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WSSU’s Smith, UAPB’s Thurmond lead Boxtorow HBCU All-American team

Winston-Salem State finished No. 1 in the final Boxtorow national football poll.

When it comes to All-Americans, the Rams are also No. 1.

WSSU placed four on the 2012 Boxtorow HBCU All-American team.  Among them was quarterback Kameron Smith the Boxtorow Offensive Player of the Year.  Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Jackson State, and Tennessee State each placed three players on the team.


Kameron Smith

Arkansas-Pine Bluff defensive end Brandon Thurmond was the Boxtorow Defensive Player of the Year.


Boxtorow has selected an All-America team since 2007 and the voters are media members from around the nation that cover HBCU football.

Smith led all HBCU players in passing yards (3,312) and passing touchdowns (43).  He completed 59 percent of his passes and rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns and was the CIAA’s Offensive Player of the Year.  Thurmond was selected the Willie Davis Defensive Player of the Year after leading the country in sacks (17.5), tackles for loss (25) and solo tackles for loss (22).  He was also named SWAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Tennessee State’s Trabis Ward and Tuskegee’s Derrick Washington were selected as the running backs.  Ward was second amongst all HBCU players in rushing (1,422) and led all HBCU players in rushing touchdowns (15), while leading all FCS rushers in carries (309).  He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and rushed for more than 100 yards in nine games including six-straight.  Washington, the SIAC’s Offensive Player of the Year, led all HBCU players in rushing yards (1679), yards per game (139.9), and yards per carry (7.9).  He rushed for 14 touchdowns and had seven games of more than 100 yards rushing and three games with more than 200 yards rushing.

The offensive line consists of Tennessee State’s Rogers Gaines, Bethune-Cookman’s Terrance Hackney, the MEAC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year, Alabama State’s Terren Jones, Winston-Salem State’s Markus Lawrence, and Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Christopher Wilson.

The receivers that make up this year’s unit are led by Jackson State’s Rico Richardson.  Richardson, the SWAC’s Offensive Player of the Year, led the SWAC in receiving yards (1,153) and receiving yards per game (96.1).  He caught 60 passes, averaged 19.2 yards per receptions and had 11 receiving touchdowns.  The other two receivers are Winston-Salem State’s Jahuann Butler who registered 62 receptions for 1,233 yards, averaged 19.9 yards per receptions and 12 touchdowns and Fort Valley State’s Christopher Slaughter who led the SIAC in receiving yards (1,051), averaged 20.2 yards per reception, had 52 receptions and caught eight receiving touchdowns.

This year’s tight end is A.C. Leonard of Tennessee State.  Leonard led all HBCU tight ends in receptions (51), yards (730), yards per reception (14.4) and touchdowns (6).

Defensively, the line is stout as the four members of the unit totaled 51.5 sacks.  Joining Thurmond are Elizabeth City State’s Brad Davis, 2011 Boxtorow All-American Joseph LeBeau of Jackson State and Bethune-Cookman’s LeBrandon Richardson.  Davis led the CIAA in sacks (15.5), tackles for loss (25) while registering 60 tackles (44 solo).  LeBeau was third in the SWAC and the nation with 23.5 tackles and second in the SWAC in sacks (10.5), while registering 66 tackles (45 solo).  Richardson tied for the MEAC lead in sacks (8.5), recorded 13 tackles for loss and 53 tackles (30 solo).

The All-American linebacking corps features two senior defensive players of the year in Winston-Salem State’s Carlos Fields, II and another 2011 Boxtorow All-American Keith Pough of Howard.  The CIAA’s Defensive Player of the Year, Fields led the CIAA in tackles (117), recorded nine tackles for loss, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.  Pough, the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 72 tackles (44 solo), 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and four pass breakups.  Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Bill Ross is also part of the unit, finishing the season with 127 tackles (70 solo), three returns for touchdowns, three interceptions, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Keith Poughaction

Keith Poughaction

Jackson State’s Qua Cox leads the secondary.  Cox led the SWAC in interceptions (5), recorded eight pass breakups, was second in the SWAC in passes defended (13), had 50 tackles (37 solo), five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.  Joining Cox is North Carolina A&T’s D’Vonte Graham ( 4 ints, 8 pbu), Albany State’s Dexter Moody, who led the SIAC in interceptions (7) and returned two for touchdowns to go along with 48 tackles (30 solo) and three sacks, 2011 Boxtorow All-American Kejuan Riley (4 ints, 4 pbu, 55 tackles), and Fort Valley State’s Dejuan Williams (6 ints, returned three  for touchdowns, 8 pbu, 46, tackles (30 solo), 8 tfl).

Kejuan Riley

Kejuan Riley

The specialist team is made up of Florida A&M kicker Chase Varnadore, Alabama State punter Bobby Wenzig and Saint Augustine’s return specialist Tyron Laughinghouse.  Varnadore connected on 15-of-18 field goals.  Wenzig led the SWAC and was fourth in the country in punting average (45.6), had 20 punts of 50 or more yards and 24 downed inside the 20.  Laughinghouse, a 2010 Boxtorow All-American return specialist , was the CIAA Special Teams Player of the Year.  He returned four kicks for touchdowns, averaged 40.2 yards per kickoff return and returned three for touchdown, and returned 12 punts for 184 yards one touchdown, averaging 15.3 yards per return.

For the second-straight year, Winston-Salem State head football coach Connell Maynor has been named Boxtorow Coach of the Year.  Maynor led the Rams to their second-straight CIAA championship, a 14-1 season and an appearance in the NCAA Division II national championship game.  In three years under Maynor the Rams are 35-4.

Howard defensive end Damon Gresham Chisholm is the Boxtorow Rookie of the Year.  Also the MEAC’s Rookie of the Year, he led the MEAC with 18 tackles for loss, registered five sacks and 41 tackles (28 solo).  It is the second year in a row that a Howard player was named rookie of the year.  Last year it was quarterback Greg McGhee.

The breakdown in representation from the conferences includes nine from the SWAC, six from the CIAA, five from the MEAC, four from the SIAC, and three from Tennessee State (OVC).


2012 Boxtorow HBCU All-American Team


QB: Kameron Smith, Winston-Salem State, 6-0, 180. Sr., Garner, N.C.
RB: Trabis Ward, Tennessee State, 5-10, 200, r-Jr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
RB: Derrick Washington, Tuskegee, 6-0, 220, Sr., Raymore, Mo.
OL: Rogers Gaines, Tennessee State, 6-7, 320, r-Sr., Goodlettsville, Tenn.
OL: Terrance Hackney, Bethune-Cookman, 6-6, 310, Soph., Chapel Hill, N.C.
OL: Terren Jones, Alabama State, 6-7, 320, Sr., Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
OL: Markus Lawrence, Winston-Salem State, 6-4, 280, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.
OL: Christopher Wilson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-0, 295, r-Sr., Monroe, La.
TE: A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State, 6-4, 245, Soph., Jacksonville, Fla.
WR: Rico Richardson, Jackson State, 6-1, 185, Sr., Natchez, Miss.
*WR: Jahuann Butler, Winston-Salem State, 6-2, 190, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.
*WR: Christopher Slaughter, Fort Valley State, 6-3, 170, Sr., Fort Valley, Ga.


DL: Brad Davis, Elizabeth City State, 6-1, 245, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
DL: Joseph LeBeau, Jackson State, 6-1, 245, Sr., New Orleans, La.$
DL: LeBrandon Richardson, Bethune-Cookman, 6-2, 255, Soph., Miami, Fla.
DL: Brandon Thurmond, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-2, 260, r-Sr., Augusta, Ga.
LB: Carlos Fields, II, Winston-Salem State, 6-1, 220, Jr., Henderson, N.C.
LB: Keith Pough, Howard, 6-3, 225, r-Sr., Orangeburg, S.C.$
LB: Bill Ross, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-2, 240, Sr., Wetumpka, Ala.
DB: Qua Cox, Jackson State, 6-0, 185, r-Sr., Tuskegee, Ala.
DB: Kejuan Riley, Alabama State, 6-0, 182, Jr., Wetumpka, Ala.$
DB: Dexter Moody, Albany State, 6-3, 200, Jr., Twin City, Ga.
*DB: D’Vonte Graham, North Carolina A&T, 5-9, 180, Jr., Tallahassee, Fla.
*DB: Dejuan Williams, Fort Valley State, 6-0, 182, Sr., Baxley, Ga.


PK: Chase Varnadore, Florida A&M,  5-11, 170, Soph., Tallahassee, Fla.
P: Bobby Wenzig, Alabama State, 6-2, 180, Jr., San Diego, Calif.
RS: Tyron Laughinghouse, Saint Augustine’s, 6-3, 180, Sr., Greenville, N.C.$$

Honorable Mention
RB: Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State; Isidore Jackson, Bethune-Cookman; Daront’e McNeill, Elizabeth City State
OL: Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State; Jamal Johnson-Webb, Alabama A&M; Joshua Matthews, Howard; Christopher Tolbert, Tuskegee
TE: Dezmond Beverly, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
WR: Travis Tarpley, Delaware State
DL: T.J. Batchelor, Chowan; Jimmy Daniels, Alabama State; Javarous Faulk, Saint Augustine’s; Vauchard Goodridge, Clark-Atlanta; Damon Gresham Chisholm, Howard; Robert Simpson, Mississippi Valley State; Stephen Young, NC Central
LB: Jarkevis Fields, Bethune-Cookman; Leon Furr, Fort Valley State; Darius Wilson, Central State
DB: William Buford, Tuskegee; Julien David, Howard; Steven Godbolt, III, Tennessee State; Davon Moore, Delaware State; Ryan Shaw, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
PK: Tyler Strickland, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
P: Justin Rosenbaum, Fort Valley State
RS: Arthur Goforth, NC Central

Offensive Players of the Year
2012 Kameron Smith, Winston-Salem State
2011 Casey Therriault, Jackson State
2010 Frank Warren, Grambling State
2009 Will Ford, South Carolina State
2008 Will Ford, South Carolina State
2007 Jacary Atkinson, Tuskegee

Defensive Players of the Year
2012 Brandon Thurmond, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
2011 Adrian Hamilton, Prairie View A&M
2010 Kenrick Ellis, Hampton
2009 Christian Anthony, Grambling
2008 Marcellus Speaks, Jackson State
2007 Zach East, Prairie View A&M

Coaches of the Year
2012 Connell Maynor, Winston-Salem State
2011 Connell Maynor, Winston-Salem State
2010 Brian Jenkins, Bethune-Cookman
2009 Henry Frazier, Prairie View A&M
2008 Rod Broadway, Grambling State
2007 Al Lavan, Delaware State

Rookie/Newcomer of the Year
2012 Damon Gresham Chisholm, Howard
2011 Greg McGhee, Howard
2010 Casey Therriault, Jackson State
2009 Ari Johnson, Grambling State
2008 Greg Dillon, Grambling State
2007 Frank Warren, Grambling State

*Indicates tie

$2011 Boxtorow All-American
$$2010 Boxtorow All-American

FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW (Boxtorow) is the national sports talk radio show which places major emphasis on HBCU Sports.  The show airs on radio stations around the country as well as Fridays from 1-2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141.  Boxtorow is celebrating seven years on the air.