MINNEAPOLIS – The Salisbury University football season just came to an end, but the recognition for one of the best seasons in program history continues to roll in. On Tuesday, six players were named to the D3football.com All-East Region Teams.
Senior guard Alex Smith led the contingent with a first-team offense selection. He was one of four offensive players selected for Salisbury while two defenders earned all-region honors.
Smith helped pave the way for Salisbury's offense, which set program records in points scored (584), rushing yards (4,596) and touchdowns (83). The Sea Gulls' 355.54 rushing yards per game rank second in the NCAA this season.
Quarterback Dan Griffin was named to the east region second team after his season of piloting the offense. The junior connected on 48-of-89 passes for 1,208 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is the first Salisbury signal caller to pass for more than 1,000 yards since 1998. Griffin was also a force on the ground, rushing for 907 yards and 20 scores, a new program record for a single season, which had stood since Mike Coppa's 19 in 1986.
Superback Randal Smedley and offensive lineman Christian Emezie were each named to the all-region third team. Smedley, a senior, ran for a team-best 1,028 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 85.67 rushing yards per game rank in the top 100 in the nation.
Emezie, a junior, was a constant on the offensive line, which pushed Salisbury to nearly 45 points per game, ranked third in the nation. The Sea Gull blockers allowed Griffin to be sacked just 13 times in 13 games; the per-game average ranks 29th in Division III football.
Senior linebacker Jamey McClendon and sophomore cornerback Andre Carter each picked up third-team honors on the defensive side. McClendon was the team's leader in sacks this season, registering 6.5 takedowns of the quarterback, and also had 93 tackles. He also forced one fumble and recovered two to help the Gulls to a plus-1.08 turnover margin, which ranks in the top 25 in the nation.
Carter has played a role in the positive turnover margin as well, leading the team with seven interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. Two of his biggest interceptions came in Salisbury's triple-overtime victory against Kean University in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
D3football.com will announce its All-Americans on Dec. 16 during the Stagg Bowl pregame show on D3football.com.
To see all of the D3football.com all-region selections, click here.