FOREST, Va. --- For the second straight season, Randolph-Macon College standouts commanded the most attention on the All-ODAC Football Awards lists with 16 all-conference honors in addition to three special individual accolades.
Defensive tackle Jace DePriest and running back Justin DeLeon headline the Yellow Jackets contingent. DePriest collected Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year laurels from the league's head coaches in addition to securing ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition from the ODAC's athletic communications personnel. DeLeon garnered J. Stokeley Fulton Offensive Player of the Year plaudits. Washington and Lee University mentor Garrett LeRose received ODAC Coach of the Year honors, and Shenandoah University quarterback Steven Hugney was tabbed the ODAC Rookie of the Year.
Sixty-seven players earned recognition on the 2021 awards lists with the majority of those honored appearing on an All-ODAC team for the first time. Still, 11 offensive standouts and 11 defensive stars repeat from the those that garnered awards in the spring. That includes 13 players on this year's All-ODAC First Team.
Defensively, linebackers Brett Tharp from Bridgewater and Brendan Weinberg from Hampden-Sydney repeat as first team picks. The same can be said for R-MC defensive end Tyler DeBerry and H-SC safety Will Pickren, who was the spring's ODAC Rookie of the Year. Shenandoah defensive tackle Mason Caldwell, Ferrum linebacker Billy Higgins, and Randolph-Macon cornerback Stephen Richardson were All-ODAC Second Team selections in the spring.
On the other side of the ball, Hampden-Sydney all-purpose back Kaleb Smith and Ferrum receiver Tmahdae Penn were joined by R-MC tackle Will Jackson and placekicker Chris Vidal as repeat first team choices. Vidal doubles as this year's second team punter. Randolph-Macon guard Connor Denning and H-SC quarterback Tanner Bernard were both second team honorees last season.
DePriest, a senior from Richmond, Va., shines both on and off the field for Randolph-Macon. In the classroom, DePriest maintains a 3.84 grade point average as a biology major. The three-time ODAC All-Academic Team honoree was recently named Academic All-District by CoSIDA, making him eligible for Academic All-America consideration. DePriest has been recognized several times on campus, most notably with the T. McNider Simpson endowed scholarship and the Stephen Watts Scholarship for Biology. He also earned the R-MC Chinese Language Award, C. Lydon Harrell Freshman Award, and the Douglas W. Foard Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Award. DePriest is co-chair of the R-MC SAAC community service initiative.
In the middle of the Yellow Jackets defensive line, DePriest led a unit that allowed the fewest points (156), points per game (15.6) and total yards per game (281.5) in the ODAC. The 88.4 rushing yards per game allowed were second-best in the conference. DePriest was key to that run-stuffing effort, but he also was a frequent visitor to the opponent's offensive backfield. He collected 11 tackles for a loss among his 34 total stops, costing opposing offenses 46 yards of offense. He registered 3.5 sacks at a loss of 25 yards. DePriest forced a pair of fumbles and recovered one. He registered at least one tackle behind the line of scrimmage in 8-of-10 games played. His most productive outing was an eight solo tackle effort with two TFLs and a forced fumble in a 34-31 win over Emory & Henry in October.
DeLeon, a senior from Powhatan, Va., was the talisman of the ODAC's second-best rushing attack at 251.7 yards per game and 2,517 total yards on the ground. DeLeon was the only back in the league to crack 1,000 yards this season with his 1,005 yards and 100.5 yards per game topping the ODAC charts. He also led the conference in touchdowns (15) and overall points scored (96). His 167 carries were second in the league. DeLeon ran for 100 or more yards in four games, including a career-best 202 yards with two touchdowns on 29 carries in a 34-31 win over Emory & Henry. He ran for no fewer than 66 yards in any of his 10 games played and found the end zone in all but two outings.
LeRose completed his third season leading the Generals football team, which does not include a reference to the 2021 spring schedule in which W&L did not compete. This is his first ODAC top coaching award. It comes on the heels of Washington and Lee's eighth conference football trophy, the program's third since 2015. W&L went 8-3 overall with a 5-1 record against league opponents to tie Randolph-Macon atop the conference table. The Generals' regular season win over the Yellow Jackets secured the ODAC hardware in addition to a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Following a first round setback at 12-time champion Mount Union, LeRose owns a 19-10 (.655) career record which includes a 13-8 (.619) mark versus ODAC foes.
Hugney, first-year from Fairfax, Va., competed in all 10 games for the Hornets and furthered his grip on the Hornets' quarterback reins as the season progressed. He finished the year 143-of-251 passing (57.0%) for 1,639 yards and 13 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. He is also a threat to run as he finished with 172 yards and a rushing touchdown. Hugney's most productive outing came in a 52-25 win at Guilford in which he threw for 285 yards and four touchdowns with another 64 yards and a score on the ground. Over Shenandoah's final three games, Hugney completed 62% of his passes for 573 yards with five touchdown passes against just one interception.
Listed below is the full set of All-ODAC Football Awards. For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook, follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram!
2021 ALL-ODAC FOOTBALL AWARDS
J. Stokeley Fulton Offensive Player of the Year: Justin DeLeon, Sr., RB, Randoph-Macon
Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year: Jace DePriest, Sr., DT, Randolph-Macon
ODAC Coach of the Year: Garrett LeRose, Washington and Lee
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Steven Hugney, Fy., QB, Shenandoah
ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Jace DePriest, Sr., DT, Randolph-Macon
|ALL-ODAC FIRST TEAM|
|Tanner Bernard^||Sr.||QB||Hampden-Sydney||Tyler DeBerry*||Sr.||DL||Randolph-Macon|
|Justin DeLeon||Sr.||RB||Randolph-Macon||Jace DePriest||Sr.||DL||Randolph-Macon|
|Josh Breece||Sr.||RB||Washington and Lee||Mason Caldwell^||Sr.||DL||Shenandoah|
|Kaleb Smith*||Sr.||APB||Hampden-Sydney||Robert Poindexter||Jr.||DL||Washington and Lee|
|Tmahdae Penn*||So.||WR||Ferrum||Brett Tharp*||Sr.||LB||Bridgewater|
|Brant Butler||Sr.||WR||Shenandoah||Billy Higgins^||Sr.||LB||Ferrum|
|Tim Hanratty||Sr.||TE||Randolph-Macon||Brendan Weinberg*||Sr.||LB||Hampden-Sydney|
|TJ Minter||So.||OL||Hampden-Sydney||David Onyejekwe||Jr.||LB||Washington and Lee|
|Connor Denning^||Sr.||OL||Randolph-Macon||Chase Rosenthal||Sr.||DB||Bridgewater|
|Will Jackson*||Sr.||OL||Randolph-Macon||Will Pickren*||So.||DB||Hampden-Sydney|
|Jared Cordova||Sr.||OL||Washington and Lee||Stephen Richardson^||Sr.||DB||Randolph-Macon|
|Logan Moyer||Jr.||OL||Washington and Lee||Dean Johnson||Sr.||DB||Washington and Lee|
|Chris Vidal*||Sr.||PK||Randolph-Macon||Garrett Graves||Jr.||P||Bridgewater|
|ALL-ODAC SECOND TEAM|
|Titus Jones||Sr.||QB||Ferrum||Jayden Johnson||Sr.||DL||Bridgewater|
|Rashadeen Byrd, Jr.^||Sr.||RB||Shenandoah||Michael Harris||Sr.||DL||Hampden-Sydney|
|Alex Wertz||Sr.||APB||Washington and Lee||Jacob Hutchinson||Sr.||DL||Randolph-Macon|
|Chad Jones||Sr.||WR||Bridgewater||Robert Harvey||Jr.||DL||Washington and Lee|
|Tre Alexander||Sr.||WR||Guilford||Nazeer Jordan||So.||LB||Bridgewater|
|Braeden Bowling||So.||WR||Hampden-Sydney||Matt Vergara*||Sr.||LB||Randolph-Macon|
|Ed Newman||Sr.||TE||Hampden-Sydney||Ben Burgan||Sr.||LB||Shenandoah|
|Cole Cooksey^||Sr.||OL||Bridgewater||Alex Andros||Sr.||LB||Washington and Lee|
|Daniel Mitchell||Sr.||OL||Ferrum||Ja'Kari Williams*||Sr.||DB||Ferrum|
|Matt Hale||Jr.||OL||Randolph-Macon||Tobias Lafayette||So.||DB||Hampden-Sydney|
|Nehemiah Nixon*||Jr.||OL||Randolph-Macon||Trammell Anthony||Sr.||DB||Shenandoah|
|David Munoz||So.||OL||Shenandoah||Owen Roberts||Sr.||DB||Washington and Lee|
|Jackson Hendren||Fy.||PK||Bridgewater||Chris Vidal||Sr.||P||Randolph-Macon|
|ALL-ODAC THIRD TEAM (at-large selection)|
|Stephen Murrin||So.||QB||Washington and Lee||Da'Sean Davis||Sr.||DL||Bridgewater|
|Daniel Lamb||Sr.||WR||Ferrum||Ray Alexander^||Sr.||DL||Ferrum|
|Dillon Costello||Sr.||WR||Hampden-Sydney||Kevin Gholson||So.||DL||Hampden-Sydney|
|David Wallis^||Jr.||WR||Randolph-Macon||Jordan Rice||Sr.||DL||Shenandoah|
|Coby Kirkland||Sr.||SB||Washington and Lee||Mustafa Alkhatib||Jr.||DL||Washington and Lee|
|Deven Gray||So.||TE||Ferrum||Erik Harris||Sr.||LB||Randolph-Macon|
|Ricky Mayfield||Sr.||TE||Randolph-Macon||Val West||So.||DB||Bridgewater|
|Carter Runyon||Fy.||TE||Shenandoah||Jaden James||So.||DB||Guilford|
|* 2021 Spring All-ODAC First Team
^ 2021 Spring All-ODAC Second Team