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Ten Pirates Named To ASC Football All-Conference Teams

Ten Pirates Named To ASC Football All-Conference Teams

The American Southwest Conference (ASC) released its 2018 All-Conference Football teams today, naming five Southwestern University Pirates to the first and second teams and five more to honorable mention. 

Senior tight end AJ Daniels and junior quarterback Frederick Hover were each named to the All-ASC First Team Offense, earning their second consecutive All-ASC selections. 

Hover earned his second First Team All-ASC selection, directing the conference's third best rushing attack (213.1 yard per game), running for 885 yards (fourth in conference) for an average of 88.5 yards per game (fifth in conference) with 16 touchdowns. 

He was arguably the conference's best dual threat quarterback, finishing second in the ASC in quarterback efficiency with a rating of 162.3, throwing for 2,012 yards with 19 touchdowns to just six interceptions. 

Hover had the best total offensive performance in the conference this season, producing 520 yards against Texas Lutheran, and the best rushing performance, running for 287 against Belhaven. 

"Fred has set so many school records and had so many of the conference's best games this season," Head Coach Joe Austin said. "He's one of the best quarterbacks in the country. To be First Team All-Conference two years in a row speaks to his quality of play and I think he'll be even better next year as a senior." 

Daniels was one of Hover's most trusted targets, finishing second on the team in receptions (23), yards (281), and receiving touchdowns (four). Like Hover, his ability to operate as a dual threat, catching passes as a receiver and clearing running lanes as a blocker, helped to balance Southwestern University's offense.

"AJ has been a big part of our offense for several years," Austin said. "He produces a lot of big plays and touchdowns playing as a true-attached tight end. 

"These days, you see a lot of H-Back and slot tight ends, so it's great to see him recognized for the work he does blocking as well as catching passes."

The Pirates had two offensive players named to the Second Team All-ASC in senior offensive lineman James Smat and sophomore running back Kalon Heim. Defensive back Aaron Robinson made All-ASC Second Team Defense. 

Smat earned his second consecutive Second Team All-Conference award, filling in at every position along an injury depleted offensive line. 

"James played all five positions on the line this year and played the last half of the season with a knee injury," Austin said. "His versatility and knowledge is going to be tough to replace. He was key for us." 

Heim finished fourth in the conference in yards per game, averaging 91.3, and third in average yards per carry (7.3) amongst the top five rushers in the conference. He was also a threat in the passing game with 176 yards receiving on eight receptions with a touchdown before an injury cut his season short.

"He was on pace for a 1,000 yard rushing season," Austin said. "His versatility and ability to be a big play guy were really good and we're excited to have him here for a few more years." 

Robinson finished second on the team in solo tackles with 46 and fifth in total tackles with 73. He was also strong against the passing game, breaking up five passes with two interceptions, including a 68-yard return for a touchdown against Texas Lutheran in the last game of the season.

"He's a First Team talent. There are some very talented defensive players in the conference but he's as good as anyone," Austin said. "He's one tackle away from finishing as Southwestern University's career leader in solo tackles. He plays everywhere on defense: in the box, as a safety, in man-to-man coverage. His ability to play everywhere makes him really valuable." 

Earning Honorable Mention were senior wide receiver Landry Bray, junior wide receiver David Brandenburg, senior guard David-Alvin Quinton, sophomore linebacker Ben Brockton, and junior linebacker Hayden Smith

Bray finished third on the team in receptions (18) and receiving yards (244) and was one of the best blockers at the wide receiver position in conference. 

"In an offense as run-heavy as ours, Landry Bray is one of the best blockers in the conference," Austin said. "Obviously some coaches agreed because he got some votes. He's one of the most physical players we've ever had and also made a lot of big plays for us." 

Brandenburg led the team in receptions (33) and receiving yards (517) with five touchdowns. 

"He had some injuries early but you could see by the end of the year how explosive he can be," Austin said. "He had 199 yards and three touchdowns against TLU, and set the school record with a 91-yard catch against Howard Payne. 

"So I think his senior season he can be at that level all year. He definitely showed he can be a really big impact player."

Quinton was the one mainstay on an offensive line plagued by injuries as the only lineman to start every game. His consistency was rewarded with Honorable Mention All-Conference and a spot on the ASC Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year. 

"To have him at right guard every game, playing well and being consistent was very important," Austin said. "He's one of the hardest working guys on the team, so to seem him get recognition as a senior is outstanding."


Brockman finished second on the team in total tackles with 69, including 6.9 tackles for loss with 1.5 sacks and an interception.


Smith was third on the team in total tackles with 63, including a team-high four sacks for 46 yards with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. 

For the complete list of All-Conference award winners, click here