Henderson State Head Football Coach Scott Maxfield was named Great American Conference Coach of the Year, while Kevin Rodgers, Maxie Graham and Tim Llewellyn earned the league's top individual honors by garnering player of the year recognition as it was announced by the conference office on Tuesday.
Rodgers was the unanimous choice for Offensive Player of the Year, while Graham garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors. Llewellyn was tabbed as the league's Freshman of the Year.
An astonishing 19 Reddies in all earned All-GAC honors with 10 being named to the All-GAC First-Team.
The All-Conference teams were voted on by the league's 11 head coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote on their own players.
For Maxfield, he earns his second Coach of the Year award in three years. In 2010, Maxfield led the Reddies to their first conference championship in 25 years as Henderson State claimed a share of the Gulf South Conference title.
Coaching in his eighth season at Henderson, Maxfield has guided the 2012 Reddies to its first undefeated and untied season in school history. When the Reddies play their first-ever NCAA playoff game on November 24th, Maxfield will be out to capture his 50th win as head coach at Henderson State. Maxfield has compiled a 49-34 record at Henderson and has led the Reddies to 12 straight victories.
Rodgers, a candidate for the Harlon Hill Award, receives Offensive Player of the Year honors after earning GAC Player of the Week honors a record six times. Rodgers has also been named NCAA and D2Football.com National Player of the Week during the year.
The sophomore sensation is on pace to set every passing record in Henderson State history and has already set the record for touchdown passes in a season (40) and in a career (49) in just 17 games played.
The Rockwall, Texas product leads the nation in passing efficiency at 189.41 and ranks in the top 5 nationally in total offense and touchdown passes.
For the season, Rodgers has completed 234-of-344 passes for a completion percentage of 68.0. He has totaled 3,590 yards and has gone over the 300-yard mark in seven of 10 games.
Graham earns the GAC Defensive Player of the Year Award after leading the league in tackles per game, averaging 10.2 stops per contest. The senior linebacker has totaled 102 tackles on the year while having 10 tackles for lost yardage.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Graham was named GAC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Arkansas-Monticello in a game where he totaled 15 tackles and had two interceptions.
Llewellyn earns GAC Freshman of the Year honors after turning in a productive freshman campaign. In his first season as a Reddie, Llewellyn had 37 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. The linebacker from Dallas, Texas had seven tackles in games against UAM, Harding and Southern Arkansas.
As conference players of the year, it is no surprise that Rodgers and Graham were All-GAC First-Team selections. Joining the two on the first-team from Henderson where receivers Robert Jordan and Dustin Holland, center Kelton Hays, offensive tackles RJ Taylor and Cherokee Streetman, defensive tackle Robbie Aldridge, linebacker Keaton Stigger, and return specialist Israel Valentin.
Jordan leads the GAC in receiving yards (94.9) and all-purpose yards (140.5) per game. The junior from Miami, Fla. has 56 catches for 949 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. As a punt returner, Jordan has totaled 456 yards on 26 attempts and has returned two punts for touchdowns, both against Southeastern Oklahoma (82 and 69 yards).
Holland is known as one of the toughest receivers in the GAC with most of his receptions going across the middle. The sophomore is fourth in the GAC in yards per game with a 76.1 average. A native of Bryant, Ark., Holland has 49 receptions for 761 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Hays, Taylor and Streetman have dominated the line of scrimmage all season. Henderson State leads the nation in scoring, averaging 53.3 points per game, and ranks third in total offense, averaging 520.5 yards per game. All of that offensive success is thanks in part to the Reddie offensive front. Henderson's offensive unit has also allowed just 10 sacks in nearly 370 passing attempts on the year.
Hays, a junior from Jonesville, La., is a candidate for the prestigious Gene Upshaw Lineman of the Year Award. On the year, Hays has totaled 28 knockdown blocks.
Taylor is a junior from Moultrie, Ga. and has totaled 30 knockdown blocks, while Streetman, a senior from Arlington, Texas, has totaled 22 knockdowns for the year.
Aldridge earns first-team honors after being named to the GAC second-team a year ago. Despite playing injured, the senior from Trussville, Ala. managed to record 7.5 tackles for lost yardage and three quarterback sacks to go along with six hurries.
Stigger earns first-team honors for the second time in his career after compiling 87 tackles. The junior from Collierville, Tenn. has seven tackles for lost yardage, two interceptions, and eight pass breakups to his credit.
Israel Valentin is one of the top kick returners in the nation averaging 33.9 yards per return. The sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas has touchdown returns of 97 yards against East Central Oklahoma and 92 yards against Arkansas Tech.
Valentin also doubles as a wide receiver and has 25 catches for 288 yards and three scores.
Second-Team All-GAC selections include running back Jarvis Smith, defensive end Glennon Bobo, corner back Wesley Brady, and safety Jeremy Williams.
Smith earned second-team honors for the second year having totaled 769 yards on 109 carries and eight touchdowns. The senior from Drew, Miss. had a career-high 191 yards against Ouachita Baptist.
Bobo leads the Reddies in tackles for lost yardage with 12. The sophomore from Ashdown, Ark. has totaled 32 tackles on the year and has a team-best eight quarterback hurries.
Brady has collected 33 tackles this season including three pass breakups. The junior from Homestead, Fla. was an honorable mention selection last season. In Henderson's last game against OBU, Brady intercepted a pass in the end zone to prevent a Tiger score.
Williams is third on the team in total tackles with 57 while having a team-leading three interceptions. A senior from Raymond, Miss., Williams was named GAC Defensive Player of the Week after having eight tackles, two stops for lost yardage and an interception against Southwestern Oklahoma.
On the GAC Honorable Mention list are wide receivers Elliot Hebert and Darius Davis, safety Chuck Obi and offensive guard Doug Despain.
Hebert is third on the team in receiving with 579 yards on 33 receptions. The senior from Scott, La. has nine touchdown receptions and averages 64.3 yards per game.
Davis leads the team in average yards per catch with an average of 21.4. The sophomore from Frisco, Texas has 20 receptions for 428 yards. Eight of his 20 catches have resulted in touchdowns.
On the year, Obi has been in on 53 tackles and has four pass breakups. The senior from Roseberg, Texas was in on some big plays for the Reddies including a momentum-shifting goal-line tackle against Harding that resulted in a loss of downs. Obi also had a 50-yard fumble return and a blocked punt, both for touchdowns.
Despain is the fourth offensive lineman to earn a spot on the All-GAC team. The junior from Austin, Texas has collected 20 knockdown blocks on the season.
The 10 first-team all-conference selections are the most in Henderson State history, with the total of 19 members selected to the all-conference team being the most since 1989 when Henderson had 20 players selected All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference.
Henderson State will begin its NCAA Division II playoff run on November 24th when the Reddies play host to the winner of No. 3 seed Missouri Western State or No. 6 seed Minnesota-Duluth at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium with kickoff scheduled at Noon.
FIRST TEAM ALL-GAC
QB .- Kevin Rodgers, SO, HSU (Rockwall, Texas)
WR .- Robert Jordan, JR, HSU (Miami, Fla.)
WR .- Dustin Holland SO, HSU (Bryant, Ark.)
C .- Kelton Hays, JR, HSU (Jonesville, La.)
OL .- R.J. Taylor, JR, HSU (Moultrie, Ga.)
DT .- Robbie Aldridge, SR, HSU (Trussville, Ala.)
ILB .- Keaton Stigger, JR, HSU (Collierville, Tenn.)
OLB .- Maxie Graham, SR, HSU (Jackson, Miss.)
RS .- Israel Valentin, SO, HSU (Fort Worth, Texas)
RB .- Jarvis Smith, SR, HSU (Drew, Miss.)
DE .- Glennon Bobo, SO, HSU (Ashdown, Ark.)
CB .- Wesley Brady, JR, HSU (Homestead, Fla.)
S .- Jeremy Williams, SR, HSU (Raymond, Miss.)
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-GAC
WR .- Elliot Hebert, SR, HSU (Scott, La.)
WR .- Darius Davis, SO, HSU (Frisco, Texas)
OL .- Doug Despain, JR, HSU (Ausinn, Texas)
S .- Chuck Obi, SR, HSU (Roseberg, Texas)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Rodgers, Sophomore, Quarterback, Henderson State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maxie Graham, Senior, Outside Linebacker, Henderson State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Tim Llewellyn, Outside Linebacker, Henderson State
COACH OF THE YEAR: Scott Maxfield, Henderson State
Courtesy: Troy Mitchell, HSU Sports Information