Here's the Fall 2021 Providence Journal All-State Football Team Defense

·5 min read
Brandyn Durand was an important part of Hendricken's offense this fall, but as a defender he was someone no teams could account for and more than earned his third straight selection as a Providence Journal First Team All-Stater.
Brandyn Durand was an important part of Hendricken's offense this fall, but as a defender he was someone no teams could account for and more than earned his third straight selection as a Providence Journal First Team All-Stater.

After last fall's thrilling 2021 high school football season, it's time to hand out postseason awards and name the 2021 Providence Journal All-State football team.

The players named to the first team will also be honored at the end-of-year All-State Rhode Island High School Sports Awards, which are presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. These players are all nominees for Offensive Player of the Year. At the live show, three finalists will be announced before the winner of the award is named. The live show is produced with support from the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority.

All first-teamers can receive a free ticket to the All-State Rhode Island High School Sports Awards. Please check The Providence Journal's website later in the year for updates and how to RSVP to the show.

The All-State Rhode Island High School Sports Awards, presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, is part of the USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, the largest high school sports recognition program in the country.

In addition to the first-team names and bios, you can also check out our Providence Journal second-team All State selections below.

He was St. Raphael's starting quarterback, but Andre DePina-Gray was also a dominant force in the defensive backfield and was Rhode Island's best punter in 2021, earning his first All-State spot.
He was St. Raphael's starting quarterback, but Andre DePina-Gray was also a dominant force in the defensive backfield and was Rhode Island's best punter in 2021, earning his first All-State spot.
All-States RI
All-States RI

More: Providence Journal All-State football team: defense

Providence Journal All-State Football

First team

Defense

Tosin Akinsulire
Tosin Akinsulire

Tosin Akinsulire

Classical, senior

Defensive tackle

At 6 feet 4 inches and 275-pounds, Akinsulire was a mountain of a defensive lineman. His size and strength helped him erase running lanes and stop run games in their tracks. This is Akinsulire’s first All-State appearance and, still new to the game, he’ll have a chance to keep playing next fall at the University of Rhode Island.

Kareem Jeffries-Hazard
Kareem Jeffries-Hazard

Kareem Jeffries-Hazard

Central, senior

Defensive tackle

There was plenty of hype surrounding the Knights’ defensive line this season and Jeffries was a big reason why. A second-team All-Stater last year, the senior made a monumental leap in play this fall. He hunted quarterbacks and ball carriers and established himself as one of the most feared defensive linemen in the state.

Patrick Conserve
Patrick Conserve

Patrick Conserve

Cumberland, junior

Defensive end

There aren’t many players who have Conserve’s versatility. If Cumberland needed him to line up at nose, he would use his size to fill gaps. Need him to play linebacker? Despite his 6-foot-3-inch, 265-pound frame, he had the speed to do it. He was a dominant edge rusher and eliminated outside runs, earning his second straight first-team spot.

Brandyn Durand
Brandyn Durand

Brandyn Durand

Hendricken, senior

Defensive end

The list of game-changing defensive players is one — Durand. No end had his combination of size and speed. Offenses ran away from Durand and he would still make plays on the opposite side of the field. A three-time, first-team All-State selection, Durand closed his career in style with the clinching touchdown in the Hawks’ Super Bowl win over La Salle.

Nick Carpinello
Nick Carpinello

Nick Carpinello

Coventry, senior

Linebacker

Perhaps the hardest hitter in the state, it wasn’t hard to notice Carpinello on the field for Coventry. He was the one flying around the ball and making backs reconsider their desire for the sport. Carpinello was more than muscle and his understanding of the system made him a perfect linebacker for the Oakers this fall.

Jamison Jarvis
Jamison Jarvis

Jamison Jarvis

La Salle, senior

Linebacker

Jarvis didn’t have the size of his fellow All-State linebackers but he played as big as anyone. His superior speed made a difference, whether it was chasing down a running back or looking for a sack. He showed some terrific ball skills as well, picking off three passes and running one back for a touchdown.

Moses Meus
Moses Meus

Moses Meus

St. Raphael, junior

Linebacker

Accounting for Meus on the field was impossible for opposing offenses because even when he wasn’t in position to make a play, he still made it. There wasn’t a running back he couldn’t chase down, a receiver he couldn’t cover or a quarterback he couldn’t sack. Meus is only getting better and after two first-team All-State selections, seems in line for a third next fall.

Teighan Jeremy
Teighan Jeremy

Teighan Jeremy

Hendricken, senior

Defensive back and linebacker

Forget his position —Jeremy was a football player for the Hawks. He played all over the field, both as a corner and safety, and shined as a linebacker as well. Jeremy’s versatility might not have garnered headlines, but it didn’t go unnoticed and, in the biggest game of the year, Jeremy was at his best to help Hendricken win the Super Bowl.

Ben Hurd
Ben Hurd

Ben Hurd

Portsmouth, senior

Safety

Hurd put up dynamic offensive numbers on a weekly basis for the Patriots but there wasn’t a better playmaker on the defensive side of the football this season. Hurd finished his year with 75 combined tackles and, with his incredible ball skills, picked off five passes and recovered two fumbles, both for touchdowns.

Prince Kweh
Prince Kweh

Prince Kweh

Central, senior

Defensive back

With his absurd athleticism, it wasn’t hard to see why Kweh made all the plays for Central’s dynamic defense, but that takes away from his greatest asset — his mind. Kweh was always prepared and made plays, whether it was as a run-stopper or in pass coverage and he finished the year with 90 tackles, 12 for a loss, and an interception.

Andre DePina-Gray
Andre DePina-Gray

Andre DePina-Gray

St. Raphael, senior

Safety and punter

The heart and soul for the Saints, DePina-Gray was a leader on both side of the ball. As good as he was at quarterback, he was better as the state’s top safety and his arms were a place where deep balls went to die. Scary part is that he might have been even better as a punter, where he had a knack for hitting bombs or pinning opponents when the opportunity arose.

It was just another season of terrific play from St. Raphael's Moses Meus, who earned his second straight selection as a Providence Journal First-Team All-Stater.
It was just another season of terrific play from St. Raphael's Moses Meus, who earned his second straight selection as a Providence Journal First-Team All-Stater.

More: Presenting the second Providence Journal Preseason All-State Football Team

More: The Spring 2021 Providence Journal All-State First- and Second-team selections are here

Second team

Defense

DL — Greg Gorman, Westerly, senior

DL — Atley Jenness, Mt. Hope, senior

DL — Ali Kabli, Tolman, senior

DL — Bless Nyanneh, Hendricken, senior

LB — Colin Flynn, Narragansett, senior

LB — Dylan Powers, Cumberland, senior

LB — Parker Rush, La Salle, senior

Hybrid — Elijah Nyahkoon, Classical, senior

DB — Duce Addison, Mount Pleasant, senior

DB — Brady Burke, Pilgrim, senior

DB — Wes Cournoyer, Burrillville, Senior

DB — Keith Mancini, North Kingstown, Senior

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Providence Journal All State Football Team Fall 2021 Defense Rhode Island

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