(K.J. Black is a member of the Walter Payton Award Watch List and a Preseason All-SWAC First Team Selection. Photo courtsey of Prairie View A&M Sports Information Office)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (July 23, 2010) - A league-high 10 student-athletes from Prairie View A&M received 2010 Preseason All-SWAC honors as the Panthers were picked to win the SWAC West during the annual SWAC Football Media Day in Birmingham, Ala.
Senior quarterback K.J. Black was picked as the league’s preseason offensive player of the year after earning the honor last fall. A member of the Walter Payton Award Watch List and a Preseason All-SWAC First Team Selection, Black finished as the top passer among the Football Championship Subdivision ranks in 2009 with a 172.8 pass efficiency rating and a 70.4 completion percentage. The Louisville, Ky. native also threw for 2,033 yards and 22 touchdowns while only recording four interceptions in his first season at Prairie View.
Also earning All-SWAC Preseason First Team offensive honors were linemen Tim Tusey, James Dekle and running back Donald Babers.
Last season, Tusey and Dekle blocked for a unit that ranked second among SWAC teams in total offense with 363.9 yards per game. As a result, both earned All-SWAC First Team honors with Dekle also named to the Sheridan Black College All-American Team. Babers, the team’s leading rusher and scorer with 919 yards and 60 total points last season, is a two-time All-SWAC First Teamer.
Earning first team honors on the defensive side of the ball were defensive end Quinton Spears, linebacker Max Sencherey and safety Chris Adingupu. A 2009 Black College All-American, Spears logged 51 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks last season en route to a first-team appearance. Adingupu led the team in tackles and interceptions as his unit helped Prairie View finish atop the SWAC in pass efficiency defense while Sencherey finished the 2009 campaign as the team’s second-leading tackler with 63 stops.
Senior punter Pedro Ventura was also named to the All-SWAC First Team. A 2009 All-SWAC First Teamer, Ventura averaged a career-high 43.8 yards per punt last season to rank fourth nationally among punters on the FCS level.
Named to the All-SWAC Second Team were wide receiver Shaun Stephens and placekicker Brady Faggard.
The top returning wideout on the roster, Stephens was Prairie View’s second-leading receiver in receptions (36) and yardage (404) while Faggard finished second on the team in scoring with a career-high 56 points in addition to connecting on 35-of-38 PATs and 7-of-8 field goals.
After winning the SWAC Championship last season, Prairie View’s quest for a two-peat begins with players reporting on Aug. 8. The first game of the 2010 season will take place on Sunday, Sept. 5 versus SWAC rival Texas Southern in the 26th edition of the State Farm Labor Day Classic at Reliant Stadium with a 4 p.m. kickoff. Prairie View’s first home game is scheduled for Sept. 18 versus Alabama State at 4 p.m. with the annual Cotton Bowl Classic against Grambling State set for Sept. 25 in Dallas at 6 p.m. in the historic Cotton Bowl.