Quakers' Biggerstaff Named Rookie of the Year
GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/2/09) -- Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football coaches honored five Guilford College students on the 2009 All-ODAC Football Team, league officials announced Wednesday. Senior Markas Brunson earned first-team recognition. Senior Richie Paul, redshirt-junior Justin Parker, sophomore Kenneth Hyman III and freshman Brad Scott were second-team picks. Juniors Jordan Nelson and Billy Watkins garnered honorable mention all-conference recognition. Freshman offensive lineman Daniel Biggerstaff was named ODAC Rookie of the Year.
Biggerstaff is Guilford's second ODAC Football Rookie of the Year, joining NCAA Division III career passing leader Josh Vogelbach '08, who captured the prize in 2005. The left tackle is the second offensive lineman honored in the award's eight-year history. Biggerstaff started all 10 games as a rookie and helped Guilford to its best rushing season since 2001. The Quakers' offense ranked fifth in the ODAC in total offense (308.5 ypg.) and rushing offense (145.2 ypg). Guilford's passing offense ranked fourth in the league with 163.3 yards per game and allowed 17 sacks, which ranked fifth in the ODAC.
A second-team All-ODAC pick in 2008, Brunson was Guilford's top tackler among the team's defensive linemen and shared the Quakers' lead in sacks. The 5-11, 240-pound defensive end ranked sixth on the team with 41 tackles (20 solo) and had four sacks and seven tackles for loss in nine games. His 0.44 sacks per game ranked sixth in the ODAC. The team captain made a season-high seven tackles in three different games, including the Sept. 12 game at Methodist University where he also had two sacks. The four-year starter finished his career with 19 sacks for 142 yards, the second-highest total in school history. Brunson recorded 193 tackles (107 solo) in 38 games and his 40 career tackles for loss stand second in school history.
A 6-1, 175-pound cornerback, Hyman ranked third on the team with two interceptions and led the Quakers with seven pass breakups. He ranked seventh in the ODAC with 1.0 passes defended per game and ninth with 0.2 interceptions per outing. Hyman also added 23 tackles (15 solo) in nine games. One of his best performances came against Catholic University Nov. 7 when he had a season-high six tackles and a pass breakup. Hyman, who also periodically returned punts, made interceptions in back-to-back conference games with Bridgewater College and Washington and Lee University. A two-year starter and 2008 honorable mention All-ODAC pick, he stands 14th in Guilford history with seven interceptions in 19 games.
A 5-9, 195-pound linebacker, Paul led the Quakers and the ODAC with a career-high 135 tackles (74 solo), which stands second in Guilford's single-season rankings. His 13.5 tackles per game ranks third among NCAA Division III leaders through contests of Nov. 28. Paul topped Guilford and placed seventh in the league with 0.4 tackles for loss per game. He won the ODAC's Defensive Player of the Week Award following his second straight 18-tackle (10 solo) performance of the season, which helped Guilford upset league-leading Randolph-Macon College Oct. 31. Paul had two tackles for loss, a sack and broke up a pass in the game, which was one of his nine tilts with 10 or more stops. He led the Quakers' tacklers in all 10 contests and had at least nine tackles in every game. Paul finished his career with 300 total tackles and 149 solo stops in 30 games (over only three seasons), both of which stand second in school history. He recorded 25.5 tackles for loss, which ranks 13th in the Quakers' record books.
Parker started the season as a running back in the Quakers' new option attack, but when the team reverted to a more balanced offense, he became the team's top receiver. In the season finale with Emory & Henry College, Parker played all but one series at quarterback when Watkins went down with a game-ending injury. Parker ranked second in the ODAC with 5.5 receptions per game and fifth with 49.3 receiving yards per game. He led Guilford with 55 receptions for 493 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs. The team captain also ranked second on the team with 359 rushing yards on 95 carries in 10 games. His 88.1 all-purpose yards per game led the team and ranked ninth in the conference. Parker's best rushing performance of the year came Sept. 12 against Methodist University when he rushed for 98 yards on 24 carries and had six receptions for 46 yards in the Quakers' loss. He scored three touchdowns (1 rushing, 2 receiving) in Guilford's Oct. 2 win over Southern Virginia University and made 11 receptions for 91 yards, both career highs. A 2008 honorable mention All-ODAC pick, Parker stands fourth in school history with 15 career rushing touchdowns and ninth with 1,400 career rushing yards in 29 games.
Scott earned the starting place-kicker's job in training camp and finished the season with a league-high 10 field goals in 16 attempts, the most by a Quakers' kicker since 2003. His 1.0 field goals per game average led the league and ranks 19th among NCAA Division III leaders through games of Nov. 29. He also converted 16-of-21 point-after attempts and finished with a team-high 46 points, which ranked fourth among ODAC kickers. Scott's 63.7 yards per kickoff led the league and he had six touchbacks. He matched the school record with three field goals (in three attempts) in the Quakers' victory at Catholic and booted a career-long 40-yarder at Methodist. He was 10-for-11 on field goals 40 yards or shorter this year.
Nelson, a cornerback and kick returner, moved into the starting lineup in week four and ended up matching the school record with eight interceptions. He ranks fifth nationally and second in the conference with 0.8 thefts per game. Nelson also contributed 43 tackles (35 solo), which ranked fifth on the team, and broke up four passes. He twice won ODAC Defensive Player of the Week honors, once after his school-record setting four-interception game at Catholic, and again after a three-pick performance in the Quakers' triumph over Southern Virginia. The Quakers' top kickoff returner, he led the ODAC in kickoff returns (28) and yardage (542) and ranked seventh with a 19.4 yards per return average. His 28 kickoff returns are one shy of his school record for returns in a season set in 2008 and his 542 yards stand fifth all-time at Guilford. In 23 career games, Nelson has 63 returns for 1,364 yards and one touchdown, plus 49 total tackles.
Watkins, a 6-3, 225-pound quarterback, won the starting job in preseason camp and appeared in all of the Quakers' 10 games, starting nine. He completed 162-of-276 pass attempts for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns, all career highs. Watkins also had 95 carries for 202 rushing yards and a team-best six touchdowns, the most by a Quakers' quarterback since 1991. He ranked second in the ODAC with a .587 completion percentage, third with 178.8 total offensive yards per game and fourth in pass efficiency (111.0). Watkins' career day led the Quakers to an upset of league-leading Randolph-Macon Oct. 31. He completed 35-of-52 passes for 378 yards and two scores (all career highs) in one of his three games with at least 225 passing yards. Watkins completed 125-of-197 passes for 1,238 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception over the Quakers' final six games, during which time Guilford went 3-3.
Coach Kevin Kiesel's club finished with a 4-6 overall record (2-4 ODAC). The Quakers lose five seniors from the 2009 team, including Brunson and Paul, but expect as many as 43 letter winners back for the 2010 campaign, including 15 starters.