(PHOTO: Tyler Sullivan and Todd Cooley)
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Head Coach Todd Cooley and freshman signal caller Tyler Sullivan highlight Delta State University’s Gulf South Conference accolades this year. The Statesmen also placed four on the 2013 All-GSC First Team and seven earned second-team accolades after the team posted a 7-3, 4-2 GSC record under Cooley’s first year at the helm of the program.
Junior wide receiver Ricky Hunt, junior defensive end Diego Lubin, junior linebacker Rory Island and freshman return specialist Michael Davison highlight the first-team award recipients for the Statesmen.
A native of Sardis, Miss., Hunt led the GSC with 840 yards receiving on 68 grabs and seven touchdowns. His biggest game came against Valdosta State University, when he notched 206 yards on 10 receptions for three TD’s in the 63-55 victory. Hunt also led the GSC in all-purpose yardage with 1,326 total yards.
This is Lubin and Island’s second time to land on the All-GSC First Team. Lubin tallied 29 tackles on the season but his biggest contribution is the 5.0 total sacks, which ranks third in the GSC, 9.5 tackles-for-loss (9th), and one fumble recovery. Island turned in another solid season at linebacker for the Statesmen and was several top 20 standings in the GSC with 76 total tackles (12th), 3.0 sacks (11th) and 7.5 TFLs (16th).
Davison breaks into the All-GSC First Team as a freshman return specialist. The Avondale, Ariz. native created great field position for the Green-and-White all season and averaged 22.8 yards per return GSC leading 455 total yards.
Sullivan and sophomore Casey Osborne represented DSU on the All-GSC Second Team offense, while junior Adrian Dinkins, sophomore Richard Nash and senior Trenton Warren rounded out the second team defensive selections. Freshman placekicker Vince Sciorrotta and Warren were also named to the second-team special teams squad.
Sullivan, a native of Louisville, Miss., earned GSC Offensive Freshman of the year honors and a spot on the All-GSC Second Team after remarkable performances that included; a 422-yard four-touchdown show against Tarleton State University in his first start, along with his six total touchdowns and single-game school record 583 total yards of offense versus Valdosta State University.
A native of Flowery Branch, Ga., Osborne makes his first appearance as a part of the All-GSC Second Team. The talented wide out notched 64 receptions of 836 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, with a breakout game against the University of North Alabama where he snagged six receptions for 116 yards and three TDs.
Dinkins, Nash and Warren all make their first appearance as a part of the All-GSC Second Team after all made solid outings for the Statesmen defense. Dinkins ranked in the top 20 in the GSC with 10.0 TFLs (6th) and 3.0 sacks (12th). Nash averaged 6.8 tackles per game for the Statesmen defense and totaled 54 (17th) on the season; he also recorded one interception with a 54-yard return, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Warren, a native of Baytown, Texas, provided great leadership in a young DSU secondary as he tallied 14 total pass breakups (2nd), three interceptions (4th) and two fumble recoveries (3rd). Warren also made the All-GSC Second Team Special Teams list.
Sciorrotta earned his spot on the All-GSC Second Team as a placekicker who ranked second in the GSC in scoring with 80 points (8.0 avg). The Cumming, Ga., native was 50-of-51 on PATs and 10-of-17 on FG attempts. Sciorrotta really made his mark when he nailed two game winning field goals for the Statesmen this year, a 31-yard dagger to push DSU past UNA 37-34 in Florence, Ala. and a 34-yard blast to lift the Green-and-White over Tarleton State University 38-36.
Cooley earned GSC Coach of the Year after leading the team 7-3, 4-2 GSC mark in his first year and turned the Statesmen program back into the right direction after the team posted a historic 3-7, 1-4 GSC showing under the previous coaching regime. The Delta State offense ranked third in the GSC in scoring offense (40.0 ppg), led the league in passing with 3,587 yards, while the DSU defense ranked second against the rush and second in sacks.