Coach of the Year: Jay Hopson, Alcorn State
Hopson is the architect of black college football’s hottest team right now. Alcorn is the league’s top defensive and offensive team, and also nationally ranked. The team’s only loss was to FBS member Southern Miss, and that was by less than a touchdown.
Most Valuable Player: John Gibbs, Alcorn State
Whether with his feet or his arms, Gibbs is the engine that fuels Alcorn State. The 6’6 junior quarterback is the SWAC’s fifth-leading rusher at 460 yards per game and has added five rushing touchdowns to the six he has through the air while keeping his team perfect against FCS competition.
Offensive Player of the Year: Malcolm Cyrus, Alabama State and Julian Stafford, Mississippi Valley State
Both Cyrus and Stafford are ending their college careers with big seasons. Cyrus currently lead the conference in rushing with 787 yards, over 200 more than his next closest competitor. Stafford has carried Mississippi Valley, accounting for 567 of MSVS’s 949 passing yards this season. He’s averaging 21 yards per catch and has scored six touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Berg, Alcorn State
Alcorn’s defense has been just as dominating as its offense, and Berg is a big part of that. The senior defensive back has defended nine passes, including three interceptions on a defense that is allowing 12.5 points per game.
Rookie of The Year: Austin Howard, Southern
Howard had big shoes to fill, stepping in for the departed Dray Joseph. And while he’s had has rough moments, he seems to be getting better every week, which is good news for Southern fans. Last week against UAPB he threw for three touchdowns while leading SU to a 51-36 homecoming win.