Apr. 15—Jacksonville State landed 16 players on the All-Ohio Valley Conference football team, which was released Thursday.
In addition, sophomore safety Nicario Harper was named the OVC's defensive player of the year. The league's coaches voted for the squad.
He is JSU's fourth OVC defensive player of the year, joining Devaunte Sigler (2014) and Darius Jackson (2016 and 2017). He is the first JSU defensive back to win the award and the first from any school to win since 2007 when Eastern Kentucky's Derrick Huff received the honor.
Nicario Harper, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, made 51 tackles in seven spring-season games, intercepted two passes and broke up three passes. He had a season-high 13 tackles against Tennessee Tech. In four fall games, he had 28 tackles and a 64-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Eight JSU players made All-OVC first team: quarterback Zion Webb, tight end Trae Barry, offensive tackle Tylan Grable, offensive guard Cam Hill, defensive end D.J. Coleman, outside linebacker Jaylen Swain, Harper and kickoff returner Michael Pettway.
Eight others made the second team: running back Josh Samuel, wide receiver Ahmad Edwards, center Zack Cangelosi, defensive end Umstead Sanders, defensive lineman Lemuel Gordon, linebacker Marshall Clark, linebacker Markail Benton and cornerback Jacquez Payton.
Harper, Swain and Samuel were also made the OVC's all-newcomer team.