BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University redshirt freshman quarterback T.J. Pryor was named the Ohio Valley Conference
Freshman of the Year on Tuesday, the league office announced. Three other Colonels – senior tackle Derek Hardman, junior defensive lineman Andrew Soucy and sophomore cornerback Jeremy Caldwell – earned first team All-OVC honors.
After splitting time at quarterback to start the season, Pryor took over the starting signal caller duties during the fourth game of the season and helped the Colonels to a runner-up finish in the OVC standings. Pryor finished the season 36th nationally in total offense (220.18 yards/game), completing 169-of-291 passes (58.1%) for 2,153 yards and six touchdowns and carrying the ball 105 times for 269 yards and four additional touchdowns. Pryor became just the sixth quarterback in EKU history (and third in the last five years) to reach the 2,000-yard passing plateau in a season. The 2,153 passing yards were third-most in EKU single-season history. In his first collegiate start, Pryor passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns as the Colonels went on the road and knocked off nationally-ranked Eastern Illinois. He was named OVC Newcomer of the Week twice during the season and is the first EKU player to earn the Freshman of the Year honor in the award’s six-year existence.
Hardman repeated as a first-team All-OVC selection this season at tackle. The Spencer, Wva. native started 46 consecutive games on the EKU offensive line graded out at over 80 percent in every game this season.
Soucy led the Colonels with 9.5 tackles-for-loss and was second on the team with three sacks. The Canton, Ga. native also blocked a league-best five kicks during the season.
Caldwell had seven interceptions on the year and ranked fourth nationally (0.70/game) while also ranking 16th in passes defended (1.30/game). Caldwell also scored two touchdowns on interception returns.
Senior defensive end Chris Hall (40 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 7 QBH) and junior linebacker Jordan Dalrymple (85 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks) were named second team All-OVC.
Pryor, meanwhile, was the lone Colonel on the OVC All-Newcomer Team.