SPARTANBURG, S.C. — After going undefeated in Southern Conference play, the league’s football coaches rewarded Appalachian State University by voting 14 players to its 2008 all-conference teams, including 10 first-team selections, the SoCon office announced on Tuesday. Additionally, Mountaineers swept the SoCon’s major individual awards when quarterback Armanti Edwards was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, middle linebacker Jacque Roman was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Jerry Moore added to his own conference record with his sixth Coach of the Year award.
Appalachian’s 10 first-team all-SoCon honorees include Edwards, offensive linemen Jonathan Bieschke and Brad Coley, tight end Ben Jorden on offense; Roman, fellow linebacker Pierre Banks, defensive end Jabari Fletcher and defensive backs Mark LeGree and Cortez Gilbert on defense and punter Neil Young.
Offensive linemen Mario Acitelli and Daniel Kilgore, defensive tackle Anthony Williams and linebacker D.J. Smith are ASU’s second-team selections.
Additionally, Jorden, wide receiver Brian Quick, defensive end Lanston Tanyi and defensive back Ed Gainey were voted to the SoCon’s inaugural all-freshman team.
Appalachian’s 14 all-SoCon selections were by far the most in the conference, followed by Wofford's and Elon's nine apiece. The 14 all-conference honorees are also the third-most in school history, behind only 2006 (20) and 1989 (16).
Edwards is the fourth Mountaineer in five years to be named SoCon Offensive Player of the Year (DaVon Fowlkes - 2004; Richie Williams - 2005; Kevin Richardson - 2006). Also a frontrunner for the Walter Payton Award, Edwards leads the conference in total offense (3,036 yards), passing efficiency (178.5) and touchdown passes (25) and finished the regular season with a sterling 25-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which includes his current string of 171 pass attempts without an INT.
Roman is the third-straight SoCon Defensive Player of the Year from ASU (Marques Murrell - 2006; Corey Lynch - 2007). He anchored the Appalachian defense that ranks second in the league in scoring defense (20.8 ppg) and third in total defense (332.7 ypg) and ranks second in the league individually with 107 total tackles. He has also registered six tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries, five quarterback hurries and two pass break-ups on the season.
Moore continues to stretch his own conference record to greater heights with his sixth SoCon Coach of the Year award (1991, 1994, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2008), as no other coach in SoCon history has ever earned the recognition more than three times. The winningest mentor in conference history added to his bulging resume on Oct. 25 when he won his 200th game as a head coach. He currently ranks 23rd in NCAA Division I history (FCS or FBS) with 204 career victories.
Second-ranked Appalachian opens its run at an unprecedented fourth-consecutive NCAA Division I FCS national title when it opens postseason play on Saturday versus No. 13 South Carolina State. Kickoff is set for noon at Kidd Brewer Stadium and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
2008 COACHES ALL-SOUTHERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
Offensive Player of the Year – Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State
Defensive Player of the Year – Jacque Roman, Appalachian State
Freshman of the Year – Dustin Taliaferro, Samford
Jacobs Blocking Award – Joel Bell, Furman
Coach of the Year – Jerry Moore, Appalachian State
QB Armanti Edwards, Jr., Appalachian State
RB Chris Evans, So., Samford
RB Dane Romero, Sr., Wofford
OL Jonathan Bieschke, Sr., Appalachian State
OL Brad Coley, Sr., Appalachian State
OL David Harrison, Jr., Elon
OL Joel Bell, Sr., Furman
OL Derek Wooten, Sr., Wofford
OL Dan DeHaven, Jr., The Citadel
TE Ben Jorden, Fr., Appalachian State
WR Andre Roberts, Jr., The Citadel
WR Terrell Hudgins, Jr., Elon
DL Dakota Walker, Sr., Georgia Southern
DL Mitch Clark, Jr., Wofford
DL Jabari Fletcher, So., Appalachian State
DL Terrence Reese, Jr., The Citadel
LB Jacque Roman, Jr., Appalachian State
LB Chris Covington, Sr., Georgia Southern
LB Pierre Banks, Sr., Appalachian State
DB Cortez Gilbert, Jr., Appalachian State
DB Mark LeGree, So., Appalachian State
DB William Middleton, Sr., Furman
DB Thomas Twitty, Sr., Furman
DB Max Lerner, So., Furman
PK Andrew Wilcox, Sr., Elon
P Neil Young, Sr., Appalachian State
RS Andre Roberts, Jr., The Citadel
QB Scott Riddle, So., Elon
RB Brandon Newsome, So., Elon
RB Mike Brown, So., Furman
OL Ben Quick, Sr., Wofford
OL Mario Acitelli, Jr., Appalachian State
OL Daniel Kilgore, So., Appalachian State
OL Ben Miller, Sr., Wofford
OL John Weber, Jr., Samford
OL Dio Herrera, Sr., Georgia Southern
TE Taylor Cornett, Sr., The Citadel
WR Raja Andrews, Sr., Georgia Southern
WR Andy Strickland, Sr., Wofford
DL Anthony Williams, Jr., Appalachian State
DL Jeff Bradley, Sr., Western Carolina
DL Eric Ludwig, Jr., Elon
DL Layton Baker, Sr., Wofford
LB Corey Weaver, Sr., Elon
LB Bryce Smith, So., Samford
LB D.J. Smith, So., Appalachian State
DB Andy Davis, So., Samford
DB Mychael Johnson, Jr., Wofford
DB Walker White, Jr., Elon
DB Jason Leventis, Sr., Wofford
DB Mitchell Bell, So., Western Carolina
PK Adrian Mora, R-Fr., Georgia Southern
P Brandon Lane, Sr., Elon
RS Adam Mims, So., Furman