All-Area Football 2020 — The top defensive players
DL — Lezeric Brothern
When Loyd Star sophomore defensive end Lezeric “Sway” Brothern is at his best as a defensive lineman — he can be more than a handful for an offensive tackle to block. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Brothern slimmed up ahead of his second varsity season and saw his play improve as a result. Brothern finished with 38 tackles for coach Brian Ford and his staff. The versatile Brothern can line up at defensive end, defensive tackle, offensive tackle, fullback or tight end.
DL – Gage Brown
The Brookhaven Academy coaching staff always knew they’d get maximum effort from defensive lineman Gage Brown. The senior end was consistent and explosive in leading the team in tackles. Brown made 81 total stops and led the team with four sacks in 2020. He also snagged an interception and caused a fumble. A repeat Daily Leader All-Area selection, Brown was also an MAIS 4A All-State selection and an MAIS All-Star Game participant.
DL — Nic Edwards
Senior Nic Edwards used a combo of speed and elusiveness to run around would-be-blockers in 2020 for Wesson. In region play the Cobra defense only gave up a combined 22 points in five wins. Edwards lined up as a down lineman with a hand on the ground at 5-foot-9, 185-pounds. He preferred to run around offensive lineman on his way to making 29 tackles and causing two fumbles. Edwards used his burst off the ball to make seven tackles for a loss as a senior.
DL — Terrance Haley
Just as he did last season — Wesson senior defensive end Terrance Haley spent a ton of time in the opposing backfield in 2020. Haley finished with 60 tackles including 12 for a loss and led the Cobra defense with three sacks while also recovering two fumbles and picking a pass off. He also caught 10 passes for one touchdown on offense. Haley is a repeat Daily Leader All-Area pick.
DL — Treizjan McClain
Spend a minute scanning the Lawrence County sideline and you’d easily spot senior defensive end Treizjan McClain. He was the one who had a mouthpiece that looked like a child’s pacifier but was built like a full-grown man. The 6-foot, 245-pound McClain finished with 41 tackles as he set the edge on the end of the Cougar defensive line. A repeat selection for the Daily Leader All-Area team, McClain was also tabbed for the MAC 4A All-State team as well.
DL — Joshua Paige
The Enterprise Yellow Jackets got better when senior lineman Joshua Paige transferred to the school from East Marion. In his one season suiting up for EAC Paige was an impact player on both sides of the line. Defensively the 6-foot-1, 275-pound Paige was a difference maker as a defensive tackle. He made 32 tackles and two sacks in 2020 as the Jackets broke a long postseason drought by finishing fourth in Region 7-2A.
DL — Jackson Taylor
When 6-foot-5, 325-pound defensive tackle Jackson Taylor makes up his mind to plug a hole on the line, it’s going to take more than one man to move him off that spot. Also, a talented offensive lineman, Taylor has been redirecting ball carriers as a defensive lineman since his freshman year. In 2020 the biggest West Lincoln Bear finished with 40 tackles including six for a loss.
LB — Ahmad Hardy
Freshman linebacker Ahmad Hardy is another in a long line of the Hardy namesake to make an impact for Lawrence County football. He made a team high four sacks and 36 tackles for coach Jesse Anderson in a COVID-19 shortened season. The hard-hitting Hardy also caused three fumbles for LC in 2020.
LB — Marvis McDaniel
Brookhaven High junior linebacker Marvis McDaniel showed ability in instincts in 2020 as he led the Panther defense with 30 tackles in their five-game regular season. Physicality and versatility at the linebacker position in 5A football are a key as most opponents show an ability to be balance in their offense. McDaniel looked shot out of a rocket at times as he made 40 tackles including five for a loss and two sacks for coach Tucker Peavey.
LB — Collin McGowen
Wesson junior linebacker Collin McGowen piled up the tackles in 2020 as he led the Cobra defense with 152 stops. McGowen made 18 tackles for a loss while also causing three fumbles and recovering two. The hard-nosed McGowen is a repeat Daily Leader All-Area selection and was named to the MAC 2A All-State team this season as well.
LB — Tate Smith
A cornerstone of the most successful run in West Lincoln football history, senior linebacker Tate Smith ended his final season in Fleahop as the team’s leading tackler. Smith made 78 stops for coach Brad Bland while also recording one sack, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, a blocked field goal and a blocked punt. Also, a standout center on the offensive line, Smith is a repeat Daily Leader All-Area selection and was tabbed as an MAC 2A All-State pick in 2020 as a long snapper.
LB — Jordan Stephens
A two-time Daily Leader All-Area pick, linebacker Jordan Stephens was again a reliable playmaker in the second level of the Enterprise defense. Stephens made 33 tackles for coach Trey Woodard as he helped direct a gritty group of Jacket defenders. A strong blocking back on offense, Stephens also ran for 264 yards and two scores.
LB — C.J. Sutton
The Wesson coaching staff knows that junior linebacker C.J. Sutton is going to go find the football. Sutton did that all season as he made 122 tackles including 11 for a loss. Sutton also charted one sack, caused a fumble and recovered a fumble. Sutton and his defensive teammates were a big part of Wesson winning their second straight Region 7-2A title in 2020.
LB — Brantley Walker
A versatile player that could walk up to the line like a defensive end or drop back into the middle of the defense and provide coverage — junior Brantley Walker earned the trust of coach Bryan Ford and his Loyd Star coaching staff in 2020. Walker led the Hornets with 78 total tackles. He also recovered two fumbles on the year and had a 15-tackle game in a win over Mize.
LB — Collin Waldrop
There was a need for someone to step up at linebacker for Brookhaven Academy as the Cougar defense was hit hard by the injury bug in the middle of the season. Senior Collin Waldrop shifted back to linebacker position from a safety spot and his play helped stiffen up a group that played well late into the postseason. Waldrop finished second on the team with 64 tackles in 2020. He also had two sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and one caused fumble.
DB — Stephen Austin
The West Lincoln coaching staff credits hard work as the reason for defensive back Stephen Austin having such a breakout senior season. Austin made 32 tackles, recovered a fumble and caused a fumble. He showed great instincts in picking off five passes for the Bears in 2020 and returned them for an average of 28 yards and two touchdowns. As a receiver Austin also caught 15 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.
DB — Tristan Buffington
Senior defensive back Tristan Buffington stepped up on the backline of the Bogue Chitto defense in his final season. As a safety Buffington played center field against opposing offenses and picked off two passes while also making 22 tackles. Buffington also caught four passes as a receiver for a BC team that finished as Region 7-2A runners-up.
DB — Colby Carwlye
A physical presence in the Loyd Star secondary, senior Colby Carwlye finished second on the team in 2020 with 72 tackles. Carwyle worked as a safety/linebacker hybrid and showed a willingness to take on bigger players in order to stop the run for coach Bryan Ford and his staff. Carwyle had one of his biggest games of the season as he made 11 tackles in a comeback road win over Ethel.
DB — Lawson Chemin
The leading tackler for Enterprise in 2020 was senior defensive back Lawson Chemin. Chemin was all over the field for the Jackets as he split time at quarterback as well. Chemin led the EAC defense with 38 total tackles including three for a loss. On offense Chemin rushed for 215 yards and a team high four touchdowns.
DB — Cameron Williams
Bogue Chitto sophomore defensive back Cameron Williams is once again a Daily Leader All-Area selection after showing a willingness to hunt down ball carriers in 2020. Williams made 35 tackles and picked off one pass for coach Gareth Sartin in 2020. As a receiver he also caught eight passes for 158 yards and two scores.