kapaa, HI
OG James Delke Prairie View A&M 6-2 275 So. Fort Lauderdale, FL
C Eric Jones Jackson State 6-3 285 Jr. Birmingham, AL
OG Nelson Baddele Mississippi Valley State 6-3 295 Sr. Jackson, MS
OL Rafael Louis Southen 6-3 275 Sr. Erwinville, LA
TE Marcel Frost Jackson State 6-5 255 Sr. Cleveland, OH
WR Thomas Harris Alabama A&M 6-0 210 Jr. Alexander City, AL
WR Brian Haith Texas Southern 6-1 175 Jr. Upland, CA
RB Cornelius Walker Grambling State 5-10 170 So. Atlanta, GA
RB Rahmod Traylor Alabama State 5-11 205 Jr. Memphis, TN
QB Greg Dillon Grambling State 6-0 200 So. Bogalusa, LA
K Eric Perri Jackson State 5-8 155 Jr. Miami, FL
DE Jeremy Maddox Alabama A&M 6-0 244 Jr. Grand Bay, AL
DE Fred Poole Mississippi Valley State 6-3 252 Sr. Cleveland, OH
DE Quinton Spears Prairie View A&M 6-4 220 So. Montgomery, TX
DE Ledarius Anthony Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-6 270 Sr. Pine Bluff, AR
LB Keefe Hall Grambling State 6-4 220 Sr. Houston, TX
LB Johnathan Malveaux Southern 6-6 250 Sr. Baton Rouge, LA
LB Tim Turner Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-2 215 Sr. Little Rock, AR
SS Glenn Bell Southern 5-9 185 Sr. New Orleans, LA
CB Kenneth Anio Grambling State 6-0 180 Jr. Jackson, LA
CB De'Markus Washington Texas Southern 5-9 160 Fr. Dallas, TX
SS Malcolm Palmer Jackson State 6-1 200 Jr. Autaugaville, AL
P Pedro Ventura Prairie View A&M 5-9 170 So. Houston, TX
RS Kiare Thompson Grambling State 6-0 185 So. Sacramento, CA