JACKSON, Mississippi - The Southwestern Athletic Conference released its All-SWAC football teams for the 2012 season Tuesday, kicking off the build-up to Saturday's SWAC Football Championship Game, presented by Toyota. Senior wide receiver Rico Richardson was named the 2012 Offensive Player of the Year.
Richardson, a 2011 second team selection was the only receiver in the SWAC to gain over 1,000 yards receiving this season, The senior from Natchez, Miss. finished the regular season with 56 receptions for 1,081 yards which led the SWAC and is ranked 13th in the NCAA. He also led the conference in TD grabs with 10. He averaged 19.3 yards per catch and 98.3 per game also lead the SWAC.
Along with Rico Richardson, Zion Pyatt, Stephen Capler, Joseph LeBeau and Qua Cox were named to the first team. Pyatt and Capler are members of JSU's offensive line. LeBeau is ranked third in the nation in tackles for loss. Cox is 23rd in the FCS in interceptions.
Jackson State placed seven student-athletes on the teams, including five first-team selections. Western Division champion, Arkansas Pine Bluff led the way with 13 student-athletes selected and Alabama State had six named to the all-conference team.
Richardson is the second straight SWAC Offensive Player of the Year for JSU. Last season Casey Therriault (QB) received the honor. Under Comegy five Tigers have received either Offensive, Defensive or Newcomer of the Year awards. 2008: Marcellus Speaks (LB) was named SWAC Defensive Player of the Year - he finished with 115 tackles, 2010: Casey Therrualt (QB) was named SWAC Newcomer of the Year - he finished with 3456 passing yards and 31 TDs, 2011: Casey Therriault (QB) was named SWAC Offensive Player of the Year - he finished with 3808 passing yards and 27 TDs and Joseph LeBeau (DE) was named SWAC Newcomer of the Year - he finished with 16 sacks (tied a JSU single season record) and 75 tackles.
Below is JSU's complete list of All-SWAC Team Members
All-SWAC 1st-team Offense
WR Rico Richardson, SR, Jackson State
OL Zion Pyatt, SR, Jackson State
OL Stephen Capler, SR, Jackson State
All-SWAC 1st-team Defense
DL Joseph LeBeau, SR, Jackson State
DB Qua Cox, JR, Jackson State
All-SWAC 2nd-team Offense
OL Jonathan Smith, SO, Jackson State
All-SWAC 2nd-team Defense
DL Johnathan Billups, SR, Jackson State
NOTE: The SWAC Coach of the Year is determined by the winner of the SWAC Championship Game and will be presented following Saturday's game at Birmingham's Legion Field. Kickoff is set for 12:02 p.m.