Borders Named OVC Freshman of the Year

Nov 26, 2013 | Football


BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Wide receiver Devin Borders was named the Ohio Valley Conference Football Freshman of the Year the league office announced Tuesday. Meanwhile, five other Colonels earned second team all-league honors.

Borders proved to be the top wide receiver on a young Eastern Kentucky team while also making a major impact on special teams. The native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., caught a team-best 34 passes for 509 yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. He also ranked among the top-10 in the OVC in receiving yards per game at 42.4.

Borders had his best offensive game of the season in a win at Morehead State on Sept. 21 as he hauled in nine catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two touchdown passes, both coming in the first half, as Eastern shutout No. 23 Tennessee State on Nov. 2. But his biggest impact came on special teams where he blocked five kicks, helping EKU rank first nationally as a team in that category with nine total blocks. Borders’ five blocks were the most by an FCS player this season and more than 102 FCS teams in 2013.

Borders is the second Eastern Kentucky player to earn OVC Freshman of the Year accolades since the award was started in 2004, joining quarterback T.J. Pryor (2009). Overall, he is the second wide receiver to earn the honor in the 10-year history of the award.

Five seniors came away with second team All-OVC honors – punter Jordan Berry, defensive lineman Anthony Brown, offensive lineman Travon Carter, offensive lineman Justin Meredith and linebacker Ichiro Vance.

Berry was part of a punting unit that ranked first in the OVC and fifth nationally (FCS) in net punting at 39.08 yards per punt. Brown was among the team leaders in tackles for loss (7.0), sacks (2.5), interceptions (two), quarterback hurries (seven) and fumble recoveries (two). Vance was a consistent performer at middle linebacker where he ranked third on the team with 52 tackles.

Carter and Meredith helped the EKU offense rank fourth in the league in rushing at 198.7 yards per game. In the season finale, the Colonels ran for 311 yards and two touchdowns in the overtime loss to Murray State.

Eastern Kentucky concluded the 2013 season 6-6 overall and 4-4 in OVC action.

2013 All-OVC Football Team

OVC Offensive Player of the Year: Jimmy Garoppolo (QB), Eastern Illinois
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Bass (DE), Tennessee State
OVC Freshman of the Year: Devin Borders (WR), Eastern Kentucky
OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year: Dino Babers, Eastern Illinois

QB – Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
RB – DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State
RB – Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois
WR – Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois
WR – Walter Powell, Murray State
TE – Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois
C – Max Holcombe, Jacksonville State
OG – Collin Seibert, Eastern Illinois
OG – Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State
OT – Dominic Pagliara, Eastern Illinois
OT – Wesley Sherrill, Tennessee Tech

Anthony Bass, Tennessee State
Pat Wertz, Eastern Illinois
Antonio Harper, Tennessee State
DJ Roberts, UT Martin
Nick Thrasher, Tennessee State
Ben Johnson, UT Martin
Tony Bell, UT Martin
Daniel Fitzpatrick Tennessee State
Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois
Pierre Warren, Jacksonville State
Nick Beard, Eastern Illinois

Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State
Chad Zinchini, Tennessee Tech
Walter Powell, Murray State

Max Shortell, Jacksonville State
Ronald Butler, Tennessee State
Tim Broughton, Tennessee State
DJ McNeil, UT Martin
Taylor Duncan, Eastern Illinois
Jeremy Butler, UT Martin
Adam Drake, Eastern Illinois
A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State
Nick Borre, Eastern Illinois
Justin Meredith, Eastern Kentucky
Travon Carter, Eastern Kentucky
Charles Sweeton, UT Martin
Robert Myers, Tennessee State

Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois
Anthony Brown, Eastern Kentucky
Caleb Lawrence, Jacksonville State
Malcolm Mitchell, Tennessee Tech
Ichiro Vance, Eastern Kentucky
Robert Haynes, Eastern Illinois
Tra’Darius Goff, Tennessee Tech
J’Vontez Blackmon, UT Martin
Brandon Wicks, Murray State
David Van Dyke, Tennessee State
Marty Jones, Tennessee Tech

Jamin Godfrey, Tennessee State
Jordan Berry, Eastern Kentucky
Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois

TE – Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois
RB/RS – Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois
OL – Jimmy Lowery, Eastern Illinois
WR – Devin Borders, Eastern Kentucky
WR – Josh Barge, Jacksonville State
QB – Max Shortell, Jacksonville State
DE – Chris Landrum, Jacksonville State
QB – Maikhail Miller, Murray State
DT – Austin Black, Southeast Missouri
CB/RS – De’Ante Saunders, Tennessee State
QB – Ronald Butler, Tennessee State
QB – Dylan Favre, UT Martin

Note: The All-Newcomer team is comprised of first-year players in the OVC – that can be either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or first-year transfers. The team consists of 12 total players (1 extra due to a tie in voting this year) and is not voted on by position. There were 13 players on the All-OVC second-team offense (2 QB’s, 3 RB’s) due to ties in voting.

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