PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Robert Alford picked up another postseason honor this week when he was named the 2012 College Sports Journal FCS National Defensive Player of the Year.
Alford, considered as the top FCS prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft and will compete in the Senior Bowl on Saturday, earned All-America honors for the third time as he was earlier named to the Sports Network and Associated Press All-America teams.
The Hammond, La., native, who was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, totaled 39 tackles this season for Southeastern and recorded four interceptions (which was tied for the Southland Conference lead), five tackles for loss and eight pass breakups. Alford
averaged 14.1 yards in punt returns on the season with a touchdown and showed his versatility as a kick returner and part-time offensive threat.
Alford was one of four Southland Conference players that
College Sports Journal named to its All-America teams. Joining him on the list were Sam Houston State safety Darnell Taylor and Central Arkansas center Corey Howard and return specialist Jesse Grandy.
Another five Southland players earned honorable mention recognition, including Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers, Sam Houston State running back Timothy Flanders and cornerback Dax Swanson and Stephen F. Austin wide receiver Cordell Roberson
and defensive end Willie Jefferson.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet, who finished as the runner up for the Walter Payton Award, was chosen as the offensive player of the year on the 63-player CSJ All-America squad. Walt Hameline was selected as the coach of the year after leading
Wagner to their first FCS playoff berth and the Northeast Conference title.
Earl Watford was named lineman of the year after a dominating season as a tackle for a James Madison squad that averaged 209 yards rushing and finished 19th nationally. Patrick Murray earned honors as the special teams player of the year after finishing
first nationally in field goals, converting 25-of-30 field goals and 30-of-31 extra points for 105 points — a Patriot League record for kick scoring — and was second in punting with a 46.0 average.
Marcus Williams, the North Dakota State junior cornerback who helped led the Bison to back-to-back FCS championships, was chosen as the FCS playoffs most valuable player. Williams tied for fifth nationally in interceptions with seven, including two in the
39-13 national championship victory over Sam Houston State.
Wide receiver Sean Price of Appalachian State and quarterback John Robertson were named as the co-freshmen of the year on the exclusive CSJ All-Freshman team earlier in the week.
College Sports Journal Award Winners
Offensive Player of the Year: Miguel Maysonet, Senior, Running Back, Stony Brook
Defensive Player of the Year: Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana, Senior
Coach of the Year: Walt Hameline, Wagner
Lineman of the Year: Earl Watford, Senior, Tackle, James Madison
Special Teams Player of the Year: Patrick Murray, Senior, Kicker-Punter, Fordham
FCS Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Marcus Williams, Junior, Cornerback, North Dakota State
Co-Freshmen of the Year: Sean Price, Redshirt Freshman, Wide Receiver, Appalachian State; John Robertson, Redshirt Freshman, Quarterback, Villanova