UC's Roberts named WVC player of year
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Univeresity of Charleston senior running back Jordan Roberts was named the West Virginia Conference offensive player of the year Tuesday while the Golden Eagles' Pat Kirkland was selected coach of the year.
Concord junior inside linebacker Jake Lilly was chosen the conference's defensive player of the year. The WVC coaches also recognized Glenville State's Rahmann Lee as the offensive freshman of the year while Fairmont State's Lance Fullwood earned defensive freshman of the year. (See Page 2B for complete All-WVC teams.)
Roberts, a resident of Madison and a former Scott High School standout, rushed for a league-best 1,572 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season. He also led the way with a 197 all-purpose yards per game and paced the WVC in scoring with 122 points.
Roberts also set NCAA records for most rushing yards in a quarter (190) and in a half (273) during his final college game, a 62-0 win over West Virginia State. He ranks in the top 10 nationally in all-purpose yards (third), scoring (fourth) and rushing (sixth).
Kirkland guided UC to a 9-2 record, a top-25 national ranking and a tie for second in the conference in his second season. The Golden Eagles, who were picked fourth in the WVC coaches' preseason poll, upset nationally ranked UNC Pembroke 42-30.
Lilly, a Bluefield resident, registered a league-leading 126 tackles, averaging 11.5 per game. He ranks sixth in the WVC in tackles for loss with 13 for minus-44 yards and also had two interceptions, forced two fumbles and recorded six pass break-ups for the Mountain Lions. His 70 solo stops were the third most in the league and rank fifth nationally and he is fourth in NCAA Division II for total tackles per game and fifth in solo tackles per game.
UC senior offensive lineman George Davilla and senior center Matt Farhat earned All-WVC first-team honors on offense while senior defensive end Jeff Green, junior outside linebacker Matt Kelly and sophomore safety Isiah Gibson were first-team honorees on defense. Golden Eagles junior Puma Nuredini was a first-team pick as a kicker and a second-team selection as a punter.
Golden Eagles junior offensive tackle Ross May was a second-team selection on offense along with West Virginia State senior quarterback Ricky Phillips, who is from Huntington, and senior wide receiver Ervin Kent.
Glenville's Lee, a resident of Capitol Heights, Md., finished second in the WVC rushing with an average of 123.4 yards per game, ranking him 16th nationally, to earn the offensive freshman honor. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry and tallied 13 TDs on the ground and one receiving. In the season finale, he recorded a 301-yard, five-touchdown performance, averaging 15.8 yards per carry.
Fairmont State's Fullwood, who is from Little Orleans, Md., notched 38 total tackles, including 26 solo stops, for the defensive freshman award. He had four tackles for loss totaling 13 yards, including a sack, and also picked off a pass and defended one.