Coming off one of the best seasons in the history of the Fort Scott Community College football program with an 11-1 final record and No. ranking in the final NJCAA poll, there were many standout performances throughout the season. But the efforts of three Greyhound players were recognized earlier this week as the NJCAA released the 2009 All-American football teams.
Sophomores Jasmin Hopkins, Jermarcus Hardrick, and LaVonte' David were all named to the First Team for their individual performances for the 'Hounds.
Hopkins, a 5' 8" 170-pound running back from Stanley, N.C,, rushed for a nation-leading 1,931 yards on 322 carries while scoring 17 touchdowns.
"It is a great accomplishment and was one of my personal goals at the beginning of the year," Hopkins said. "But it would not have been possible if it wasn't for the offensive linemen and fullback Brad Terron that I had blocking in front of me. I truly thank the 'Big Dawgs' for making this possible for me. I give them all of the credit."
Hopkins was earlier named 2009 Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
At 6' 7" and 315 pounds, offensive tackle Jermarcus Hardrick was never hard to see when the spotlight came on at game time. He was considered one of the top two offensive linemen by college scouts throughout the 2009 campaign. Hardrick was the vocal and physical leader of an offensive line that helped lead the Greyhounds ground attack to a 265 yard-per-game average, fifth-best in the nation. The 'Hounds averaged 397 yards total offense per game while leading the nation in plays from scrimmage with 878.
"Yoshi," as Hardrick is known by Greyhound followers, will continue to wreck havoc on defenses next season for the Big 12's Nebraska Cornhuskers. Hardrick's hometown is Batesville, Mississippi.
In his two years as a 'Hound, the Miami, Fla., product, recorded 216 tackles and 37 tackles for loss. During this span he also had 8 sacks and 8 forced fumbles.
David also had returned an interception for a touchdown this season in Week 3 when he picked off a Garden City pass and returned it for 69 yards to paydirt.
"It's a great honor to be named All-American," David said. "It shows that the hard work that we put in pays off. I give a lot of credit to my teammates and the coaching staff. They encourage, push, and keep me focused to make me the player I am."
David has verbally committed to play at the D-I level next season with Hardrick at the University of Nebraska.
Third-year Greyhound head coach Jeff Sims said there are three things that separates these young men from others.
"Jas, Yoshi, and LaVonte' are all three coachable," Sims said, "They think big, and they deal with disappointment well.
"All three are the types of player that respond to the coaches orders with a 'Yes, sir' answer and never complains about what is asked of them. They believe that good things happen to the ones that work hard and never give up. Each of these young men understand that disappointment is just a momentary setback and will work harder to get what they want and deserve."
Fort Scott Community College has had nine players named to All-American lists in Sims' three-year coaching stint.