Citadel’s Willie Eubanks III named SoCon defensive player of the year

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

Citadel linebacker Willie Eubanks III has been named defensive player of the year in the Southern Conference by the league’s football coaches and media.

Eubanks, a 6-2, 215-pound junior from Augusta, Ga., led The Citadel with 112 tackles this season, the most for the Bulldogs since 2000. He was second in the SoCon in tackles, third in tackles for loss with 11.5 and eighth in sacks with four.

He also forced three fumbles, intercepted a pass, broke up four passes and had 11 quarterback hurries for the 6-6 Bulldogs, who went 4-4 in SoCon play.

Eubanks was joined on the coaches’ first team by receiver Raleigh Webb, defensive lineman Joseph Randolph II and punter Matt Campbell. Offensive lineman Drew McEntyre and defensive back Chris Beverly made the coaches’ second team.

The media selected Eubanks, McEntyre, Randolph and Campbell to the first team, with Webb and Beverly on the second team. Linebacker Hasan Black was named to the coaches’ all-freshman team.

Eubanks is the first Citadel player to be named defensive player of the year by both coaches and media. He’s just the second Bulldog picked by the media, following the late Mitchell Jeter in 2015. Three Bulldogs had previously won the award from the coaches: Brian Ruff (1975-76), Scott Thompson (1986) and Kailik Williams (2016).

VMI coach Scott Wachenheim was named coach of the year by his colleagues, and Wofford quarterback Joe Newman was the consensus offensive player of the year. Terriers center Blake Jeresaty, from Bishop England High School, won the Jacobs Blocking Award. Wofford’s Josh Conklin was named coach of the year by the media.

2019 Coaches All-Southern Conference Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year – Joe Newman, Sr., QB, Wofford

Defensive Player of the Year ­– Willie Eubanks III, Jr., LB, The Citadel

Freshman of the Year – Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga

Jacob Blocking Award – Blake Jeresaty, Jr., OL, Wofford

Coach of the Year – Scott Wachenheim, VMI

First team offense

QB Joe Newman, Wofford

RB Ailym Ford, Chattanooga

RB Alex Ramsey, VMI

OL Ben Blackmon, ETSU

OL Bo Layton, Furman

OL Nick Nixon, Samford

OL Justus Basinger, Wofford

OL Blake Jeresaty, Wofford

TE Nate Adkins, ETSU

WR Raleigh Webb, The Citadel

WR Bryce Nunnelly, Chattanooga

WR Jakob Herres, VMI

First team defense

DL Joseph Randolph II, The Citadel

DL Nasir Player, ETSU

DL Adrian Hope, Furman

DL Devonnsha Maxwell, Chattanooga

LB Willie Eubanks III, The Citadel

LB John Staton, Samford

LB Jireh Wilson, Wofford

DB Artevius Smith, ETSU

DB Bryan Okeh, Furman

DB Brandon Dowdell, Chattanooga

DB A.J. Smith, VMI

First team special teams

PK Grayson Atkins, Furman

P Matt Campbell, The Citadel

RS David Durden, Mercer

Second team offense

QB Reece Udinski, VMI

RB Quay Holmes, ETSU

RB Devin Wynn, Furman

OL Drew McEntyre, The Citadel

OL Tre’mond Shorts, ETSU

OL Jordan Harris, Furman

OL Austin Sanders, Mercer

OL Cole Strange, Chattanooga

OL Michael Ralph, Wofford

TE Chris Ellington, Mercer

WR Thomas Gordon, Furman

WR David Durden, Mercer

Second team defense

DL Dorian Kithcart, Mercer

DL Khayyan Edwards, Chattanooga

DL Telvin Jones, Chattanooga

DL Michael Mason, Wofford

LB Jordan Willis, Furman

LB Sidney Otiwu, Mercer

LB Marshall Cooper, Chattanooga

DB Chris Beverly, The Citadel

DB Eric Jackson, Mercer

DB John Brannon III, Western Carolina

DB George Gbesee, Wofford

Second team special teams

PK Mitchell Fineran, Samford

P Grayson Atkins, Furman

RS Montrell Washington, Samford

All-Freshman Offense

Will Huzzie, ETSU

Devin Abrams, Furman

Wayne Anderson, Furman

Darren Grainger, Furman

Evan Jumper, Furman

Yahsyn McKee, Mercer

Jay Stanton, Samford

A.J. Toney, Samford

Ailym Ford, Chattanooga

Leroy Thomas, VMI

Jacquez Allen, Wofford

All-Freshman Defense

Hasan Black, The Citadel

Donovan Manuel, ETSU

Josh Agbenou, Furman

Travis Blackshear, Furman

Braden Gilby, Furman

Richie Coffey, Mercer

TriMarcus Cheeks, Samford

Kameron Brown, Chattanooga

Aljareek Malry, VMI

Keyvaun Cobb, Wofford

Michael Mason, Wofford

All-Freshman Special Teams

Tyler Keltner, ETSU

Caleb Dowden, Mercer

Zach Lassiter, Mercer

Julian Pletz, Western Carolina

2019 SCSMA All-Southern Conference Football Team

Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year – Joe Newman, Sr., QB, Wofford

Defensive Player of the Year ­– Willie Eubanks III, Jr., LB, The Citadel

Freshman of the Year – Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga

Wallace Wade Coach of the Year – Josh Conklin, Wofford

First team offense

QB Joe Newman, Wofford

RB Devin Wynn, Furman

RB Alex Ramsey, VMI

OL Drew McEntyre, The Citadel

OL Bo Layton, Furman

OL Nick Nixon, Samford

OL Justus Basinger, Wofford

OL Michael Ralph, Wofford

TE Chris James, Chattanooga

WR Bryce Nunnelly, Chattanooga

WR Jakob Herres, VMI

First team defense

DL Joseph Randolph II, The Citadel

DL Nasir Player, ETSU

DL Devonnsha Maxwell, Chattanooga

DL Michael Mason, Wofford

LB Willie Eubanks III, The Citadel

LB John Staton, Samford

LB Marshall Cooper, Chattanooga

LB Jireh Wilson, Wofford

DB Artevius Smith, ETSU

DB Eric Jackson, Mercer

DB Brandon Dowdell, Chattanooga

DB A.J. Smith, VMI

DB JerMichael White, Western Carolina

First team special teams

PK Grayson Atkins, Furman

P Matt Campbell, The Citadel

RS David Durden, Mercer

Second team offense

QB Reece Udinski, VMI

RB Ailym Ford, Chattanooga

RB Quay Holmes, ETSU

OL Jordan Harris, Furman

OL Austin Sanders, Mercer

OL Cole Strange, Chattanooga

OL Josh Andre, VMI

OL Blake Jeresaty, Wofford

TE Chris Ellington, Mercer

WR Raleigh Webb, The Citadel

WR Thomas Gordon, Furman

Second team defense

DL Adrian Hope, Furman

DL Armond Lloyd, Samford

DL Khayyan Edwards, Chattanooga

DL Jarrod Richmond, VMI

LB Ty Boeck, Chattanooga

LB Ty Harris, Western Carolina

LB Jayden Pauling, Western Carolina

DB Chris Beverly, The Citadel

DB Bryan Okeh, Furman

DB John Brannon III, Western Carolina

DB George Gbesee, Wofford

Second team special teams

PK Mitchell Fineran, Samford

P Grayson Atkins, Furman

RS Montrell Washington, Samford