0

ASU QB Jennings named SIAC Offensive Player of Year, Gaskins wins Defensive POY

ASU quarterback Stanley Jennings, left, and LB Jamarkus Gaskins both picked up prestigious honors Friday from the SIAC.

ASU quarterback Stanley Jennings, left, and LB Jamarkus Gaskins both picked up prestigious honors Friday from the SIAC.

ATLANTA -- Reigning SIAC MVP Stanley Jennings -- Albany State's senior QB -- didn't repeat that feat Friday, but got an award just as good.

Jennings was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year after leading the SIAC with 2,312 passing yards and 23 touchdowns.

But Jennings wasn't the only Rams star to pick up one of the conference's most prestigious end-of-the-year awards Friday.

Senior LB Jamarkus Gaskins was also named the Defensive Player of the Year.

"It means a lot to me to win the award after all the hard work, but we put in the hard work as a team and anything I accomplish individually is only (the direct result) of my team, my offensive line, for allowing me to make plays," said Jennings, a native of Marietta who starred at Southwest Mississippi State Community College before coming to ASU. "Without my team, I can't play well, so again, I feel like they won that award, too."

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound signal-caller ranks second in the SIAC with 231.2 passing yards per game, 2,378 yards of total offense and a passing efficiency at 133.5. Jennings has a 19-3 record in two seasons as a starter entering today's SIAC Championship game against Miles and will look to lead Albany State to its second straight conference title.

Jennings added that he felt being a two-time SIAC MVP showed all the Division I schools who passed on him that they made a mistake.

"My whole goal when I didn't go D-I was to prove to everyone I could play and should've (been at that level)," he said. "And I'm thankful to Albany State (and coach Mike White) for giving me that opportunity."

Gaskins, meanwhile, was a beast for the "Dirty Blue" defense this year and very deserving of the honor. In 10 games, Gaskins, a native of Tifton, finished with 61 tackles and an SIAC-best 12 sacks. The 6-2, 218-pound LB is fourth in the SIAC with 14.5 tackles for loss and totaled three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Gaskins, however, said the award was far from the icing on the cake to his stellar final season for the Rams.

"The icing on the cake would be to win the conference and a national championship," he said. "If we can do that, that's what I'll remember."