Wachenheim, Multiple Keydets Named to All-SoCon Football Teams – Virginia Military Institute – VMI Athletics

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After a banner year on the gridiron, VMI head coach Scott Wachenheim and multiple VMI football cadet-athletes were named to the 2020-21 All-Southern Conference football teams as voted upon by league coaches and media members.
 
Wachenheim was named Coach of the Year, junior wide receiver Jakob Herres was named Offensive Player of the Year and sophomore linebacker Stone Snyder was named Defensive Player of the Year in both the coaches’ and media polls. In addition, redshirt freshman quarterback Seth Morgan was named Freshman of the Year in the coaches’ poll.
 
Between the coaches’ and media polls, a total of 13 Keydets were named to the respective lists and summarized below:
 
2020-21 Coaches’ All-Southern Conference Football Team
Coach of the Year: Scott Wachenheim
Offensive Player of the Year: Jakob Herres (co-recipient with Samford QB Liam Welch)
Defensive Player of the Year: Stone Snyder (co-recipient with ETSU LB Jared Folks)
Freshman of the Year: Seth Morgan
 
First Team Offense
OL Marshall Gill
WR Jakob Herres
First Team Defense
DL Jordan Ward
S A.J. Smith
 
Second Team Offense
QB Reece Udinski
OL Nick Hartnett
Second Team Defense
LB Stone Snyder
SPUR Ethan Caselberry
 
All-Freshman Offense
QB Seth Morgan
All-Freshman Defense
DB Alex Oliver
All-Freshman Special Teams
KR/PR Chance Knox
K Jerry Rice
 
 
2020-21 SoCon Media All-Southern Conference Football Team
Wallace Wade Coach of the Year: Scott Wachenheim
Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year: Jakob Herres
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Stone Snyder
 
First Team Offense
OL Marshall Gill
OL Nick Hartnett
WR Jakob Herres
First Team Defense
LB Stone Snyder
 
Second Team Offense
QB Reece Udinski
Second Team Defense
DL Jordan Ward
LB Connor Riddle
S A.J. Smith
SPUR Ethan Caselberry
 
 
A synopsis of accomplishments from Coach Wachenheim and respective Keydets mentioned above is provided below:
 
Head Coach Scott Wachenheim
Named the AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year earlier this week, Wachenheim led the Keydets to their first SoCon title since 1977 and first ever FCS Playoff appearance. One of 16 finalists for the Stats Perform Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award, Wachenheim coached the Keydets to their first winning season since 1981 as VMI climbed to as high as #10 in the Stats Perform/AFCA national polls in late March. The Keydets triumphed in all three road tests to finish the regular road record undefeated for the first time since 1922. All three away wins – Western Carolina, Samford, and Wofford – occurred where VMI had never won before. VMI’s win over #10 Furman to start the season marked the first time since 2002 that the Keydets had defeated a nationally ranked team.
 
Jakob Herres
Herres led the Keydets in receiving this season with 67 catches for 807 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 12.0 yards per grab and 115.3 yards per game, all of which lead the Southern Conference. He played a critical role in helping VMI to a 5-0 start to the season with six touchdown receptions, including three against Wofford College in which he amassed 15 receptions for 207 yards, both career highs, to be named the Stats Perform FCS National Offensive Player of the Week. A week before, he caught the game-tying touchdown reception against Samford to force overtime, then caught VMI’s touchdown pass in overtime that VMI eventually converted a two-point reception to teammate Michael Jackson for the one-point win over the Bulldogs. He finished the year with 11 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown against The Citadel to lead VMI to the SoCon title-clinching victory. Herres is a finalist for the Stats Perform Walter Payton Award for the national FCS Offensive Player of the Year.  He is the first VMI player to earn offensive player of the year honors from the league’s media since Thomas Haskins in 1996 and the first wide receiver to earn the offensive award since Appalachian State’s DaVon Fowlkes in 2004.
 
Stone Snyder
VMI’s first ever Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore linebacker Stone Snyder leads the league in tackles with 10.9 per game, totaling 76 for the year (25 solo). He is also third in the league in tackles for loss with 1.36 per game and has a total of 9.5 for the season. His presence on the field has helped VMI rank tied for second in the league in scoring defense at 20.4 points allowed per game.  He earned a career-high 21 tackles against The Citadel, including two sacks on the Bulldogs’ final drive.
 
Seth Morgan
Faced with the task of starting VMI’s final three games after VMI’s all-time leading passer Reece Udinski went down to injury, Morgan stepped up to the challenge to help the Keydets finish the season strong and claim their first SoCon title since 1977.  Morgan appeared in all seven games, going 92-121 for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception.  His .760 completion percentage leads the FCS, while his 171.1 pass efficiency ranks second in the nation. Over his final three games in which he started, he threw seven touchdowns and rushed for 147 yards and two scores. He was named the SoCon Offensive Player of the Week after leading VMI to victory over The Citadel in the season finale and was also named the Stats Perform FCS National Freshman of the Week for his efforts to improve VMI to 6-1 on the year. He is VMI’s fourth overall Freshman of the Year honoree and first since Al Cobb in 2014.
 
Reece Udinski
Udinski was named SoCon Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and SoCon preseason First Team Offense. Despite a season-ending injury cutting his season short, Udinski started four games to pass for 1087 yards and seven touchdowns. New to his resume was adding three rushing touchdowns, including two in a win over Mercer. After leaving the game due to an injury, Reece returned to the field to find Jakob Herres in the endzone and tie the game with just over a minute left in the game. Another touchdown pass to Herres in overtime led to a gutsy two-point conversion pass to Michael Jackson for the win in the overtime thriller. Udinski finishes his VMI as the all-time leading passer with 7,862 yards surpassing Al Cobb (2014-16). Udinski holds the all-time VMI records for passing yardage, completions, attempts, and TD passes. He has been responsible for 51 touchdowns in his career, which is second all-time behind running back Thomas Haskins (1993-96) who had 53. Udinski was responsible for 308 points in his career, which also is second all-time behind Haskins who had 326 during his Institute career. Udinski had ten 300-yard passing games which is one less that career leader Al Cobb (2014-16) and his 22 career 200-yard passing games moved him past Cobb to the top spot on the VMI charts.
 
Nick Hartnett
Hartnett was named SoCon preseason First Team Offense alongside Udinski. Harnett started six games this year leading up to the FCS Playoff bid.
 
Marshall Gill
Gill played in six games during the season and started five at left tackle.
 
Ethan Caselberry
Caselberry started six games this year in a defense stronghold to lead VMI to an FCS Playoff bid. Caselberry tallied 36 tackles in the regular season, including four tackles for a loss, good for third on the team. His two sacks against Furman racked up 19 yards for a loss and added an interception against Western Carolina. Six pass break-ups led the team during the regular season.
 
Alex Oliver
Oliver started all seven games in a campaign to earn 27 total tackles. His three pass break-ups were tied for second-best on the team during the regular season.
 
Chance Knox
Knox played in all seven games as wide receiver and big minutes on special teams. Knox finished with two receiving touchdowns with 25 receptions for 230 yards. On special teams, Knox had a team-high 70-yard kickoff return to start the second half against Wofford. Leading the team with 11 kick returns, Knox tallied 250 yards. Taking sole put return duties, Knox had 74 yards on eight opportunities, including a 22-yard gain.
 
Jerry Rice
Rice played in all seven games as starting kicker and led the team in points with 52 in the regular season. Rice finished 10 for 13 on field goals, including a perfect 7-7 under 30 yards. The season-best 38-yard field goal came against The Citadel in the third quarter. Rice went 22 for 24 in PAT.
 
Connor Riddle
Riddle started seven games en route to a career senior year. After a standout performance in an upset win against No. 10 Furman, Riddle was named the Stats Perform National Defensive Player of the Week, SoCon Defensive Player of the Week, and SoCon Defensive Player of the Month. Riddle had a career-high 13 tackles, and two sacks which came on Furman’s final drive of the game. Leading VMI in unassisted tackles with 34, Riddle finished with 72 total tackles, second behind Snyder. Riddle’s ten tackles for a loss led the team, while also tallying five sacks, an interception, and three pass breakups in the regular season.

Jordan Ward
Ward started the season being named to the SoCon Preseason First Team Defense alongside AJ Smith. Hampered by injury for most of the season, Ward was still able to knock 17 total tackles and two sacks. His presence was felt with nearly four tackles for a loss leading to 11 yards lost.
 
A.J. Smith
After a stellar junior year at VMI, Smith started the season being named to the First Team Defense. Smith played in all seven games, including starting the last six games. Smith finished third on the team in total tackles (53), and second on the team in unassisted tackles (32) during the regular season. Smith added an interception, two pass break-ups, and a forced fumble to his senior year.
 
 
 
2020-21 Coaches All-Southern Conference Football Team
 
Offensive Player of the Year – Liam Welch, Gr., QB, Samford
Offensive Player of the Year – Jakob Herres, Jr., WR, VMI
Defensive Player of the Year ­– Jared Folks, Gr., ETSU
Defensive Player of the Year ­– Stone Snyder, So., VMI
Freshman of the Year – Seth Morgan, QB, VMI
Jacob Blocking Award – Tre’mond Shorts, R-Jr., OL, ETSU
Jacob Blocking Award – Cole Strange, Sr., OL, Chattanooga
Coach of the Year – Scott Wachenheim, VMI
 
First team offense
QB       Liam Welch, Gr., Samford
RB        Quay Holmes, R-Jr., ETSU
RB        Donnavan Spencer, R-Sr., Western Carolina
OL        Tre’mond Shorts, R-Jr., ETSU
OL        Anderson Tomlin, R-So., Furman
OL        McClendon Curtis, Jr., Chattanooga
OL        Marshall Gill, Jr., VMI
OL        Isaiah Helms, So., Western Carolina
TE        Nate Adkins, Jr., ETSU
WR       Ty King, So., Samford
WR       Jakob Herres, Jr., VMI
 
First team defense
DL        Armond Lloyd, Gr., Samford
DL        Devonnsha Maxwell, Jr., Chattanooga
DL        Jordan Ward, Sr., VMI
DL        Michael Mason, So., Wofford
LB        Jared Folks, Gr., ETSU
LB        Willie Eubanks III, Sr., The Citadel
LB        Donovan Manuel, R-So., ETSU
DB       Tyree Robinson, Sr., ETSU
DB       Lance Wise, So., Mercer
DB       Chris Edmonds, So., Samford
DB        AJ Smith, Sr., VMI
 
First team special teams
PK        Mitchell Fineran, Jr., Samford
P          Matt Campbell, Jr., The Citadel
RS        Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
 
Second team offense
QB       Reece Udinski, Sr., VMI
RB        Devin Wynn, Sr., Furman
RB        Deondre Johnson, R-So., Mercer
OL        Haden Haas, R-Jr., The Citadel
OL        Gavin Orr, Jr., Samford
OL        Mike Williams, Sr., Samford
OL        Cole Strange, Sr., Chattanooga
OL        Nick Hartnett, R-So., VMI
TE        Ryan Miller, Jr., Furman
WR       Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
WR       Reginal Henderson, Sr., Chattanooga
 
Second team defense
DL        Cameron Coleman, R-So., Furman
DL        DJ McDaniel, Jr., Mercer
DL        Solomon Zubairu, So., Mercer
DL        Nelson Jordan, Jr., Samford
DL        Jay Person, So., Chattanooga
LB        Isaac Dowling, Fr., Mercer
LB        Nathan East, Gr., Samford
LB        Ty Boeck, Jr., Chattanooga
LB        Stone Snyder, So., VMI
DB       Parrish Gordon, Gr., The Citadel
DB       Yahsyn McKee, So., Mercer
DB        Ethan Caselberry, Jr., VMI
DB       Tahir Annoor, So., Wofford
 
Second team special teams
PK        Tyler Keltner, So., ETSU
P          Timmy Bleekrode, R-So., Furman
P          Caleb Dowden, R-So., Mercer
RS        Quay Holmes, R-Jr., ETSU
 
All-Freshman Offense
Ben Brockington, The Citadel
Nathan Storch, The Citadel
Fred Norman Jr., ETSU
Noah West, ETSU
Jacob Johanning, Furman
Ethan Dirrim, Mercer
Ty James, Mercer
Carter Peevy, Mercer
Cooper Frazier, Samford
Seth Morgan, VMI
Irvin Mulligan, Wofford
 
All-Freshman Defense
Carson Hatchett, The Citadel
Di’Andre Davis, ETSU
Max Evans, ETSU
Alijah Huzzie, ETSU
Nick Kuzemka, Furman
Isaac Dowling, Mercer
Noah Martin, Samford
John Prince, Chattanooga
Quay Wiggles, Chattanooga
Alex Oliver, VMI
Dorian Davis, Western Carolina
Jaquarius Guinn, Western Carolina
 
All-Freshman Special Teams
Chance Knox, VMI
Jerry Rice, VMI
Paxton Robertson, Western Carolina
 
*******************************************
 
2020-21 SCSMA All-Southern Conference Football Team
 
Roy M. “Legs” Hawley Offensive Player of the Year – Jakob Herres, Jr., WR, VMI
Defensive Player of the Year ­– Stone Snyder, So., LB, VMI
Freshman of the Year – Carter Peevy, QB, Mercer
Wallace Wade Coach of the Year – Scott Wachenheim, VMI
 
First team offense
QB       Liam Welch, Gr., Samford
RB        Quay Holmes, R-Jr., ETSU
RB        Donnavan Spencer, R-Sr., Western Carolina
OL        Haden Haas, R-Jr., The Citadel
OL        Tre’mond Shorts, R-Jr., ETSU
OL        Mike Williams, Sr., Samford
OL        Marshall Gill, Jr., VMI
OL        Nick Hartnett, R-So., VMI
TE        Ryan Miller, Jr., Furman
WR       Ty King, So., Samford
WR       Jakob Herres, Jr., VMI
 
First team defense
DL        Dalton Owens, R-Jr., The Citadel
DL        Solomon Zubairu, So., Mercer
DL        Devonnsha Maxwell, Jr., Chattanooga
DL        Michael Mason, So., Wofford
LB        Anthony Britton Jr., So., The Citadel
LB        Isaac Dowling, Fr., Mercer
LB        Stone Snyder, So., VMI
DB       Tyree Robinson, Sr., ETSU
DB       Darius Kearse, Sr., Furmam
DB       Lance Wise, So., Mercer
DB       Chris Edmonds, So., Samford
 
First team special teams
PK        Mitchell Fineran, Jr., Samford
P          Matt Campbell, Jr., The Citadel
RS        Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
 
Second team offense
QB       Reece Udinski, Sr., VMI
RB        Devin Wynn, Sr., Furman
RB        Deondre Johnson, R-So., Mercer
OL        Anderson Tomlin, R-So., Furman
OL        John Harris, R-So., Mercer
OL        Gavin Orr, Jr., Samford
OL        Cole Strange, Sr., Chattanooga
OL        Isaiah Helms, So., Western Carolina
TE        Michael Vice, So., Samford
WR       A.J. Toney, So., Samford
WR       Montrell Washington, Sr., Samford
 
Second team defense
DL        Carson Hatchett, Fr., The Citadel
DL        Nelson Jordan, Jr., Samford
DL        Armond Lloyd, Gr., Samford
DL        Jay Person, So., Chattanooga
DL        Jordan Ward, Sr., VMI
LB        Jared Folks, Gr., ETSU
LB        Connor Riddle, R-Sr., VMI
LB        Ty Harris, Sr., Western Carolina
DB       Alijah Huzzie, R-Fr., ETSU
DB        AJ Smith, Sr., VMI
DB        Ethan Caselberry, Jr., VMI
DB       Ronald Kent Jr., Jr., Western Carolina
 
Second team special teams
PK        Tyler Keltner, So., ETSU
P          Timmy Bleekrode, R-So., Furman
RS        Quay Holmes, R-Jr., ETSU

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