CCU seniors say farewell, hope for another home date

Coastal Carolina’s football game with Charleston Southern has numerous storylines to follow, including the Chanticleers’ regular-season finale, Senior Day and Coastal playing for its fifth conference title. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm at Brooks Stadium.

Currently, three Big South teams have one loss. Stony Brook’s season is complete, going 5-1 in league play. Coastal Carolina and Liberty are both 4-1 and play games Saturday. If Coastal Carolina wins, the Chants will win its fifth Big South title in 10 years of having football.

Also, a Coastal win coupled with a Liberty win at VMI would create a three-way tie with the Chants owning the tie-breaker to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Championship. A Liberty loss would still give Coastal a share of the Big South title, but Stony Brook would own the two-way tie-breaker over the Chants for the automatic bid.

The senior class will be honored at 3 pm. This group has helped Coastal to three winning seasons, the 2010 Big South Championship, the 2010 NCAA playoffs and, with a win today, a second conference title and playoff berth. They hope to add at least one more game at Brooks Stadium to their accomplishments with a first-round home game.

Seniors David Duran, Pat Williams and Aramis Hillary have already graduated, with Marcus Whitener, Chris Presley, Jamel Davis, Quinton Davis, Andrae Jacobs, Dominique Whiteside, Akeem Wesley, Johnny Hartsfield, Dontavais Johnson and Chris Thomason course to graduate this December. That will bring the total of graduates to 13 student-athletes of the 17 in this class.

Coastal’s seniors are:

#8 Jamel Davis- Has 38 career tackles to date … Of those, 5.5 have been for losses, including 2.5 sacks … Has added three pass break ups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble … Has battled a few injuries over his career, missing eight games over his career … Named Big South Defensive Player of the Week for his play at Presbyterian in 2010.

#95 Quinton Davis- Is having an impressive senior season, having 6.5 tackles for losses, including four sacks … For his career, has 9.0 sacks (4th-tied on the CCU all-time list) and 19.5 tackles for losses (8th on the CCU all-time list) … His career totals would have been elevated had he not suffered a season-ending injury in game three of the 2010 season … Prior to that 2010 season, he was selected preseason All-Big South by the league coaches.

#18 David Duran- An All-American and two-time first team All-Big South … Was granted a sixth season after suffering a season-ending injury last year … Is the Big South all-time leader among tight ends in both career receptions (64) and receiving yards (901) … On the CCU career lists, ranks sixth in touchdown receptions (5), seventh in receiving yards (901) and eighth in receptions (64).

#91 Johnny Hartsfield- Started his career at Hofstra, playing his last three seasons at Coastal … Has a career-high 17 tackles with this season … Was named Big South Special Teams Player of the Week for blocking a field goal at Gardner-Webb this season … While at Coastal, has 12.5 career tackles for losses, including three sacks … Had an interception at Presbyterian in 2010.

#24 Jeremy Height- Set the CCU single-season record with 1,316 all-purpose yards this season … His 68.6 rushing yards per game this season ranks third on the CCU list … Ranks fourth on the CCU all-time list for all-purpose yards (2,454), fourth in career kick return yards (871) and seventh in career rushing yards (1,188) … Has also thrown a touchdown pass, a 13-yarder at Richmond in 2010.

#6 Tre Henderson- The CCU career leader in kick return yards with 1,128 and second with 48 career kick returns … He is one of two Chants all-time to return a kickoff for a TD … Has a knack for the big play … Owns the longest kickoff return for a TD in CCU history, an 86 yarder in 2011 and two of the longest non-scoring plays in CCU history – a school-best 87-yard kick return at Appalachian State and 66-yard kick return versus North Carolina A&T this season … Also has a 66-yard interception return for a TD, the second-longest INT return in CCU history … Was honorable mention National kick returner of the Week for his 66-yard effort versus NC A&T.

#3 Aramis Hillary- A four-time Big South Offensive Player of the Week honoree, three times this season … Named National Performer of the Week after tying a CCU and Big South record with five touchdowns at Presbyterian this season … Ranks 21st in the NCAA and first in the Big South in total offense this season … Is the CCU career leader in pass completion percentage (.647) … Ranks third on the CCU career charts for pass attempts (518), completions (335), yards (3,912), touchdowns (32) and total offense (4,573) … Ranks 12th on the CCU career rushing list with 661 yards, while his 11 rushing TDs ranks seventh.

#40 Andrae Jacobs- A two-time first team All-Big South pick and the 2010 Big South Defensive Player of the Year … Ranks fourth on the CCU career list for tackles for losses (25.0) and eighth in total tackles (197) … His 104 total tackles in 2010 ranks fourth on the CCU single-season list … His 12 TFL in 2010 is third on the CCU single list, while his 10 TFL in 2011 is fifth … Has been a game captain a team-best six times this season, including a streak of five consecutive weeks.

#4 Dontavais Johnson – Leads the Big South and ranks 18th in the NCAA in interceptions (4 total, 0.4 avg.) … Has nine passes defended this season, adding five pass breakups to his four picks … The consensus Named National Defensive Player of the Week after tying a CCU record with three interceptions in the opening week win over North Carolina A&T, adding a key pass breakup in the end zone as well … In week two, came up big again, blocking a PAT which ultimately allowed CCU to kick a game-tying field goal as regulation ended as opposed to needing to score a TD … Like Johnny Hartsfield, Johnson began his career at Hofstra … After getting 15 tackles in his first two years combined at Coastal, Johnson has tallied 37 to date this season alone.

#7 Kenny Jones- After sitting out last season, Jones has been a stalwart on the special teams this season … He scored his first touchdown since 2008 this past weekend at Presbyterian, a 10-yard reception on a shuttle pass … Has 10 receptions for 103 yards in his career … A dangerous return man, he has 12 kick returns for 233 yards (19.4 avg.) for his career.

#80 Chris Presley- Has battled injuries in his senior season … However, his five career touchdown receptions ties for sixth on the CCU all-time list … In 2011, he ranked third on the team in receptions with 18 for 223 yards, scoring three times … Has only caught one pass this season, but it was a three-yard score to help CCU secure the win over Liberty.

#81 Adrian Sullivan- Was set to have a big year after a great spring and summer in the Chants’ new offensive system before he suffered a career-ending injury during preseason camp … His 18.2 yards per catch in 2011 is third-best on the CCU charts, while his career average of 14.19 is eighth-best … Also averaged 5.1 yards on his 10 career rush attempts … For his career, he caught 27 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

#51 Chris Thomas – Was named second team All-Big South in 2011 after leading the Chants with 8.5 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks … Was named preseason All-Big South for 2012, but his season only lasted three plays after being injured at Furman … Joined Johnny Hartsfield and Dontavais Johnson as Hofstra transfers … Finished his two-year CCU career with 57 tackles with 13.0 coming behind the line of scrimmage, including 4.5 sacks.

#2 Akeem Wesley- Suffered an injury in the spring, which was going to move him to defense this season … After a couple of injuries on offense, he moved back to receiver … Ranked second on the team in receptions in 2011 with 19 for 223 yards … Has been a solid contributor to the special teams this season, registering seven tackles … Has 34 receptions for 409 yards with four touchdowns for his career.

#34 Marcus Whitener- Only played one series in the 2012 season opener before being injured … Would also miss the next five games … Returned at VMI and averaged 6.4 yards per carry … Led CCU to a win at Gardner-Webb … With the game tied to start the fourth quarter, Whitener exploded for 79 yards on six carries, including TD runs of 10 and 39 yards … Named honorable mention National running back of the Week after exploding for 143 yards – ninth on the CCU single-game list – on 13 carries, playing just four series, with TD runs of four and 61 yards … His 792 career rushing yards is 10th on the CCU all-time list.

#93 Dominique Whiteside – His versatility and athleticism has helped Coastal on both sides of the ball this season … While David Duranwas injured, Whiteside was an excellent blocking tight end … When Duran’s health improved and subsequent injuries at defensive end led Whiteside to return to defense … While he has made only eight tackles this season, two have been for losses. After missing the 2011 season due to injury, Whiteside has 31 career tackles with 5.0 TFL and three sacks.

#66 Pat Williams – Coastal’s top lineman in 2012 and the anchor of the CCU offense for the past three seasons … In 2010 and ’11 he played a key role in Coastal leading the Big South in fewest sacks allowed while ranking third and 12th, respectively, in the nation … This season, Coastal is having a stellar year on offense, namely tying a school record by rushing for over 200 yards in five straight games and having the second and third best game for total offense on consecutive weeks.

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