Five Tigers Named All Ohio Valley Conference
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Five Tigers Named All Ohio Valley Conference

NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State placed five players on the All-Ohio Valley Conference team, as announced on Tuesday. Chris Rowland highlighted the list for the Tigers as he picked up two spots on the first team, as well as being named Offensive Player of the Year. Left tackle Lachavious Simmons joined Rowland on the first squad, while center Thomas Burton and kicker Antonio Zita earned spots on the second team. Redshirt freshman Josh Green earned All-Newcomer team honors.

Rowland excelled all season long at wide receiver as well as a return specialist. The redshirt senior set new standards at TSU with single season records after catching 104 passes for 1,437 yards. The receiving yardage is the most by a receiver in FCS play this season, while his receptions total allowed him to become just the second player to pull down 100-plus passes in a season in OVC history.

Rowland averaged 25.0 yards per kickoff return and 11.9 yards per punt return. The Nolensville, Tenn. product was one of only three players in all of D-I football (FCS and FBS) to return a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown. Rowland scored on a 96 yard kickoff return against Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic and went for six on a punt return on a 57 yarder against Eastern Illinois.

Simmons and Burton started all 12 games this season and anchored an offensive line that averaged 400.1 yards per game. The unit finished third in the OVC in total offense and second in passing with 260.7 yards per game. The line also allowed the second least amount of sacks in the conference at 1.75 yards per game.

Zita produced one of the better seasons for a kicker in FCS play this season. The sophomore finished with a conference high 20 field goals, which tied for the fifth most in a single season in OVC history and set a new TSU record. Zita ranked sixth in the nation and led the conference averaging 1.67 field goals per game. The kicker also ranked seventh in the FCS and topped the OVC in field goal percentage (.833). Zita scored double digit points in four contests and finished with 91 points on the season.

Green moved into the starting lineup in week six due to injuries. The redshirt freshman entered in the fifth game of the season and registered nine tackles, six solo, and one for loss in limited action. Green recorded 11 tackles in a game on three occasions and finished third on the team with 66 tackles.

2019 All-OVC Football Teams and Award Winners
OVC Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Rowland (WR/RS), Tennessee State
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Patrick (DL), Eastern Kentucky
OVC Freshman of the Year: John Bachus III (QB), UT Martin
Roy Kidd OVC Coach of the Year: Mark Hudspeth, Austin Peay
 
FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
QB - JaVaughn Craig, Austin Peay
RB - Daryl McCleskey Jr., Eastern Kentucky
RB - Kentel Williams, Austin Peay
WR - Chris Rowland, Tennessee State
WR - Kristian Wilkerson, Southeast Missouri
TE - James Sheehan, Eastern Illinois
C - Blake Mitchell, Austin Peay                  
OG - Elijah Swehla, Southeast Missouri        
OG - Aries Davis, UT Martin
OT - Kyle Anderton, Austin Peay                  
OT - Lachavious Simmons, Tennessee State
 
FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Aaron Patrick, Eastern Kentucky
DL - Josephus Smith, Austin Peay
DL - Chris Tucker, Tennessee Tech       
DL - Austin Pickett, UT Martin
LB - Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri
LB - Anthony Koclanakis, Murray State
LB - TJ Jefferson, UT Martin
DB - Kordell Jackson, Austin Peay
DB - Juantarius Bryant, Austin Peay
DB - JaQuez Akins, UT Martin
DB - Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State
 
FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS
K - Samuel Hayworth, Eastern Kentucky
P - Jason Pierce, Jacksonville State
RS - Chris Rowland, Tennessee State
RS - Terry Williams, UT Martin
 
SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
QB - Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State
QB - Bailey Fisher, Tennessee Tech
RB - Peyton Logan, UT Martin
RB - Alonzo Booth, Eastern Kentucky
WR - DeAngelo Wilson, Austin Peay
WR - Josh Pearson, Jacksonville State
TE - Colton Dowell, UT Martin
C - Thomas Burton, Tennessee State
OG - Tucker Schroeder, Eastern Kentucky
OG - Mike Rhoades, Tennessee Tech
OT - Graham Ashkettle, Eastern Kentucky     
OT - Michael Shaddix, Jacksonville State
 
SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Shaun Whittinghill, Austin Peay
DL - Taquan Evans, Eastern Kentucky
DL - Terrell Greer, Eastern Illinois
DL - DJ Coleman, Jacksonville State
LB - Justin Swift, Southeast Missouri
LB - Aderick Moore, Tennessee Tech    
LB - Dytarious Johnson, Eastern Illinois
LB - Zack Woodard, Jacksonville State
DB - Traco Williams, Jacksonville State
DB  Bydarrius Knighten, Southeast Missouri
DB - DaVonte Maura, UT Martin
DB - TJ Warren, Murray State
 
SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS
K - Antonio Zita, Tennessee State
P - Steve Dawson, Murray State
RS - Metrius Fleming, Tennessee Tech
 
ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM
OG - Bucky Williams, Austin Peay
DL - John Wesley Whiteside, Austin Peay
WR - Isaiah Hill, Eastern Illinois
RB - Jaelin Benefield, Eastern Illinois
LB - Jason Johnson, Eastern Illinois     
WR - KJ Stepherson, Jacksonville State
RB - Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri
SAF - Josh Green, Tennessee State
WR/RS -Metrius Fleming, Tennessee Tech
QB - John Bachus III, UT Martin
DB - JaQuez Akins, UT Martin

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