TIGER PLAYERS EARN NINE SPOTS ON ALL-OVC FOOTBALL TEAMS
-- Antonio Heffner named First Team All-OVC quarterback -- Eight members of the 2006 Tennessee State Tigers football team were named to various All-Ohio Valley Conference teams. Four were named to the first team, three were named to the second team and two others were named to the OVC All-Newcomer Team. On first team, Big Blue quarterback Antonio Hefner was picked on offense and on defensive, lineman Leonard Davis along with defensive backs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nikkieda Rutland were selected. On second team, running back Javarris Williams and guard Cecil Newton were named. Defensive back Aaron Strong was also tabbed for honor. On the All-Newcomer team, Heffner and defensive lineman Shaun Richardson were named. Antonio Heffner, a 6-3, 195 lb, sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee and a transfer from South Carolina, led the Ohio Valley Conference in Pass Efficiency (129.1) and was second in Passing Yds/Gm (185.3 ypg) and Total Offense (204.4 ypg). Heffner passed for 1,668 yds (109-199-11) and 9 TDs while playing in only nine games. He missed two games late in the season due to a shoulder injury. Leonard Davis, a 6-3, 290 lb, senior from Birmingham, Alabama, finished the season with 43 tackles (28 solo), 7.0 (24) Tackles for Loss, 2 sacks (13), 2 Pass Break-ups and 1 fumble recovery. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a 6-2, 170 lb, junior from Bradenton, Florida, led the Ohio Valley Conference in interceptions (6) and Passes Defended (13). He finished the season with 43 tackles (35 solo) with 2 Tackles for loss and 1 blocked kick. Nikkeida Rutland, is a 5-10, 200 lb, senior from Bradenton, Florida, who finished the season as the second leading tackler on the TSU team with 54 (30 solo). He had 1 TFL, 3 interceptions, 1 QB hurry and 2 forced fumbles. TSU running back Javarris Williams, a 5-11, 215 lb, sophomore from Richmond, Texas, finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing with 1,233 yds and 11 TDs on 245 carries . He averaged 112.1 ypg and 5.0 yds/carry with a long of 78 yds. He also ranked third in the conference in All-Purpose Yards with an average of 131.2 yds/gm. Offensive guard, Cecil Newton is a 6-2, 305 lb, junior from Atlanta, Georgia. He played several positions on the offensive line this year that helped TSU offense gain an average of 332.0 yds/gm in Total Offense. Tiger defensive back Aaron Strong, a 5-11 lb., 185 senior from Atlanta, Georgia, was the third leading tackler for the Tigers this season with 50 tackles (32 solo). He also had 2 TFLs and three interceptions with 49 yds in returns. Shaun Richardson, a 6-3, 250 lb., junior from St. Louis, Missouri and a transfer from Joliet JC, playing in only seven games finished the year with 7.0 Tackles for Loss (39) and 2.5 sacks (15). The Tennessee State Tigers finished the 2006 campaign with a 6-5 (5-2 OVC) record, bettering their 2-9 (1-6 OVC) in 2005. Head coach James Webster remarked, "I'm really happy for these kids (named All-OVC), they have worked very hard this year, and now they have been recognized for their effort."