Jayson Foster Named SoCon 'Offensive Player of the Year'
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern senior quarterback Jayson Foster (Canton/Cherokee County) was named Offensive Player of the Year’ in a vote by the Southern Conference’s head coaches. Nine Eagles were represented on the All-SoCon teams, as announced by the league office Monday (Nov. 19).
Foster becomes the fifth Eagle to receive the Offensive Player of the Year award, joining: Adrian Peterson (1998, 2001), Greg Hill (1999), Chaz Williams (2002) and Jermaine Austin (2003). After the squad finished 3-8 last year Foster again switched from wide receiver to quarterback, and led the Eagles to a 7-4 overall record and 4-3 in the SoCon. GS finished one game back from sharing the league title and the four losses were by a combined 20 points.
Georgia Southern had the second most representatives of any league member - five on offense, three on defense and one special teams. It is the first All-SoCon honor for everyone, save for Foster (2006 First Team pick at wide receiver).
A finalist for the Walter Payton Award, Foster stands second nationally averaging 167.6 rushing yards per game. His 1,844 yards set a NCAA Division I record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. That yardage was the second-highest total in a Georgia Southern season, and third-most in SoCon history.
Foster the 2004 SoCon Freshman of the Year’ - currently ranks third nationally in scoring (13.5 ppg), fifth in all-purpose yards (189 ypg), 12th in total offense (277 ypg) and 50th in punt returns (7.8 yards per return). Foster completed 109-of-170 passes for 1,203 yards and six TDs to four interceptions. He did not throw an interception over the final six games. His 3,047 total offense yards and 431 plays both set Georgia Southern season records, surpassing College Football Hall of Fame inductee Tracy Ham.
Joining Foster on the First Team were senior offensive tackle Russell Orr (Thomasville/Thomas County Central) and junior defensive end Larry Beard (Fairburn/Sandy Creek).
Orr, one of five seniors starting on the offensive line, helped Georgia Southern lead the nation in rushing offense at 326 yards per game and rank seventh in total offense at 456.3 ypg.
Beard recorded 32 tackles (5.0 tackles for a loss), and led the defense with four sacks and three fumble recoveries while knocking down four passes. Beard helped the defense finish 15th nationally in turnover margin at 1.09 per game.
Senior offensive guards Marcelo Estrada (Hinesville/Liberty County) and Brad Williams (Vidalia/Vidalia) earned Second Team honors, along with senior running back Lamar Lewis (Jacksonville, FL/Trinity Christian).
In just 10 games, Lewis nearly recorded a 1,000-yard season, finishing with 955 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He finished second in the league and 34th nationally in rushing average.
Junior defensive end Damon Suggs (Lithonia/Southwest DeKalb) and junior defensive back Chris Covington (Lawrenceville/Brookwood) were named to the Second Team.
Covington, in his first year playing defense, led the Eagles with 67 tackles and four interceptions. He tied for the SoCon lead and was tied for 29th nationally in interceptions. Covington also broke up four passes and forced two fumbles.
Suggs recorded 41 tackles, 5.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks in 10 games. He also broke up two passes and forced two fumbles.
Junior place kicker Jesse Hartley (Tallahassee, FL/Lincoln) also received Second Team accolades. A three-time SoCon Player of the Week’ pick, Hartley set a GS record for consecutive extra points made in a season at 47-of-47. He tied the GS season record making 17 field goals (in 24 attempts). Hartley is currently tied for sixth nationally in field goals and 19th in scoring (8.9 points per game).
- Category: Football
- Published on Monday, 19 November 2007 00:24