WILBERFORCE — Six Central State student-athletes were named to the All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football team, Nov. 21.
Running back Terraris Saffold, receiver Dalane Brown II, center Darius Thomas and linebacker Kailen Abrams were named to the SIAC First Team while defensive lineman Donta Marshall and versatile kick returner Derell Williams were named to the SIAC Second Team. CSU’s six All-SIAC selections ties for the most the program has had since joining the SIAC in 2013. The Marauders also had six all-conference selections in 2015.
Saffold, a senior from Hayneville, Alabama, finished second in the SIAC with 962 rushing yards this season and tied for the conference lead with 10 touchdowns. He led the SIAC for the second straight season and ranked seventh in NCAA Division II in all-purpose yards with a total of 1,681. He ran for 100 or more yards in four games in 2019, which included a career-best 235 yards on the ground against Fort Valley State.
Transferring from Hocking Community College, Dalane Brown II was among the conference leaders in receptions, receiving yards and TDs during his first season in the SIAC. While CSU’s passing attack became limited after a mid-season injury to starter Frank Cocio, the 6-foot-3 junior from Youngstown still managed to finish the season with 39 receptions for 571 yards and six touchdowns.
Darius Thomas continued his outstanding play as the four-year starter on the Marauder offensive line. The senior from Cincinnati continued his streak of never missing a game while helping pave the way for one of the top rushing attacks in the SIAC. In addition to his reliability, Thomas was one of the least penalized linemen in the SIAC. Thomas was also instrumental on special teams. His number was called and he successfully executed a fake punt for a 12-yard run and a first down on CSU’s game-winning drive against eventual SIAC champion Miles College.
Despite missing the first two games of the season, Kailen Abrams emerged as one of the top tacklers in the SIAC for the third straight season. Making his season debut in a Sept. 21 win over Clark Atlanta, Abrams earned SIAC and National Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording two interceptions and eight tackles. The junior from Detroit continued his consistent play all season and finished with a SIAC-best 10.5 tackles per game, and he was fifth in the conference with a total tackle count of 84. He also forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble in 2019.
A transfer from Hocking Community College, Donta Marshall anchored CSU’s defensive front all season long. The 6-4, 300-pound junior from Toledo recorded a season high 11 tackles with 3.5 for a loss against Southwest Baptist on Sept. 14 and finished the season with 49 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two pass break ups.
A sophomore from Cincinnati, Derell Williams was asked to fill many voids for an injury plagued Marauder team throughout the 2019 season. Originally slotted as a starting receiver to begin the season, Williams caught 11 passes for 139 yards. He established himself as a premier kick returner, recording 90-plus yard kickoff returns for touchdowns in back to back weeks. After an injury to starting quarterback Cocio, Williams was required to step in as the signal caller for the final four weeks of the season. Williams threw for 635 yards and four touchdowns while running for 153 yards and five scores. Williams also spent time on the defensive side of the ball early in the season as a defensive back and totaled one pass break up and four tackles.
Savannah State and Fort Valley State paced the all-conference teams with nine selections each. Central State, Miles, and Morehouse followed up with six selections respectively ahead of Kentucky State and Albany State who had four all-conference selections. Clark Atlanta and Lane placed three on this year’s all-conference teams preceding Benedict and Tuskegee rounded out the 2019 SIAC Football All-Conference team with one selection each.
•Junior linebacker Kailen Abrams earned his third straight selection to the All-SIAC Team.
•Darius Thomas and Terraris Saffold earned All-SIAC honors for the second time in their collegiate careers.
•All-SIAC First Team selections will now be in consideration for All-Region honors.
Information provided by Central State University Athletics, maraudersports.com.