East Mississippi places seven players on MACJC’s 2019 all-conference football team
Headlined by NJCAA receptions and receiving yards leader Jason Brownlee, the East Mississippi Community College Lions have placed seven players on the MACJC’s 2019 all-conference football team. The first and second teams of the MACJC’s North and South Divisions were selected by the conference’s head football coaches and announced Tuesday by MACJC Commissioner Steven Martin.
Chosen as the MACJC North Division’s Most Valuable Player among offensive backs, Brownlee was joined on the MACJC’s All-North Division first team by Lion sophomore offensive lineman Baylee Trusty (Grenada) and sophomore kicker/punter Josh Smith (Tupelo). Defensively on the MACJC’s All-North Division first team for 12th-year head coach Buddy Stephens’ 16th-ranked EMCC Lions were sophomore linebacker and repeat first-team selection Fred Hervey (Charleston) along with sophomore defensive end Terence Cherry (West Point).
East Mississippi’s MACJC All-North Division second-team recipients were freshman offensive lineman Nick Jones (Byhalia) and sophomore cornerback Shavoke’ Herrington (Natchez).
Currently the NJCAA’s statistical leader with 75 pass receptions and 1,055 receiving yards, Brownlee established a new single-season EMCC standard (Stephens era) for receiving yards this year. In addition, the West Point product came up one catch shy of former Oklahoma receiver Lacoltan Bester’s single-season EMCC mark (Stephens era) of 76 receptions set during the Lions’ 2011 national championship season. This season, Brownlee posted five 100-yard receiving efforts and had at least one touchdown catch during all nine regular-season contests. His 12 touchdown grabs on the year currently rank second among the NJCAA’s individual leaders.
Brownlee becomes East Mississippi’s 10th MACJC North Division Offensive Back MVP during Stephens’ 12 seasons at the Lions’ football helm. A year ago, current Washington State running back garnered the recognition for the Lions, while seven former NJCAA All-America quarterbacks previously combined to earn the honor during a nine-year span for EMCC – Randall Mackey (2008 & 2009); Brad Henderson (2010); Bo Wallace (2011); Quez Johnson (2012); Dontreal Pruitt (2013); Chad Kelly (2014); and De’Andre Johnson (2016).
Smith, who handled all of the Lions’ kicking and punting duties throughout the 2019 season, presently stands 11th among the NJCAA’s kicking leaders with an MACJC-best 66 points on 8-of-10 field goal attempts and 42-of-46 point-after-touchdown tries. The Tupelo native also averaged 35.4 yards per punt on the season. Smith completed his EMCC playing days with 140 career points scored on 14-of-19 (73.7%) field goals and 98-of-105 (93.3%) PATs.
Trusty and Jones were pillars on an EMCC offensive line that helped the Lions achieve national team statistical rankings of second in passing offense (304.5 yds/gm), seventh in total offense (457.4 yds/gm) and 12th in scoring offense (34.8 pts/gm).
On the defensive side of the football for East Mississippi, Hervey collected MACJC All-North Division first-team accolades for the second consecutive year after leading the Lions with 71 total tackles this past year. Along with totaling 9.5 tackles for loss, including five quarterback sacks, Hervey also had a pass interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on the season. The Charleston product finished his EMCC playing career with 164 total tackles, including 25.5 career stops behind the line of scrimmage, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two pass interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Cherry was EMCC’s top pass rusher this past season with a team-leading 12 tackles for loss, including eight quarterback sacks. The West Point native also led the Lions with three forced fumbles in 2019. For his EMCC career, Cherry had 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a dozen sacks, along with forcing five fumbles.
In the Lions’ defensive secondary this past year, Herrington topped the team with four pass interceptions and seven pass breakups, including interception returns of 35 yards against Northwest Mississippi and 24 yards versus Itawamba. The Natchez product was also credited with a 30-yard scoop and score on a blocked punt return at Coahoma. Herrington recorded six career pass interceptions for 121 total return yards along with 10 pass breakups during his two-year EMCC career.
The 2019 NJCAA All-Region 23 football team will be released Thursday, Nov. 14.