December 17, 2013 10:39:34 AM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Six members of the East Mississippi Community College football program were named Monday NJCAA All-Americans.
Headlined by first-team selections Dontreal Pruitt and Avery Gennesy on offense and defensive end Jimmie Gipson III, this year's group also includes second-team honoree Christian Russell at linebacker and honorable mention defensive recipients D.J. Pettway and A.J. Stamps. EMCC's six All-Americans ties second-ranked Iowa Western C.C. and No. 3 Georgia Military College for the most selections this season.
This year's six-man NJCAA All-American class also marks the most EMCC honorees for one season in the six years coach Buddy Stephens has led EMCC. Including last year's four recipients, EMCC has garnered 19 NJCAA All-Americans in football dating back to the 2008 campaign. In that same six-year span, EMCC is 56-10 (.848 winning percentage) and has won NJCAA National Championships in 2011 and 2013, three MACJC State/NJCAA Region 23 Championships (2013, 2011, and 2009), and five MACJC North Division regular-season titles (2013, '12, '11, '09, and '08).
Pruitt's first-team selection extends EMCC's streak to six consecutive years that it has featured an NJCAA All-America quarterback, following in the footsteps of Quez Johnson (Florida Atlantic), Bo Wallace (Ole Miss), Brad Henderson (Northwestern State), and two-time honoree Randall Mackey (Ole Miss).
Pruitt, a Laurel High School product, ranked third in the NJCAA in passing yards per game (328.2), second with 45 passing touchdowns, and fifth in pass completion percentage (64.3). Pruitt helped lead EMCC (12-0) to a NJCAA-record 7,327 yards of total offense. He also was named Player of the Year by the Mississippi Bowl Committee following a 52-32 victory against Georgia Military College in the NJCAA National Championship Game on Dec. 8 in Biloxi.
Gennesy, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound left tackle from Southaven, has been a two-year mainstay on the offensive line. He helped the Lions average a NJCAA-leading 62.2 points per game, which included 47 passing touchdowns, 45 rushing scores, eight defensive touchdowns, and four scores on special teams. EMCC's offense ranked third nationally in passing offense (356.7 yards per game) and eighth in rushing offense (253.9) this season.
Featuring NJCAA All-Americans Gipson III, Russell, Pettway, and Stamps, EMCC's defense allowed an average of 9.8 points per game, including five shutouts in a six-week stretch, to finish second nationally to ASA College in scoring defense. EMCC led the NJCAA with 67 sacks and finished second nationally to Rochester Community and Technical College with 30 interceptions.
Gipson III, out of Olive Branch High, led the NJCAA with 17 sacks for 140 yards. He finished fourth among EMCC's leading tacklers with 65 stops (46 solos, 19 assists).
Russell ranked as the Lions' No. 2 tackler with 80 (44, 36), including seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. With a pair of defensive scores as a sophomore, the Fayetteville, N.C. native also had eight pass breakups, two pass interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.
Pettway, a University of Alabama transfer by way of Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic High School, ranked fifth nationally with 11.5 sacks for 99 yards lost. He also had five tackles for loss.
Stamps, who switched from wide receiver to cornerback during his two-year stint in Scooba, was second on the team with four interceptions for 124 total yards, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown in a 49-6 season-opening victory at Pearl River. The Vicksburg native was credited with nine pass breakups and 51 tackles, including eight stops behind the line of scrimmage.
The 2013 Spalding NJCAA Football Players of the Year will be announced Dec. 19.
1. Sykes' faith leads him to coach at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Lessons learned helped Coggin earn promotion COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Mangum wins SEC batting title COLLEGE SPORTS