ROCK HILL — A total of 11 Newberry Wolves earned all-South Atlantic Conference football honors, with seven on the first team, as announced Wednesday by the league office.
Newberry student-athletes on the first team were wide receiver Corey Washington, offensive lineman Jamal Ellis, long snapper Austin Crook, punter Kyle Clark, defensive lineman Letavious Williams, linebacker Edmond Robinson and defensive back David Davis.
Wolves on the second team were quarterback W.T. Murden, offensive lineman Landon Martin, linebacker B.J. Mazyck and return specialist Jason Livingston.
Newberry tied with conference champion Lenoir-Rhyne with the most all-SAC picks at 11 and had the second most on the first team. Carson-Newman had 10 selections, Tusculum and Wingate each had eight picks, Catawba had seven picks, Mars Hill had six picks and Brevard had three.
Washington has been spectacular at receiver in his senior season, with 41 receptions for 750 yards and 12 touchdowns, also catching a pair of two-point conversion receptions and returning a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. He was the only player in the conference to earn player of the week honors in multiple categories, with offensive honors on November 4 and special teams honors on November 18.
Washington’s 12 receiving touchdowns this year are tied for the Newberry single season record and are second-most in the SAC this year. His 750 yards rank 10th in Newberry history for a single season and are fifth in the league. For his career, Washington has 92 receptions for 1,526 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He ranks second in touchdowns, eighth in yardage and ninth in receptions in school history despite playing only two seasons as a junior college transfer. He has scored 136 career points, the second-most by a receiver in Newberry history. His 82 points this season are the third-most in school history and most by a receiver.
Washington was also a second team all-SAC player in 2012.
Ellis started every game this season at left guard for the Wolves, blocking for one of the most balanced offenses in the nation. The Wolves conceded fewer than two sacks a game and rushed for 2,027 yards in the regular season.
Crook was the league’s top long snapping specialist this season, with an exceptionally low number of poor snaps. He was also the preseason all-SAC selection at that position.
Clark was one of the best all-around special teamers this season and earned his honors at punter. He led the conference with a 39.0 yards per punt average and has the Wolves ranked in the top 25 nationally in net punting and in the top 10 nationally in punt return defense. Of his 42 punts, 11 landed inside the opponents’ 20-yardline and had the longest punt in the conference this season with a 71-yarder against Mars Hill.
The three-time SAC Special Teams Player of the Week was also 32-of-36 on extra point attempts and 8-of-13 on field goals with a long of 40 yards. He had seven punts of 50 yards or more. Clark also handled kickoff duties with a 60.1 yard average and 15 touchbacks.
Williams was noted as one of the top defensive linemen in the nation entering the season and lived up to that reputation. The senior had 30 total tackles with five sacks for losses of 33 yards, three pass breakups, 10 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Carson-Newman game. He ranked in the top 10 in the conference in sacks.
Robinson exploded onto the SAC scene in the first week of the season with SAC Defensive Player of the Week honors and has turned into one of the top all-around defensive players in the league. He leads the Wolves with 66 total tackles and 12 tackles for losses of 48 yards. He has 2.5 sacks, an interception in the Brevard game, five passes defended and a forced fumble.
Davis excelled for the Wolves at the safety position with 54 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions, which tied with teammate Brice Green for fourth in the conference. He had a total of six passes defended. The Wolves won the SAC statistical championship for passing defense, allowing only 200.9 yards per game through the air.
Murden won the conference’s statistical championship for quarterback efficiency with a 151.8 rating. He completed 139-of-216 passes for 1,834 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 1,834 yards this season are the 10th most in a season in Newberry history and his 16 touchdown passes rank seventh in a season at the school.
Through three seasons in his career, he has completed 393-of-627 yards for 4,768 yards and 40 touchdowns. He is only the third player in school history with 40 touchdowns or more in a career and needs just 232 yards passing to break the 5,000-yard mark for his career. He also earned SAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on October 14 after the Homecoming win over Tusculum.
Martin was a regular starter at right tackle for the Wolves as only a sophomore and has established himself as one of the top young linemen in the conference.
Mazyck continued the Newberry tradition of strong play at inside linebacker, ranking second on the team with 56 tackles, with three tackles for loss and three pass breakups.
Livingston earned the conference’s statistical championship for punt return yardage with 12.2 yards per punt return, which ranks in the top 30 nationally. His 244 punt return yards this year are the fifth most in a single season at Newberry. He also had 484 yards of kickoff returns and ranked fourth in the conference in that category.
He was also a standout at receiver with 41 catches for 414 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for his career. He’s tied for the sixth-most receptions in a Newberry career and has a chance to leap into the top 10 in a Newberry career in both yardage and touchdowns this postseason.
The Wolves have qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the second time in school history and travel to Carson-Newman for a noon kickoff this Saturday.