BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Ten Eastern Kentucky University football players, including three offensive linemen, were named first team All-Ohio Valley Conference the league office announced Tuesday. Three others earned second team all-league honors.
The Colonels picked up a league-best 10 of the 26 All-OVC first team selections. Eight of those 10 players will be returning to the EKU squad in 2012.
Juniors Aaron Adams (right tackle), O.J. Enabosi (center) and Patrick Ford (left tackle) anchored an offensive line that helped paved the way for junior running back Matt Denham, who currently ranks third nationally (FCS) in rushing yards per game at 131.4. Denham also earned first team All-OVC honors and has reached 100 yards rushing in seven consecutive games.
On defense, senior Emory Attig (defensive tackle), junior Justin Bell (defensive back), sophomore Anthony Brown (defensive end) and sophomore Ichiro Vance (linebacker) got the nod for first team all-conference accolades. Attig is the team’s active leader in tackles for loss (24.5). Bell has two interceptions in 2011, including a key 79-yard return for a score in the win over Tennessee State on Oct. 22.
Brown leads the team and is among the league leaders in sacks (3.5) and tackles for loss (10.0) this season. Vance has started all 11 games at middle linebacker and has posted a team-high78 tackles.
Eastern Kentucky also took home first team All-OVC honors in two of the three specialist positions – sophomore Jordan Berry (punter) and senior Jeremy Caldwell (return specialist). Twenty-two of Berry’s 62 punts landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line while just four punts resulted in a touchback. Caldwell tallied a momentum-swinging 88-yard kick return for a score in the win over Missouri State on Sept. 10.
Caldwell (defensive back), junior Tyrone Goard (wide receiver) and senior Patrick McClellan (defensive back) were named to the All-OVC second team. Meanwhile, junior Kevin Hamlin (linebacker) was the lone Colonel selected to the All-OVC newcomer team.
The Colonels (7-4, 6-2 OVC) earned a share of the 2011 OVC title and now host No. 17 James Madison in the opening round of the NCAA FCS playoffs this Saturday, Nov. 26 at noon.