Alabama A&M's Glass Named SWAC Player of the Year, APBU's Gamble Coach of the Year

May 1, 2021 by

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its Spring 2021 Football postseason honors on Thursday morning. The all-conference teams and individual award winners were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Alabama A&M’s Aqeel Glass was named Player of the Year. Southern’s Jordan Lewis was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year while Jackson State’s Daylen Baldwin was named Newcomer of the Year. Alabama State’s Ryan Nettles took home Freshman of the Year accolades and Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Doc Gamble was tabbed Coach of the Year to round out the list of individual award winners.

Alabama A&M’s Glass continued to rewrite the record books this season as he went 67-of-113 for 1,084 yards passing and 13 touchdowns against three interceptions in just three games. One of 16 finalists for the prestigious Walter Payton Award as the national's top FCS player, Glass was also twice named Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Week. He would also add National Player of the Week honors from Stats Perform FCS and BOXTOROW. In large part due to his performance, the Bulldogs have delivered the first undefeated regular season for the program since 1966, have won the SWAC East Division for the first time since 2011 and earned a spot in the league championship game.

Southern’s Lewis proved to be a matchup nightmare for opposing offensive lines this season with his quickness off the end leading the SWAC in sacks with 10.5 for 73 yards and tackles for loss with 15.0 for 82 yards. He completed the Spring season with 27 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and one forced fumble. For his efforts Lewis was named as a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year Award. The two-time SWAC Defensive Player of the Week also garnered BOXTOROW National Player of the Week and LSWA Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Jackson State's Baldwin was a difference maker for the Tigers' offense this past season at the wide receiver position. He either led or ranked in the top five in the SWAC in all major receiving categories. His season best performance was a six reception 136 receiving yards outing versus Mississippi Valley State. That same game saw Baldwin haul in a total of three touchdowns as the Tigers posted their most points in a conference outing (43) for the season. He completed the season with 540 receiving yards, seven touchdowns, 27 receptions while averaging 90.0 yards per game.

Alabama State’s Nettles capped off an impressive season by being selected as a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award given to the top freshman in FCS football. He was named SWAC Newcomer of the Week four times and the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week once this past season. He finished the season with 917 yards through the air on 85-for-144 passing and eight touchdowns. Nettles compiled a 59.0 completion percentage and was one of the top five quarterbacks in every statistical category. He is also listed 26th overall in the nation in passing touchdowns and 39th in passing yards, while also finishing in the top 50 in passing efficiency, passing yards per game, points responsible for, and points responsible for per game.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Gamble led the Golden Lions to their second undefeated regular season in program history and the first since 1937. During the process he also led UAPB to its first Western Division title since 2012. Arkansas-Pine Bluff defeated Southern, Grambling State, and Prairie View A&M all in the same season for first time since 2012.

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