GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College redshirt-junior receiver Ben King (Archdale, N.C./Trinity (Appalachian State)) captured First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football recognition according to a vote of the league's head football coaches Wednesday.
Teammates Robert Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) and Satiir Stevenson (Roselle, N.J./Abraham Clark) both received second-team commendation and were the lone rookies on either the first- or second-team all-league squads. Guilford's Faris El-Ali (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell), Hunter English (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) and Chris Jessup (Eastover, N.C./Cape Fear) each earned Third Team All-ODAC honors.
Washington and Lee University senior quarterback Charlie Westfal was named the league Offensive Player of the Year. Teammate Brett Murray, a running back, took home Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors and Emory & Henry College linebacker Devan Sproles was the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Hampden-Sydney College mentor Marty Favret collected his third ODAC Coach of the Year plaque and Randolph-Macon College quarterback Zac Naccarato was named ODAC Rookie of the Year.
King, a 5-10, 185-pound receiver, led Guilford with 71 catches for 1,020 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games. He had five games with 10 or more catches and surpassed 100 receiving yards five times. King ranks 23rd nationally and third in the ODAC with 7.1 receptions per game. His 102.0 receiving yards per game stands second in the league and 25th in NCAA Division III. He stands 10th in the ODAC in points per game (5.8). King's best outing was in Guilford's Nov. 5 win at Catholic University of America where he made 13 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown. The 200 receiving yards ranks fifth all-time at Guilford and the 13th catches stand 11th. King earned Guilford's game Most Valuable Player Award for his efforts in the Quakers' Soup Bowl win over Greensboro College when he made 10 catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He caught three touchdowns (second in Guilford history) among his 10 receptions for 191 yards versus league-champion Hampden-Sydney.
In just 20 career contests, King ranks eighth among Guilford's career receptions leaders (150) and ninth in career receiving yardage (2,076). His 18 receiving touchdowns stand seventh all-time at Guilford and his 10 games with at least 100 receiving yards are the Quakers' fourth-best total. The 2010 Second Team All-ODAC pick set the school standard with 251 receiving yards on 15 catches in a 2010 game with Bridgewater College. While he has a year of athletic eligibility remaining, King plans to graduate in May and then begin full-time service in the United States Army.
Smith, a 6-0, 190-pound freshman linebacker, ranked second on the team and 14th in the ODAC with 6.4 tackles per game. He made 40 solo stops and had 12.5 tackles for loss, which led the team and stands third in the conference. Smith also forced two fumbles and had a sack in 10 appearances. He enjoyed three games with 12 or more tackles, including 13-tackle efforts versus Southern Virginia University and Emory & Henry College. He made four tackles for loss among his nine stops and forced a fumble Oct. 29 against league champion Hampden-Sydney College.
Stevenson, a 5-11, 180-pound freshman safety, started all 10 games for the Quakers and ranked fourth on the club with 51 tackles (37 solo). He had two interceptions and broke up five passes, both team highs. Stevenson also scored twice on defense, once on a 12-yard fumble return at Bridgewater and again on a 55-yard interception return at Catholic. His score and seven tackles in the Quakers' win at Catholic earned ODAC Defensive Player of the Week and Guilford College Student-Athlete of the Week recognition. Stevenson brought down a season-high nine ball carriers in Guilford's games with Bridgewater and Randolph-Macon.
El-Ali, a 6-4, 280-pound sophomore, consistently graded out among the Quakers' top offensive linemen. He started Guilford's first five games at center before missing the next three due to injury. El-Ali returned to the lineup for the season's final two contests, starting once at guard. Guilford had the ODAC's fourth-best passing offense (234.5 yards per game) and the loop's fifth-best rushing offense (103.8 yards per game). The Quakers allowed 1.40 sacks per outing, which ranked fifth in the league.
English, a 5-6, 150-pound safety, led Guilford's tacklers and ranked 13th in the ODAC with 6.5 stops per game. He made 44 solo tackles and ranked fourth in the league with 12 tackles for loss. English also forced two fumbles and broke up three passes. He twice recorded team highs in tackles, including the game versus Randolph-Macon when he made a season-best 11 tackles (7 solo). English had nine takedowns and made his first college interception against Southern Virginia.
Jessup, a 6-0, 210-pound defensive end, enjoyed his finest college season as a senior. The team captain started all 10 games and ranked third on the team with 61 tackles (39 solo), including a club-high five sacks among eight tackles for loss. Jessup is 16th in the league with 6.1 tackles per game and third with 0.5 sacks per game. His 0.80 tackles for loss per outing is the ODAC's eighth-best figure. Jessup led the Quakers' tacklers three times and made a season-high 12 tackles against Southern Virginia. He made two sacks at Catholic, including one on the game's final play, which secured Guilford's 34-27 road victory.
Jessup played in a school-record 40 games over the course of his career and made 250 tackles in that time. He made 138 solo tackles and had 27.5 tackles for loss. His 13.5 career sacks rank sixth in school history and are the most by a Quaker since 2007. Jessup was an honorable mention All-ODAC performer in 2010 after making a career-high 83 tackles, including 10 behind the line of scrimmage. The two-time Student-Athlete Honor Roll member is on pace to graduate with his degree in exercise and sports sciences.
First-year head coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers posted a 2-8 overall record (1-5 ODAC), which marked a two-win improvement over the 2010 season. Guilford regularly started at least 20 students in their first or second college football season and expects as many as 51 letter winners back in 2012, including 19 starters.