16 SHSU football players selected for All-Southland Conference team
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 00:11
Sam Houston State led Southland Conference football with 16 All-Conference selections last week, while running back Timothy Flanders was named the conference player of the year for the second consecutive season. Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers took conference offensive player of the year honors while Sam Houston linebacker Darnell Taylor earned defensive player of the year for the second straight season.
A finalist for the Walter Payton Award, Timothy Flanders has been the main force in the Sam Houston stable all season; leading the conference with 1,151 rushing yards on 187 carries for an average of 6.2 yards per carry and 104.6 yards per game. With 17 visits to the end zone, he tops the Southland in scoring with an average of 9.8 points per game. The Midwest City, Oklahoma product doesn’t stop at just treading turf: he also has 10 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown, accounting for 112.5 all-purpose yards per game, which ranks third in the Southland Conference.
Flanders’ third-quarter rushing touchdown at Texas A&M was the 52nd rushing touchdown of his career, tying the conference record held by Lamar’s Charles McDaniel (1971-74). Flanders, who collected 22 100-yard rushing performances in his career, ranks No. 5 in the Southland with 3,743 career yards. He is the first Sam Houston player to repeat as the conference player of the year in back-to-back seasons. Other players from Sam Houston to be named player of the year include Chris Chaloupka (1999), Josh McCown (2001) and Dustin Long (2004).
Darnell Taylor is the fifth player in Southland history to be named the league’s defensive player of the year in back-to-back years. Taylor has made 79 tackles this season; 54 solo stops and has assisted on another 25. He recorded 51 tackles in Southland contests and wrapped up double-figure tackles totals against Central Arkansas (15), Stephen F. Austin (10) and Texas A&M (12). Taylor is the SHSU’s career leader with 219 solo tackles and ranks seventh with 317 total takedowns. The No. 3 Bearkat rush defense has been stingy this year, allowing just 76.4 yards rushing per game, and giving up only 305.4 total yards per game. The “Black Swarm” is limiting opponents to only 19 points per game, the 14th best total in the FCS.
Sam Houston State led all conference teams 16 student-athletes on the two all-conference squads. Flanders was a first-team running back, while Taylor was a first-team defensive back. They were joined on the first team by tight end T.J. Jones, offensive linemen Kaleb Hopson and Chris Rogers, all-purpose talent Richard Sincere, defensive lineman J.T. Cleveland, linebacker Darius Taylor, defensive back Dax Swanson and punter Matt Foster. The Bearkats’ six second-team honorees include quarterback Brian Bell, receiver and kick return specialist Trey Diller, defensive lineman Gary Lorance and defensive backs Kenneth Jenkins and Bookie Sneed. Sam Houston also contributed seven honorable mention selections.
The All-Conference teams consist of 29 first-team and second-team members. Each coach nominates players from his own team. The teams are then selected by vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, who cannot vote for their own players.