For the first time in over a decade, a University of West Georgia football player has earned top rookie honors from the Gulf South Conference.
Offensive tackle Brandon White was named Thursday the GSC Offensive Freshman of the Year. White was selected for the honor in balloting conducted among the league’s head coaches.
The honor is the first for a West Georgia player since 1999, when offensive lineman Conelius Alvin was named the GSC’s top freshman. Also, White is only the fourth UWG freshman to win the prize since UWG joined the conference in 1983.
Head coach Daryl Dickey is among White’s biggest boosters.
“This is an outstanding honor for Brandon,” said the Wolves’ coach. “He had a very good year for us, and
the potential to become a truly outstanding offensive lineman. I’m really looking forward to coaching him for three more years.”
White, a redshirt freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio, was a mainstay along the Wolves’ front line in 2010. He had 54 knockdown blocks, and was on the field for 607 snaps, second highest among the UWG’s offensive linemen. White also was the highest graded lineman in four-of-nine games in which he played in 2010.
Beyond White, four other UWG players received league honors. Three senior defenders, end Jeremy Cook (Baton Rouge, La.), linebacker Travis Payton(Hattiesburg, Miss.), and cornerback Ken Hale
(McDonough) were all named to the All-GSC Second Team. Also, freshmanDenarius Appling was chosen All-GSC Second Team as a return specialist.
Of the three defenders, Dickey said, “I’m really proud of this group of seniors. Our defense made some major strides this season, and they were a big part of it. I want to congratulate each of them for this honor.”
Appling, like White, is set for three more seasons in a West Georgia uniform. Dickey smiles when he speaks of the Griffin native’s accomplishments and potential for the future.
“Denarius had very good numbers, especially for a true freshman,” said Dickey. The coach added, “Our
challenge now is to find ways for him to be more involved in what we’re doing offensively.”
Beyond his punt return duties, Appling saw limited duty at wide receiver during the 2010 season.
UWG’s five players receiving Gulf South Conference honors marks the highest number for the program since the 2006 season.
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