The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football program is having a season to remember. The Patriots have been perfect thus far this season as they finished the regular season 10-0 with a perfect 6-0 record in the conference. UC also won their 6th Mid-South Conference (MSC) Championship and their 5th under Head Coach John Bland. The #1 ranked Patriots will play host in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) on Saturday. As they prepare for the game against Saint Ambrose (IA), the Mid-South Conference has announced its yearly awards as UC earned a plethora of honors.
D'Angelo Jordan (Jacksonville, FL) and Adam Craig (Jackson, TN) were named the offensive and freshmen offensive players of the year for the MSC East Division on Wednesday. Jordan shares the honors with Lindsey Wilson quarterback Brenden Cresap. It wasn't just the players that were recognized as head coach John Bland earned his 5th MSC Coach of the Year award. Bland is the first coach in MSC history to win Coach of the Year honors in both the East and West Division.
Jordan has had a stellar season for the Patriots has he has averaged 79.7 yards per game with nine rushing touchdowns. Jordan also averaged 8.9 yards per carry which led the conference. For the season, Jordan has 717 yards rushing and 10 catches for 203 yards and 1 touchdown. As for Adam Craig, he has been nothing but remarkable for the Patriots in his first season for UC. Craig was effective with his arm as well as his legs. Craig thus far has went 67 for 129 passing for 1018 yards with 9 touchdowns. He has been more of a threat on the ground as he has ran for 823 yards on 129 carries for 16 touchdowns.
Seven Patriots earned MSC East Division All-Conference 1st team honors out of the 28 named to the 1st team. Those Patriots earning All-Conference honors were offensive lineman Ryan Northcutt (Atlanta, GA), offensive lineman Tor Peterson (Cumming, GA), running back D'Angelo Jordan, running back Iquan Deed (Montezuma, GA), kicker Al Merrick (Pineville, KY), defensive lineman Nick Smith (Knoxville, TN), linebacker Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN), and defensive back Reggie Murray (Miami, FL).
Five other Patriots also earned MSC 2nd Team honors. Those receiving second team honors were quarterback Adam Craig, running back Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, TN), wide receiver Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA), defensive back Adrian Hightower (Macon, GA), and punter Mitchell Mascaro (Knoxville, TN).
Thirteen Patriots also earned Academic All-Conference honors this season. In order to be nominated by an institution, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved at least sophomore academic status. Those Patriots earning Academic All-Conference were Chad Bond (Tullahoma, TN), Ethan Brown (Dawsonville, GA), Tyler Burge (Buford, GA), Cory Clark (Seymour, TN), Brandon Dutton (Knoxville, GA), Zeke Eier (New Carlisle, OH), Hunter Lewis (Dunlap, TN), Mitchell Mascaro, Robert McCormick (Louisville, KY), Al Merrick, Nick Smith, Teddarius Teasley (Gainesville, GA), and Corey Washington (Knoxville, TN).
The #1 Patriots will host #16 Saint Ambrose University in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series on Saturday at James H. Taylor, II Stadium in Williamsburg, KY. Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm.
For more information on the Patriot football program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.