Smith named SBC Defensive Player of the Year

WKU cheerleaders root on defensive line Quanterus Smith as he runs into the end zone during the Hilltoppers vs. Florida Atlantic game.

Herald Staff

WKU’s Quatnerus Smith was named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year Wednesday.

The senior defensive end led the NCAA with 12.5 sacks this year before tearing his ACL against Louisiana-Lafayette. He also set a Sun Belt single-game record with five sacks against Florida International.

Smith and seven other WKU players were named to the 2012 All-Sun Belt teams.

Six WKU players were named to the first team — running back Antonio Andrews, tight end Jack Doyle, right guard Adam Smith, Quanterus Smith, linebacker Andrew Jackson, and safety Jonathan Dowling.

Quarterback Kawaun Jakes and defensive tackle Jamarcus Allen were named to the honorable mentions list as well.

Andrews currently leads the nation with 2,977 all-purpose yards this season and was also named as the first-team kick returner and second-team punt returner.

Doyle, a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end, pulled in 47 catches for 530 yards this season — both team-highs.

Adam Smith started all 12 games and allowed just one sack this season.

Jackson finished with 116 tackles and recorded 10 or more tackles in six Sun Belt games.

Dowling led the conference with six interceptions, including three in WKU’s win over Kentucky.

Jakes had his best year in a WKU uniform, throwing for a school record 21 touchdowns. He was also the conference leader in passing efficiency for much of the year.

Allen recorded 34 tackles in 12 starts for the Toppers.