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McClendon Named All-OSN Offensive Player of the Year

By Justine Gaskamp on 11/25/2014 Running back Chris McClendon was named Offensive Player of the Year by OklahomaSports.Net; three other Aggies received All-OSN honors as well.—Reagan Higgins photo (11/4/2014)Running back Chris McClendon was named Offensive Player of the Year by OklahomaSports.Net; three other Aggies received All-OSN honors as well.—Reagan Higgins photo (11/4/2014)

Goodwell, Okla.—OklahomaSports.Net released its inaugural class of football honorees this week which includes four Aggies; two First Team Offense players and two Second Team Defense players.

Receiving top-honors was junior running back Chris McClendon who was named 2014 All-OSN Offensive Player of the Year. McClendon was a huge contributor in this year’s offense ranked fifth nationally (total offense), rushing for over 1100 yards on 173 carries, and tacking on another 281 yards receiving. The Rixey, Ark. native started in all ten games this season and averaged 145 all-purpose yards per game; he led his team with 12 touchdowns on the season.

Offensive Coordinator Lucas Peters shared his reaction to the recognitions “I feel extremely blessed to be able to work with each of these men; they are all great football players but even better people. Chris had one of the best years I’ve see for a running back and he did it splitting time with another talented back (Rod Moore).”

McClendon earned a spot on the First Team Offense along with teammate wide receiver Zacari Lavender. Lavender had an impressive sophomore season as the Aggies’ leading receiver with 29 catches for 760 yards and eight touchdowns; he averaged 84 yards per game over nine games played. In addition, Lav contributed on special teams with one punt return good for a touchdown and a 43-yard kick return; he also scored two touchdowns rushing. Peters added, “Zacari is an extremely explosive athlete, which showed as he scored a TD almost a third of the time he touched the ball.”

The Aggie Darkside-D was also recognized with two players earning spots on the Second Team Defense: linebacker Tanner Hallford and punter Devin Rubino. Hallford finished his junior season leading his team in tackles with 84 (42 solo/42 assists) and in sacks with 7.5. He also contributed 18 tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble and had one pass break-up over his ten games starting for the Aggies. Rubino, also a junior, averaged over 40 yards per punt; his season long was a 67-yarder against Bacone College.

Of the defensive players Peters said this, “Tanner had the best year of any defensive player since this staff has been at OPSU. It seemed like he made every play on Saturdays. Devin has one of the biggest legs in the country and showed it time and time again.”

The Aggies are coming off a milestone-setting season, winning seven games for the first time since 1986 and ending up ranked in the top-ten nationally for both defense and offense. Peters concluded, “The good thing about being a part of OPSU Football right now is every one of these guys is coming back next year. I know all these guys are licking their chops to get back on the field already, let’s hope next year we can have a few more Aggies on this list.”

OklahomaSports.Net covers sports throughout the state of Oklahoma focusing on smaller colleges. The site was named as a Top College Athletics Blog by eCollegeFinder for 2013 and is headed up by Joey McWilliams of Durant, Okla. McWilliams has been a generous advocate of Oklahoma D-II football and the coaches and players of OPSU Football would like to express their sincere gratitude for the coverage and recognition they received through podcasts, polls and rankings throughout the season.

Congratulations to Chris McClendon, Zacari Lavender, Tanner Hallford, Devin Rubino and the entire Aggie football team and coaching staff on the successful season and well-deserved honors. Aggie fans can see the full list of All-OSN team members by visiting oklahomasports.net.