BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Valdosta State junior quarterback Rogan Wells was named Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season, while first-year head coach Gary Goff was named Co-Coach of the Year, announced Wednesday by the league office. In all, 13 Blazers were named to the all-conference teams to lead the league.
Wells, a native of Fort Mill, S.C., earned his second-straight GSC Offensive Player of the Year honor as he guided the Blazers to a 10-0 record and a second-straight outright GSC title. The Blazers have won 25-straight games for a GSC record dating back to 2017 as it is tied for the 11th-best winning streak in the history of NCAA Division II.
Also earning his second-straight first team all-conference selection, Wells is fourth nationally in completion percentage this season at a .717 clip, while ranking 13th nationally in passing efficiency at 163.2, 23rd in completions per game at 19.00 and 17th in yards per pass attempt at 8.74 to lead the conference in each category. He is third in the league in passing yards (2,315) for 41st nationally, while ranking second in the conference in passing yards per game at a 231.5 clip for 33rd nationally. Wells is second in the league and 38th nationally in points responsible for with 144. He is third in the league in rushing yards (680) and third in rushing yards per game (68.0). Wells is ninth nationally and leads the conference in total offense at 299.5 yards per game. He is 190 of 265 passing with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year, while recording 80 carries for 680 yards and six touchdowns.
Goff, who guided VSU to its second-straight undefeated regular season, as he took over the reins of the program in January. He has continued the outstanding success after the unprecedented 14-0 season in 2018 with the Blazers' fourth national championship with the program's eighth conference title in 2019. He shared the Coach of the Year honor with John Bland of Mississippi College.
Completing the specialty awards, Chauncey Haney of North Greenville was named GSC Defensive Player of the Year, while Austin Reed of West Florida was named GSC Offensive Freshman of the Year and Xavier Robinson of Shorter was named GSC Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Along with Wells, VSU had a total of six players named to the First Team All-GSC Offense for the most among any school in the league. Sophomore running back Jamar Thompkins was named first team for the second-straight year. He is first in the GSC and 44th nationally in all-purpose yards at 123.8, while he is first in the GSC and sixth nationally in rushing yards per carry at a blistering 7.93 average. Thompkins is first in the GSC in rushing yards with 872 for 54thnationally and is first in the GSC in rushing yards per game at 87.2 for 45th nationally. He leads the conference in scoring at 7.2 points per game for 67th nationally, while he is first in the conference in total points with 72. Thompkins has 110 carries for the season and has 12 total touchdowns with ten rushing scores. His 12 touchdowns are good for first in the conference and 47th nationally.
Sophomore Seth McGill was named to the first team all-conference squad, as he was a second team selection in 2018. McGill is third on the team in rushing with 617 yards, while leading the team with 11 rushing touchdowns for first in the GSC and 33rd nationally. McGill has 118 carries to lead the team and is fourth in the conference in all-purpose yards at 98.7. He is fourth in the conference in scoring at 6.6 points per game and fourth in total points with 66. McGill has been a workhorse for the Blazers this season, as he scored a career-high three rushing touchdowns against Florida Tech this season and had a career-high 14 carries at Delta State for over 100 yards rushing.
Junior wide receiver/punt return specialist Brian Saunds earned first team honors at both wide receiver and return specialist this season. Saunds was a second team all-league selection in 2018 as a wide receiver. This year, Saunds is third in the league in all-purpose yards at 100.1, while he is first in the league in receiving yards at 867 for 36thnationally. Saunds is 25th nationally and first in the GSC in receiving yards per game at 86.7. He is first in the league and 51st nationally in receptions per game at 5.0. This season Saunds set the school-record for reception yards in a game with 246 on 10 receptions against Florida Tech. It marked the third-most receiving yards in a game in Division II to that point this season on Oct. 19. As a punt returner, Saunds has 12 returns for 127 yards and a 10.6 average.
Senior offensive linemen Brandon Kemp (offensive tackle) and Adonis Sealey (offensive guard) were named first team. This is Sealey's second first team selection, while Kemp was a second team honoree last year. Sealey and Kemp have been mainstays on the offensive line as they have helped VSU to a 10-0 record and the GSC title and 25-straight victories. The duo has blocked for Wells, who has had an outstanding season, while helping the Blazers to 523.2 yards per game for fourth nationally. Both have graded out at better than 90 percent this season and the team is averaging 39.3 points per game for 21st nationally and first in the GSC. VSU is seventh nationally in sacks allowed a 0.80 for first in the GSC. Sealey was nominated for the prestigious Gene Upshaw Award this season, given to the most outstanding offensive or defensive lineman in the country in Division II.
Defensively, sophomore defensive lineman Thomas Incoom earned first team honors as he leads the team with 11 tackles for loss for 64 yards and eight sacks for 58 yards. He has three forced fumbles this season to lead the team. Incoom has played in all 10 games thus far and started eight for the 24th-ranked defense as VSU is allowing just 299.2 yards per game for first in the GSC. Incoom has 29 total tackles with 14 solo stops.
At linebacker, junior Stephon Williams has started nine games for the Blazers this season as he has 4.5 tackles for loss for 14 yards and two sacks for ten yards. He has 35 total tackles and 14 solo stops this season, rounding out the Blazers' first team honorees.
VSU junior wide receiver Lio'undre Gallimore earned second team honors this season as it marked his second season on the all-conference teams. Gallimore has started all ten games with 39 catches for 578 yards and four touchdowns this season. Junior Ralph Singleton earned his first all-conference accolades at offensive tackle as a second team selection, giving VSU three of its five offensive linemen earning all-conference honors.
Senior Dalton Mydell earned second team all-conference honors at linebacker and junior Cory Roberts earned second team accolades at defensive back as both were named all-conference for the first time. Mydell has 42 tackles for third on the team with three tackles for loss in ten games and six starts, while Roberts leads the team with 51 tackles and 27 solo stops. He has 1.5 tackles for loss, but leads the team with four interceptions for 16 yards and a team-high seven pass breakups.
VSU sophomore newcomer Fernando Ramirez earned second team honors at kicker, as he is handling place kicking and field goals this season. Ramirez is 8 of 11 in field goals and 47 of 48 in extra-points for 71 points this season, ranking him second in the conference in scoring at 7.1 points per game. He is second in the league in field goal percentage (.727) for 23rd nationally and second in field goals made per game (0.80) for third in the conference.
The Blazers' 14 selections (Saunds in two positions) was the most in the conference, while West Florida had 11 selections. VSU had nine named to the first team for the most in the league, while West Florida had six first team honorees. Delta State, with nine total selections, had the most named to the second team with five.
VSU awaits the winner of the No. 4-seed Wingate vs. West Florida game in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Football Playoff, scheduled for Nov. 30 at 1 p.m., at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Tickets for the game are on sale now in the VSU Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 229-333-SEAT.