Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NCCU Football Tops Conference with 17 All-MEAC Honorees

NORFOLK, Virginia  – North Carolina Central University was rewarded for winning the league's first outright championship since 2012 by having a conference-high 17 selections to the All-MEAC Football Team, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced Monday.
Representing NCCU on the All-MEAC First Team are redshirt senior quarterback Malcolm Bell, senior wide receiver LaVontis Smith, redshirt senior center Carl Jones, senior offensive lineman Tarrance Wells, defensive lineman Frederick Henry-Ajudua and redshirt junior Mike Jones, who is recognized as both a defensive back and a return specialist.

Complete 2016 All-MEAC Football Team 

All-MEAC Second Team honors go to redshirt sophomore running back Ramone Simpson, redshirt senior offensive lineman Jamaal Symmonett, redshirt junior defensive lineman Antonio Brown, redshirt junior linebacker Reggie Hunter, redshirt senior linebacker LeGrande Harley, sophomore defensive back Alden McClellon and redshirt senior placekicker Brandon McLaren.
Earning All-MEAC Third Team recognition are freshman tight end Maleek Henderson, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Nick Leverett and redshirt junior Ja'Quan Smith.
NCCU head coach Jerry Mack, who engineered the Eagles to a third consecutive conference title and the program's first NCAA Division I-FCS national ranking, was selected as the 2016 MEAC Football Coach of the Year.
The All-MEAC Football Team is voted on by the conference's head football coaches and sports information directors.
NCCU has topped the league in all-conference honorees in each of the last three seasons, with 13 in 2015 and 12 in 2014.
Bell (Richmond, Va.) topped the MEAC with an average of 248.6 yards of total offense per game. He threw for 2,191 yards and 16 touchdowns on 161-of-267 passing (60.3 percent), and was the league's eighth-leading rusher with 544 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
LaVontis Smith (Maben, Miss.) ranked second in the league with 58.7 receiving yards per game, accounting for a team-high 40 receptions for 646 yards and five touchdowns.
Carl Jones (Nashville, Tenn.) was chosen as the top center in the MEAC for the second straight year after leading NCCU linemen with an average grade of 91 percent on blocking assignments, while amassing a team-best 65 pancake blocks and allowing only one sack in 707 snaps during his senior campaign.
Wells (Oxon Hill, Md.) graded out at 84 percent on blocking assignments from his guard position and ranked second on the team with 43 pancake blocks.
Henry-Ajudua (Durham, N.C.) finished second in the conference with a team-best 7.5 sacks, along with 11.5 hits for a loss and 33 total tackles.
Mike Jones (Baltimore, Md.) makes a return to the all-conference first team after missing most of the 2015 campaign due to an injury. As a return specialist, he tops the MEAC with an average of 22.0 yards per punt return and is one of only four returners in the FCS with two punt return touchdowns. As a cornerback, he has tallied 30 tackles and five passes defended with two interceptions and three pass break-ups.
Simpson (Wilmington, N.C.) averaged 5.1 yards per carry with a team-high 630 rushing yards and five trips to the end zone, while also catching 19 passes for 231 yards.
Symmonett (Nassau, Bahamas) posted the team's second-highest grade of 89 percent on blocking assignments with 27 pancake blocks.
Brown (Jacksonville, Fla.) ranked fourth in the conference with 7.0 sacks and sixth with a team-high 13.0 tackles for a loss, while also contributing 48 total tackles, four pass deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Hunter (Henderson, N.C.) totaled a team-high 73 total tackles, including 11.0 hits for a loss with 2.0 sacks, and tied for third in the league with a team-best four interceptions.
Harley (Durham, N.C.) placed third on the Eagles with 67 tackles, including 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.
McClellon (Lake Butler, Fla.) finished second on the team with 71 tackles, including 7.0 hits for a loss with 2.0 sacks, along with three pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.
McLaren (Miami, Fla.) ranked second in the MEAC in field goals made with nine, field goal percentage at 75.0 percent and scoring among kickers with 65 points (5.9 avg.).
Henderson (Danville, Va.) collected nine receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown, averaging 13.1 yards per catch.
Leverett (Concord, N.C.) achieved a grade of 84 percent on blocking assignments from his tackle position, while adding 35 pancake blocks in his first year of college football.
Ja'Quan Smith (Miramar, Fla.) accumulated 54 tackles from his interior lineman position to place fourth on the squad, as well as 7.5 stops for a loss with 3.5 sacks.
After defeating nationally-ranked North Carolina A&T 42-21 on Nov. 19 to capture the MEAC championship, No. 18 NCCU (9-2, 8-0 MEAC) will play the winner of the SWAC championship in the second annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17 inside the Georgia Dome.


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