|(Albany Herald Photo)|
Jessie Atkins, Albany State
Atkins is the lone SIAC returnee from last season’s list. The junior caught 47 passes and eight touchdowns in just eight games, helping Albany State take home the 2013 SIAC Championship.
Akeem Jordan, Lincoln
Last season was another down year for Lincoln, but Jordan was one of the program’s bright spots. He started the season off with a bang, catching seven passes for 114 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the season-opening win against rival Cheyney.
While the Lions as a unit never played as efficiently the rest of the way, Jordan was pretty consist all season. He finished second in the conference in receptions (65), yards (913) and touchdowns (12).
Dondre Purnell and Reese Sturgis, Stillman
Individually, these two are pretty good. Put them together, and they will give defensive backs nightmares. Purnell is the classic possession receiver, a blanket for quarterbacks that keeps the chains moving. His numbers (58 catches, 11 yards per catch, 3 touchdowns) speak to that.
Sturgis, on the other hand, is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. He averaged a ridiculous 22 yards per catch on the 31 passes he snagged in 2013, scoring four times.
If junior quarterback Josh Straughan comes back at full strength, Stillman’s offense will be scary in 2014.
Javion Smallwood, Virginia State
Smallwood didn’t catch a ton of balls last season, but the way VSU played offense, that was by design. What he did do was make the most of his 37 catches, averaging and impressive 15.7 yards per catch and finding the endzone seven times to help VSU claim the CIAA Northern Division title. Only a junior, Smallwood should be even better this season, if VSU can get him the ball.
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The second annual Deacon Jones Trophy will be awarded in Feb. 2018.