SWAC Media Days: Alabama State University football

Birmingham – The Southwestern Athletic Conference released its 2015 SWAC Football Preseason Teams during Media Day on Friday morning.
 
Alabama State tallied five selections with linebacker Kourtney Berry carrying one of the two most prestigious recognitions after being named the SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. 
 
There were 51 players named to this year’s preseason teams as a result of receiving 2014 All-SWAC honors. 

In the event that a player was named to the First Team during the postseason and did not return, the Second Team player at that position was elevated to First Team recognition. 
Players were ranked in their position based upon the number of votes received. 
Ballots were completed by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. 
 
Berry led the conference in total tackles during his first two years by grabbing over 100 tackles, including a SWAC-high 128 tackles (67 solo) last season. 
 
The two-time First Team All-SWAC performer had 12 and a half tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hits, three sacks, four pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
 
Berry was also named to the First Team All-SWAC Defensive Team. 
 
Joining Berry with First Team honors were senior offensive linemen Damian Love (6-foot-4, 295 pounds) and Jylan Ware (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) who were each named to the First Team All-SWAC Offensive Team. 

Love and Ware were instrumental in leading the Hornets’ rushing attack that ranked second in the SWAC in total rushing yards (2,733 yards for 227.8 per game) and scored the third-highest amount of rushing touchdowns (28) in the conference. 

 The Hornets also had a pair of Second Team All-Conference honors as senior wide receiver DeMario Bell was selected to the Offensive Team and senior linebacker Daerius Washington was dubbed a Second Team All-Defensive Team member. 

 Bell appeared in 11 games last season and made 28 receptions for 625 yards with a long of 69 yards and had four touchdowns. 

 Washington ranked second on the team in tackles with 98 (55 solo) with 15 accounting for tackles for losses. He added four sacks, four quarterback hits, two blocked kicks, two pass deflections and an interception. 

 For the predicted order of finish in both divisions, the defending champion Alcorn State totaled 95 votes including 10 first place votes to become the preseason favorite out of the East Division. 
 Jackson State followed with 83 points.  Alabama A&M gathered 66 points, with Alabama State (50) and Mississippi Valley State (31) closing out the division’s preseason ranking. 

 In the West Division, Grambling State totaled 93 points with eight first-place votes. 
Southern received 91 points followed by Prairie View (72), Texas Southern (40) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (34). 
 
Courtesy: Alabama State University Athletics
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