Bucs Place 12 on SoCon All-Conference Teams



SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Nov. 26, 2019) – The ETSU football team brought some hardware home on Tuesday afternoon as the Southern Conference announced its all-conference teams, of which 12 Buccaneers were found. Nine different players were named to the all-conference squad from the league’s coaches, while three were placed on all-conference teams as voted on by the media.

Redshirt-seniors Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) and Artevius Smith (Birmingham, Ala.) led the way for the Bucs, making appearances on the First Team All-SoCon squad in both the coaches and media ballots. Joining the duo on the Coaches First Team All-SoCon list are Ben Blackmon (Newberry, S.C.) and Nate Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.).

Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) was tabbed to both the Coaches and Media Second Team All-SoCon squad, while Tre’mond Shorts (Hampton, Ga.) was voted on the Coaches Second Team All-SoCon alongside Holmes.

Rounding out the honorees on the Southern Conference All-Freshman Team are: Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.), Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Donovan Manuel (Ellenwood, Ga.).

The coaches and media voted Joe Newman (Wofford) as the SoCon Offensive Player of the Year, Willie Eubanks III (The Citadel) as the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and Ailym Ford (Chattanooga) was labeled as the SoCon Freshman of the Year. The coaches also awarded Wofford’s Blake Jeresaty with the Jacob Blocking Award and VMI’s Scott Wachenheim as the league’s coach of the year. The media voted Wofford’s Josh Conklin as the Wallace Wade Coach of the Year recipient.

Nate Adkins – So. – TE – Knoxville, Tenn.

  • Named to the Coaches First Team All-SoCon
  • Adkins finished second on the team in total receptions (25), setting a new career high for receptions in a single season
  • The Tennessee native also finished second in receiving touchdowns (2) and fourth on the team in receiving yards (241)

Ben Blackmon – RSr. – OL – Newberry, S.C.

  • Named to the Coaches First Team All-SoCon
  • Played and started in 47 career games for the Bucs, including all 12 in 2019
  • Made the move from LG to C to begin the season
  • Played a total of 757 snaps out of the possible 760 and registered 59 knock downs on the season
  • Graded out at 98.3% during his 757 total snaps
  • His blocking enabled the Bucs to rush for over 100 yards in nine of the 12 games, including a season-best 410 yards against Mercer
  • Blocked for Quay Holmes’ program record-setting game against the Bears, rushing for 255 yards and three touchdowns

Nasir Player – RSr. – DL – Columbia, S.C.

  • Named to both the Coaches First Team All-SoCon and Media First Team All-SoCon squads
  • Appeared in 43 games with 40 career starts, including starting 11 of the 12 games played in 2019
  • Finished the season with 45 tackles on the season, including 10.0 tackles for loss for the third consecutive season
  • Has been named to the First Team All-SoCon for three consecutive seasons
  • Finished the season with 4.5 sacks and his first collegiate fumble recovery
  • Concluded his career with 182 career tackles, including 40.0 tackles for loss to rank fifth all-time in ETSU history

Artevius Smith – RSr. – DB – Birmingham, Ala.

  • Appeared on both the Coaches First Team All-SoCon and Media First Team All-SoCon teams
  • Turned in a career-year for the Bucs, finishing the season with a team-high 89 tackles
  • Led the Bucs and the SoCon in interceptions (5), while also forcing two fumbles on the season
  • Was named a Buck Buchanan Award Finalist
  • Finished his career with 134 tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles
  • Transitioned from offense to defense during his time at ETSU

Quay Holmes – RSo. – RB – Powder Springs, Ga.

  • Placed on the Coaches Second Team All-SoCon and Media Second Team All-SoCon
  • Second consecutive season that Holmes was named to the All-SoCon team
  • Finished with a career-high 206 carries on the season for a career-best 1,143 rushing yards
  • Holmes’ 1,143 rushing yards is the fourth-most in a single season in program history
  • Capped off the season with seven rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown
  • Eclipsed the 2,000-yard career mark in only his second season…sitting in ninth all-time in ETSU history with 2,071 career rushing yards
  • Set a school record with 255 rushing yards against Mercer on 26 carries and accounted for three touchdowns
  • Led the Southern Conference in all-purpose yards with 1,905 (158.8 per game)

Tre’mond Shorts – RSo. – OL – Hampton, Ga.

  • Named to the Coaches Second Team All-SoCon squad
  • Earned All-Freshman Team honors in 2018, marking the second consecutive season with a postseason honor
  • Played in 746 of the possible 760 snaps on the season
  • Started all 12 games for the Bucs in 2019
  • Graded out at 99.5% in his 746 snaps played
  • Finished his sophomore campaign with 38 knock downs

Will Huzzie – RFr. – WR – Duluth, Ga.

  • Named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team
  • Finished the season with 21 receptions for 306 yards and two touchdowns
  • His 21 receptions ranked fourth on the team, while his 306 yards receiving was good enough for third on the squad
  • Appeared on SportsCenter as the No. 1 play with his one-handed snag against Chattanooga

Tyler Keltner – Fr. – K – Tallahassee, Fla.

  • Named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team
  • Finished the season with 14 made field goals in 18 attempts
  • Keltner’s 14 made field goals ranks third-most in program history for a single season
  • Was a perfect 27-of-27 in PAT
  • Led the Bucs in total scoring with 69 points
  • Buried a season-long field goal of 48 yards against Austin Peay

Donovan Manuel – RFr. – LB – Ellenwood, Ga.

  • Named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team
  • Appeared and started in all 12 games for the Bucs this season
  • Finished third on the team in tackles (64) and fifth on the team in tackles for loss (5.5)
  • Recorded his first collegiate interception against Mercer
  • Finished the year with one sack for the Blue & Gold

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