Jax State QB Jenkins, coach Grass earn OVC honors

(STATS) - Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins was named the Ohio Valley Conference's offensive player of the year Tuesday while the Gamecocks' John Grass earned coach of the year honors.

Top-ranked JSU (10-1) repeated as OVC champs and earned the No. 1 seed in this year's playoffs.

Grass is the first coach to begin his career 16-0 in OVC play. Jenkins is one of 12 Gamecocks on the All-OVC first team. He threw for 18 touchdowns and 2,185 yards and ran for 640 yards and eight TDs.

Tackle Dino Fanti of Eastern Illinois and end Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence were named co-defensive players of the year, marking just the second time the award has been shared. The other came in 1987.

Southeast Missouri quarterback Dante Vandeven was tabbed the league's freshman of the year.

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OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE AWARDS=

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville St.

Defensive Player of the Year: DT Dino Fanti, E. Illinois, and DE Noah Spence, E. Kentucky

Freshman of the Year: QB Dante Vandeven, SE Missouri

Coach of the Year: John Grass, Jacksonville St.

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OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM=

OFFENSE=

QB Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville St.

RB Troymaine Pope, Jacksonville St.

RB Tremane McCullough, SE Missouri

WR Paul McRoberts, SE Missouri

WR Josh Barge, Jacksonville St.

TE Ben Madon, E. Kentucky

C Casey Dunn, Jacksonville St.

OG Adam Wright, Jacksonville St.

OG Blake Burks, Jacksonville St.

OT Justin Lea, Jacksonville St.

OT Brett Eyckmans, E. Kentucky

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DEFENSE=

DL Noah Spence, E. Kentucky

DL Dino Fanti, E. Illinois

DL Chris Landrum, Jacksonville St.

DL Ebenezer Ogundeko, Tennessee St.

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, E. Illinois

LB Dawson Wells, Jacksonville St.

LB Tra'Darius Goff, Tennessee Tech

DB Jourdan Wickliffe, E. Illinois

DB Brandon Bender, Jacksonville St.

DB Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville St.

DB Folo Johnson, Jacksonville St.

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SPECIALISTS=

K Lucas Williams, E. Kentucky

P Keith Wrzuszczak, E. Kentucky

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