St. Louis, Mo. -- Youngstown State junior tailback Jamaine Cook and sophomore quarterback Kurt Hess have been named first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference for their performances during the 2011 season. The MVFC announced the all-league team on Monday.
Joining Hess and Cook as all-league honorees are senior DT Andrew Johnson (second team), junior C Mark Pratt (second team), freshman LB Teven Williams (honorable mention), sophomore OG Chris Elkins (honorable mention) and freshman WR Christian Bryan (honorable mention).
Hess, the 2010 MVFC Freshman of the Year, is the first Penguins quarterback to be named first-team All-MVFC since YSU joined the league in 1997. The only other quarterback in YSU history to be named first-team all-conference at the FCS level was Trenton Lykes in 1987 (Ohio Valley Conference). YSU spent seven years in the OVC and just completed its 15th year in the MVFC.
He is the just the second sophomore in the 27-year history of the conference to be named first-team quarterback joining Illinois State's Kevin Glenn (1998). He shares the honor with UNI's Tirrell Rennie.
During the season, Hess set the school record for single-season touchdown passes (26), completion percentage (64.5), 200-yard games (eight), touchdown passes in consecutive games (11) and touchdown passes in a game (five vs. Missouri State). Hess had a career-high 187 completions for a career-best 2,468 yards during the campaign. He joins Mark Brungard (1994 and 1995) and Trenton Lykes (1986 and 1987) as the only quarterbacks in school history to pass for more than 2,000 yards in consecutive seasons. Hess threw for 2,117 yards last year as a redshirt freshman.
In eight MVFC games, Hess averaged 245.8 yards and threw 22 touchdown passes. He completed 147-of-226 passes for 1,966 yards.
Cook rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Cook had a career-high 1,386 yards, averaged a career-best 126 yards per game and scored a career-high 13 touchdowns. He tied a school record rushing for 100 yards in six consecutive games. He had eight 100-yard rushing performances and had at least 90 yards in 10 contests on the year.
In eight MVFC games, Cook rushed for 1,022 yards on 220 attempts. He averaged 127.8 per game and scored seven touchdowns. He became the first player since P.J. Mays in 2001 to score four rushing touchdowns in a game.
Pratt started all 11 games at center in his first year with the program. He was the leader of an offensive line that helped the Guins average a school-record 36.2 points per game and a school-best 458.6 total offensive yards per game. YSU had exceptional balance averaging 231.1 rushing yards and 227.5 passing yards a contest. YSU's offense scored 53 touchdowns for the season.
Johnson had a breakout year on the defensive line. He led the team with 6.5 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss. It was the most sacks registered in a regular season since Harry Deligianis had seven in 1997. He finished the year with 39 total tackles, including 27 solo stops.
Bryan, Elkins and Williams received honorable-mention accolades for their efforts in 2011. Bryan led the team with 46 receptions and led all FCS freshman with 722 yards receiving. Elkins started all 11 games at right guard and had seven missed assignments in 729 snaps for the year. Williams led the team in total tackles with 67 and with unassisted stops with 38.
In the Specialty Award categories, Hess finished third in the Offensive Player of the Year voting, Johnson was fifth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, Bryan was third in the Freshman of the Year voting and Head Coach Eric Wolford was fourth on the Coach of the Year ballot.
#12 QB Kurt Hess, YSU, 6-3, 235, So., Dayton, Ohio (Chaminade-Julienne)
School-record 26 touchdown passes for season, 22 of which came in MVFC play (previous YSU record was 21 in 15 games)…ranked second in passing yards per game in league action at 245.8 yards…top QB in passing efficiency with a rating of 164.9…for the year completed 187-of-288 attempts for 2,468 yards…set school record with 64.9 completion percentage…was 147-of-226 (65 percent) for 1,996 in MVFC play…Had school-record five TD passes against Missouri State…had four touchdown tosses in wins over Western Illinois and Illinois State…had a touchdown pass in every game.
#35 TB Jamaine Cook, YSU, 5-9, 205, Jr., Cleveland, Ohio (Midpark)
Averaged 127.8 rushing yards per game during MVFC contests, which was second in the league…had a league-high 220 attempts for 1,022 yards and seven scores…for the year, rushed for 1,386 yards and had 13 touchdowns on 271 attempts…had eight 100-yard plus rushing efforts, including six in MVFC play…season-high 179 yards at Southern Illinois on 32 attempts…had 147 yards on 33 attempts at NDSU…had touchdowns in five MVFC games…averaged 126.0 yards per game for the season…caught 20 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown…had 1,599 all-purpose yards.
#76 C Mark Pratt, YSU, 6-3, 320, Jr., Tooele, Utah (Tooele)
Started all 11 games at center in his first year with the program…posted the highest overall grade of 83 percent of all YSU offensive lineman…played 717 snaps for the season…leader of an offensive line that averaged a school-record 36.2 points per game and had a school-best 458.6 total offensive yards per game…exceptional balance with 231.1 rushing and 227.5 passing…YSU's offense scored 53 touchdowns for the season…named team's Offensive Lineman of the Game against Michigan State, Illinois State, Western Illinois and UNI…played every snap the final three games…co-YSU Offensive Player of the Game vs. Saint Francis (Pa.).
#44 DT Andrew Johnson, YSU, Sr., 6-3, 285, Detroit, Mich. (Southeastern)
Started all 11 games at defensive tackle…finished with 39 total tackles, including 27 solos…had 6.5 sacks and 11.0 TFLs…his 6.5 sacks are the most by a Penguin since 1997…had six tackles at UNI and in finale against Missouri State…credited with a high of five solo stops against the Bears…had sacks in four league games, including two against South Dakota State…had a forced fumble against Saint Francis (Pa.)…had five tackles in win at Southern Illinois…of his 39 tackles, 31 came in MVFC action…had 21 solos against MVFC teams.
#66 OG Chris Elkins, YSU, 6-4, 285, So., Beaver Falls, Pa. (Beaver Falls)
Started all 11 games at right guard…ranked second on the offensive line with an overall grade of 81 percent…played 729 snaps for the season…only seven missed assignments the entire season…member of an offensive line that averaged a school-record 36.2 points per game and had a school-best 458.6 total offensive yards per game…exceptional balance with 231.1 rushing and 227.5 passing…YSU's offense scored 53 touchdowns for the season…named team's Offensive Lineman of the Game against Valparaiso, Saint Francis (Pa.) and North Dakota State…played every snap the final three games…YSU Offensive Player of the Game vs. Valpo.
#2 WR Christian Bryan, YSU, Fr., 5-10, 180, Irwin, Pa. (Norwin)
Set school freshman receiving records for season receptions, yards and touchdowns…led team with 46 receptions and 722 yards and was second in touchdowns (six)…averaged 65.6 yards receiving per game and 15.7 per catch…had season-high seven receptions at Indiana State and 131 yards at Southern Illinois…both were school marks for a freshman…had a touchdown reception in six different games, including five MVFC contests…caught 31 passes for 550 yards in MVFC action…had a season-long 70-yard catch for TD against Western Illinois.
#3 LB Teven Williams, YSU, Fr., 6-0, 220, Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne)
Played in all 11 games, starting the final eight games at Mike Linebacker…led the team with 67 total tackles and 38 unassisted tackles…had a season-high 10 tackles against South Dakota State…had five tackles in at least eight games…credited with nine stops against WIU and eight at UNI…had a sack for a five-yard loss at UNI…finished with three tackles for losses and had a fumble recovery against Saint Francis (Pa.)…had 55 tackles, including 32 solos in MVFC action.