Brentwood, TN (Sports Network) - For the second straight year four different schools claimed the four major 2009 Ohio Valley Conference postseason awards which were released on Tuesday. Jacksonville State senior quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was named Offensive Player of the Year, Murray State senior defensive end Austen Lane was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year, Eastern Kentucky redshirt freshman quarterback T.J. Pryor earned the Freshman of the Year award and legendary Eastern Illinois head coach Bob Spoo was named the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year.
Jacksonville State led the way with 14 selections (including six first-team) combined on the first-team, second-team and All-Newcomer squads. OVC Champion Eastern Illinois was second with 12 selections, while Austin Peay had seven picks, including five first-team players. The All-OVC first-team included 13 seniors, seven juniors and five sophomores while the second-team had 15 seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.
Perrilloux, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, is the first Jacksonville State player to earn one of the major year-end awards since the Gamecocks joined the OVC in 2003. Perrilloux ranks first nationally in passing efficiency (172.58) and fourth nationally in points responsible for (18.6 points/game). The senior quarterback also set several other single-season school records, including touchdowns responsible for (31), total offense per game (279.3) and total offense per play (8.36). He finished his two-year career as Jax State's career leader in passing yards per game (222.3) and total offense per game (260.9) and had a career passing efficiency of 154.9. Perrilloux finished the season with 2,350 yards, which was the third-best in school history, and his 42 career passing touchdowns is third, while his 61.0 completion percentage is also third in school history. He was a second-team All-OVC honoree in 2008. The senior signal caller won OVC Offensive Player of the Week honors seven times in 2009, which is an league record, and he claimed the honor nine times during his two-year career to tie for the most-ever in the league's history (with EIU's Tony Romo and EKU's Markus Thomas).
Lane, a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award (given to the nation's top FCS defensive player), is the second straight (and fourth overall) Murray State player to be awarded the OVC Defensive Player of the Year award. Considered one of the top professional prospects at the FCS level, Lane ranks second nationally in sacks (11.0) and third in tackles-for-loss (19.5). He recorded at least one tackle-for-loss in all 11 games this season and has recorded at least one tackle-for-loss in 16-straight games dating back to the 2008 season. Lane finished the season with 64 tackles (32 solo), an interception that he returned for a touchdown, eight quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
After splitting time at quarterback to start the season, Pryor took over the starting signal caller duties during the fourth game of the season and helped the Colonels to a runner-up finish in the OVC standings. Pryor finished the season 36th nationally in total offense (220.18 yards/game), completing 169- of-291 passes (58.1%) for 2,153 yards and six touchdowns and carrying the ball 105 times for 269 yards and four additional touchdowns. Pryor became just the sixth quarterback in EKU history (and third in the last five years) to reach the 2,000-yard passing plateau in a season. The 2,153 passing yards were third-most in EKU single-season history. In his first collegiate start, Pryor passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns as the Colonels went on the road and knocked off nationally-ranked Eastern Illinois. He was named OVC Newcomer of the Week twice during the season and is the first EKU player to earn the Freshman of the Year honor in the award's six-year existence.
Now in his 23rd season as Eastern Illinois head coach, Spoo led the Panthers to an 8-3 overall and 6-2 Conference mark as the program won its fifth OVC Championship in 2009. The "Dean of OVC Coaches," Spoo won the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year award for the third time (he also won it in 2001 and 2005) which puts him tied for the third most awards in league history (behind only Roy Kidd, for whom the award is named, who won it 10 times and Boots Donnelly who won it four times). Coming off a rare losing season and picked third in the OVC preseason poll, Eastern Illinois won its first four games of the season before suffering two losses to nationally-ranked teams (FBS Penn State and FCS Eastern Kentucky). The team then reeled off four more wins in a row to clinch the OVC Championship and the program's 13th FCS Playoff berth (10th under Spoo). EIU was ranked as high as 13th nationally during the year. Spoo ranks as the fifth-longest tenured active coach with one school at the Division I level and his 65 OVC victories ranks as the fifth-most in league history.
Ohio Valley Conference First Team
OFFENSE: QB - Ryan Perrilloux, Jacksonville State; RB - Ryan White, Austin Peay; RB - Terrence Holt, Austin Peay; WR - Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech; WR - James Wilkerson, Jacksonville State; TE - DeAngelo Nelson, Murray State; C - Chaz Millard, Eastern Illinois; G - Tylor Chambers, Jacksonville State; G - Stanley Brooks, Austin Peay; T - Derek Hardman, Eastern Kentucky; T - Joe Gibbs, UT Martin.
DEFENSE: DL - Trevor Frericks, Eastern Illinois; DL - Andrew Soucy, Eastern Kentucky; DL - Austen Lane, Murray State; DL - Brandt Thomas, Jacksonville State; LB - Alexander Henderson, Jacksonville State; LB - Josh Bey, UT Martin; LB - Daniel Becker, Austin Peay; DB - Eugene Clifford, Tennessee State; DB - T.J. Heath, Jacksonville State; DB - Jeremy Caldwell, Eastern Kentucky; DB - C.J. James, Eastern Illinois.
SPECIALISTS: K - Austin Signor, Eastern Illinois; P - Kienan Cullen, Murray State; RS - Terrence Holt, Austin Peay.
(Courtesy of Ohio Valley Conference Media Relations)
11/24 14:40:54 ET