Mocs Jay Person and McClendon Curtis Claim SoCon Player of the Year Honors
(gomocs.com) CHATTANOOGA—Senior offensive lineman McClendon Curtis and junior edge Jay Person took top Chattanooga Mocs billing as the Southern Conference announced its postseason honors Tuesday for the 2022 campaign.
Both continue the Mocs dominance on both sides of the ball.
- Curtis is the fifth Jacobs Blocking Award winner in the last nine years (3 in a row) joining Tennessee Titan Corey Leven (2014, 2015) and New England Patriot first round pick Cole Strange (2020-21, 2021). The Jacobs Blocking Award goes to the top offensive lineman in the league. Mike Nease also won it in 1983. Nease also played in the NFL (Philadelphia Eagles). Curtis is headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January to begin his trek to the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Person is the second straight Defensive Player of the Year following teammate Devonnsha Maxwell. He joins Maxwell (2021), Baltimore Raven Isaiah Mack (2018) and defensive ends Keionta Davis (2016) and Davis Tull (2012, 2013, 2014) to win the honor playing on the Mocs front 4.
“Both of them are very deserving,” Coach Rusty Wright began. “They both elevated their games and played at a high level. It shows what kind of players they are, and what they do during the course of a game. It’s to see people recognize them that way.”
The Mocs boasted six first team and four second team All-SoCon honorees along with three on the All-Freshman team. Curtis, Person, running back Ailym Ford, defensive tackle Devonnsha Maxwell, linebacker Ty Boeck and cornerback Kameron Brown were all consensus first team selections by the league’s coaches as well as media bloc. Defensive end Ben Brewton was the lone consensus second team performer after first team honors in 2021.
Joining Brewton on the coaches second team was defensive tackle Marlon Taylor. The media added a pair of sophomores in offensive lineman Reid Williams and slot safety Reuben Lowery III. All-Freshman picks included safety Josh Battle, offensive lineman Bryce Goodner along with wide receivers Sam Phillips and Javin Whatley.
“It’s a good year for those guys,” Wright added. “They were our better players, solid and I think it shows. Their durability to make it through a season and be recognized that way. They all had good years and really excited for all of them.”
There were two more bits of major news with the finalists for the Stats Perform Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan Awards. The Payton goes to the national offensive player of the year with the Buchanan as its counterpart on the defensive side of the ball. The Mocs are prominent in the final 30 on both sides of the ball. Absolutely no surprise seeing Ford (Payton) and Person (Buchanan) listed among the nation’s elite.