2018 SWAC Football: Another Alcorn vs Grambling showdown?

Color us surprised. Grambling and Alcorn still teams to beat.

BIRMINGHAM, AL–Media Day is underway in Birmingham for the Southwestern Athletic Conference and predictions are out on the table. The head coaches have voted for the predicted order of finish and the preseason players of the year. Here’s what they are thinking.

No real surprises here. Grambling and Southern are predicted to fight things out in the west. Prairie View, Texas Southern, and UAPB are thought to be the third wheel on that bicycle. In the East, Alcorn is expected to rule supreme once again. Alabama State has come up through the ranks a bit with its second place prognostication. Jackson State, AAMU, and Valley are picked three through five.

Offensive Player of the Year

Alcorn State lost a strong running back in De’Lance Turner but they are returning a strong replacement in P.J. Simmons.  Simmons was the voters’ choice for the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award. In 2017, the running back made the most of his split work with teammate and All-SWAC First Team selection De’Lance Turner as Simmons averaged 8.6 yards per carry. He totaled 80 carries for 687 yards and seven touchdowns.


Defensive Player of the Year

Grambling State De’Arius Christmas was tabbed as the SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after ranking among the best in the conference in several categories including tackles (88), tackles for a loss (17.5), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (two). The senior linebacker was a two-time SWAC Defensive Player of the Week in 2017 and realized a breakout performance during the 2016 SWAC Football Championship when he was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player in the Tigers’ 27-20 SWAC Championship victory against Alcorn State after recording 12 tackles and a sack.

Here are the first and second team preseason selections for offense, defense and special teams.


QB Noah Johnson Alcorn State
RB P.J. Simmons Alcorn State
RB KeShawn Williams Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Mustaffa Ibrahim Alcorn State
OL Jeremiah Abby Southern
OL William Waddell Grambling State
OL Kyle Davis Grambling State
OL Corbin Finlayson Prairie View A&M
WR Quinn McElfresh Mississippi Valley State
WR Darrell Clark Grambling State
TE Jordan Jones Grambling State


DL Linwood Banks Grambling State
DL La’Allan Clark Grambling State
DL Brandon Varner Grambling State
DL Vernon Moland Alabama A&M
LB Patrick Harbin Mississippi Valley State
LB Trae Ferrell Alcorn State
LB De’Arius Christmas Grambling State
DB Dylan Hamilton Alabama A&M
DB Andre Augustine Southern
DB Ju’Anthony Parker Prairie View A&M
DB Percy Cargo Grambling State


K Marc Orozco Grambling State
P Jamie Gillan Arkansas-Pine Bluff
RS KeShawn Williams Arkansas-Pine Bluff


QB Darryl Pearson Jr. Alabama State
RB Jordan Bentley Alabama A&M
RB Dawonya Tucker Prairie View A&M
OL Deonte Brooks Alcorn State
OL Kevin Hall Alcorn State
OL Roderick Smith Prairie View A&M
OL Jimmy White Texas Southern
OL Tytus Howard Alabama State
WR Quintin Guice Grambling State
WR Markcus Hardy Prairie View A&M
TE Zarrian Holcombe Prairie View A&M


DL Anfernee Mullins Grambling State
DL Sterling Shippy Alcorn State
DL Kevin Agee Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DL Christian Clark Alabama State
LB De’Andre Hogues Grambling State
LB Malcolm Williams Grambling State
LB Solomon Muhammad  Alcorn State
LB Darron Johnson  Alabama State
DB Reggie Stubblefield Prairie View A&M
DB Jeffrey Hill Alabama State
DB Brady Smith Alcorn State
DB Dedrick Shy Grambling State


K Corey McCullough Alcorn State
P Corey McCullough Alcorn State
RS George Golden Alabama State

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