Valdosta Daily Times

November 16, 2012

VSU’s Gerald Ford named GSC Offensive Player of the Year

Blazer running back Cedric O’Neal tabbed Freshman of the Year

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Two days after being named a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, Valdosta State wide receiver Gerald Ford was named the Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Running back Cedric O'Neal was named the GSC Freshman of the Year.

Ford became the sixth different Blazer, and first since 2002, to be named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year. He also became just the third wide receiver in the conference to earn the honor.

"The work ethic that (Gerald) put in, coming off a knee injury and having to sit out last year, and working himself back into this position, I am proud of him," Valdosta State head coach David Dean said.

"You could just tell in spring practice that he was going to be a difference for us. He brought a different dimension in our offense."

A school-record 16 Blazers were named to the All-GSC teams.

Ford led the conference with 52 catches for 836 yards with 12 touchdowns this season, the seventh-most TD catches by any player in a single season in school history.

O'Neal led the conference in rushing this season, compiling 811 yards this season. He split the majority of the early season repetitions in games with fellow freshman Austin Scott, who suffered an ankle injury against North Alabama.

Ultimately, nine offensive players were named to the First Team, along with four defensive players.

Three Blazers were named to the Second Team.

The Blazers named to the First Team were: Ryan Schraeder, Mesh Wokomaty, Edmund Kugbila, Cam Short, Seantavious Jones, Regginald Lewis and quarterback Cayden Cochran; defenders Jeremy Grable, Chris Pope, Tyler Josey and Matt Pierce.

On the Second Team: defensive linemen Tevin Davis and Lawrence Virgil, along with kicker Daniel Andersen.