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Hicks Named Player of Year by CFN

December 6, 2001 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Collegefootballnews.com, an affiliate of Foxsports.com, released its 2001 All-Sun Belt Conference team, Player of the Year and their top 30 rated players and Middle Tennessee dominated the list. Highlighting the individual honors was running back Dwone Hicks, who was tabbed the league's overall Player of the Year and the Offensive Player of the Year.

Hicks, the second leading scorer in the nation and a back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher, won the Sun Belt rushing title in 2001 with 1,143 yards and a 6.0 per carry average. The junior also scored a Blue Raider record 148 points.

"This is a great honor and I am very appreciative," said Hicks. "The credit, however, should go to my teammates and the offensive line. They are the ones who put me in position to succeed. The postseason awards are nice, but I would trade them all to still be playing on Dec. 18."

A league best eight Blue Raiders earned first team honors. Along with Hicks, Blue Raiders who made the list were QB Wes Counts, WR Kendall Newson, Center Glen Elarbee, OT Brandon Westbrook, DL Tanaka Scott, LB Scotty Brown and DB Jykine Bradley.

The publication also rated the Sun Belt's top 30 players regardless of position and Hicks was voted the No. 1 player in the league, while Counts was listed No. 3. Other Blue Raiders in the top 30 were Kendall Newson (No. 6), Brandon Westbrook (No. 7), Scotty Brown (No. 12), Jykine Bradley (No. 14), Reshard Lee (No. 18), and Michael Woods (No. 29).

The eight Middle Tennessee players in the top 30 was the most by any school.

The other individual honors went to North Texas' Brad Kassell for Defensive Player of the Year and the Mean Green's Jonas Buckles for Freshman of the Year. UNT head coach Darrell Dickey was honored as Coach of the Year, while the top game of the year was the Oct. 13 Middle Tennessee-North Texas contest.

Following is a list of all award winners:

Sun Belt player of the year: RB Dwone Hicks, Jr. MT
Offensive player of the year: RB Dwone Hicks, Jr. MT
Defensive player of the year: LB Brad Kassell, Sr. North Texas
Coach of the year : Darrell Dickey, North Texas
Best game of the year: Oct. 13 - North Texas 24 - MT 21
Freshman of the year : DB Jonas Buckley, North Texas

2001 All-Sun Belt Team
Offense
QB Wes Counts, Sr. MT
RB Dwone Hicks, Jr. MT
RB Kenton Keith, Sr. New Mexico St.
WR Chris Lacy, Sr. Idaho
WR Kendall Newson, Sr. MT
TE Jerry Pegues, Sr. Arkansas State
OL Glen Elarbee, Jr. MT
OL Garry Johnson, Jr. Arkansas State
OL Brandon Westbrook, Soph. MT
OL Tony Wragge, Sr. New Mexico State
OL Nick Zuniga, Soph. North Texas
PK Dario Aquiniga, Soph. New Mexico St.
KR James Hickenbotham, Jr. Arkansas State

Defense
DL Brandon Kennedy, Soph. North Texas
DL Donald Malveaux, Sr. UL Monroe
DL Joe Oliva, Sr. New Mexico State
DL Tanika Scott, Sr. MT
LB Scotty Brown, Sr. MT
LB Brad Kassell, Sr. North Texas
LB D'Wayne Taylor, Soph. New Mexico St.
DB Jykine Bradley, Sr. MT
DB Jonas Buckley, Fr. North Texas
DB Sideeq Shabazz, Jr. New Mexico St.
DB Charlie Tillman, Jr. UL Lafayette
P Jason Ball, Sr. North Texas

The 2001 Top 30 Players of the Year Regardless of Position
1. RB Dwone Hicks, Jr. MT
2. LB Brad Kassell, Sr. North Texas
3. QB Wes Counts Sr. MT
4. DL Brandon Kennedy, Soph. North Texas
5. OT Garry Johnson, Jr. Arkansas State
6. WR Kendall Newson, Sr. MT
7. OT Brandon Westbrook, Soph. MT
8. RB Kenton Keith, Sr. New Mexico State
9. RB Kevin Galbraith, Jr. North Texas
10. WR Chris Lacy, Sr, Idaho
11. DB Siddeq Shabazz, Jr. New Mexico State
12. LB Scotty Brown, Srt. MT
13. QB John Welsh, Sr. Idaho
14. CB Jykine Bradley, Sr. MT
15. DB Charles Tillman, Jr. UL Lafayette
16. RB Jonathan Adams, Sr. Arkansas State
17. QB Scott Hall, Soph. North Texas
18. RB Rashard Lee, Soph. MT
19. LB D'Wayne Taylor, Sr. New Mexico State
20. DB Jonas Buckley, Fr. North Texas
21. DB Kyries Hebert, Sr. UL Lafayette
22. WR/KR James Hickenbotham, Jr. Arkansas State
23. LB Brad Rice, Sr. Idaho
24. QB K.C. Enzminger, Sr. New Mexico State
25. LB Cody Spencer, Soph. North Texas
26. DB Dedrick Buckles, Sr. UL Monroe
27. DB Craig Jones, Soph. North Texas
28. P/PK Jason Ball, Sr. North Texas
29. LB Michael Woods, Soph. MT
30. OG Tony Wragge, Sr. New Mexico State

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