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Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

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Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:00 pm

A comment on another thread had me think on this. Who and what were the top defensive performances in App State history?

I would not rank these in order yet but some of the top ones off the top of my head are these:

2019 LB Akeem Davis-Gaither- 4th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 104 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 6 QBH, 1 BLK.

2015 DE Ronald Blair- 5th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 71 tkl, 19 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF.

2005 DE Jason Hunter- Undrafted, 2nd team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 101 TKL, 24.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT returned for TD, 2 FR for TDs.

1996 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 166 tkl (2nd most all-time in a single year), 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon,

1995 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon, 165 tkl, 20 TFL

1985 LB Dino Hackett- 2nd round pick, 1st team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 200 tkl (all-time single season high), 27 tkl vs ETSU (all-time single game high)

I felt like since the 80s these have to be the top ones but I think Marques Murrell in 2006, Josh Jeffries in 2002, Avery Hall in 1992, Dexter Coakley again in 1994, Matt Stevens in 1994, Larry Harbin in 1963, and Mark LeGree in 2010 could all be worthy of a mention.

I can't find all the stats for Larry Hand's last year but his story along with what he ended up doing makes me feel like he should be mentioned as well.

Am I missing anyone else?
Last edited by AppStFan1 on Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by EastHallApp » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:16 pm

Pretty good list! Without looking up stats, Duck might have had a season or two worthy of consideration.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by Saint3333 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:23 pm

SJC this past season may be better than Ducks.

For me 1995 DC.

Great list! Amazing seasons by all.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by booneboy92 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:54 pm

I wouldn’t even dream of tarnishing this list by trying to rank them! And yes, Hand and Sherm definitely belong there! Should probably have tried a top 10 list! Fun thread!... But I ain’t touchin it! Thanks!



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by appgrad98 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:04 am

I couldn't find stats to see how they stack up. But the only name I could think to add to the list was Matt Stevens.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by Stonewall » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:20 am

Anthony Downs. Mike Frier. Rico Mack. Gary Dandridge. Dwayne Pelham. Larry Hand.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by appstate5 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:19 am

Sherm over Duck.....I remember Duck giving up the long TD at Tennessee that had me cussing



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppSt94 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:38 am

appstate5 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:19 am
Sherm over Duck.....I remember Duck giving up the long TD at Tennessee that had me cussing
To be fair, it was his first game as a True Freshman.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by bigdaddyg » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:44 am

Mark LeGree 10 PIC’s in 2008 was not bad. Corey Lynch FG block at UM is almost enough for a top 10. Didn’t he suffer a major injury, get a quick surgery and come right back? It’s hard to knock Coakley from the one spot.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:17 am

appgrad98 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:04 am
I couldn't find stats to see how they stack up. But the only name I could think to add to the list was Matt Stevens.
Stevens is one of the top 5-10 defensive talents to ever come through App but I don't think he ever had that crazy monster production season. He had 7 picks one year but I put LeGree over him since he had 10. He had his senior year cut short due to injury so that potentially prevented him from having the type of season to break through.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:22 am

bigdaddyg wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:44 am
Mark LeGree 10 PIC’s in 2008 was not bad. Corey Lynch FG block at UM is almost enough for a top 10. Didn’t he suffer a major injury, get a quick surgery and come right back? It’s hard to knock Coakley from the one spot.
If I was naming top careers then I think Lynch has to be there and that play would be the very top single play in App State history. Lynch had a good year that season but he still never had the big monster year that the others had. He was just always consistent and a great player. He definitely had one of the top careers in history of App.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:26 am

Stonewall wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:20 am
Anthony Downs. Mike Frier. Rico Mack. Gary Dandridge. Dwayne Pelham. Larry Hand.
Remember, this is single-season dominance and not careers. I think Hand, Mack and maybe Downs are the only ones mentioned that you could argue for top 10 defender in App history. We have had a lot of great ones. Every single one of those you mentioned is still very good.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by huskie3 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:54 am

I nominate South Endzone turf, it saved and extended our season several times!


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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by SpeedkingATL » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:10 am

As far as a single game, I will never forget the 2005 National Championship game against UNI when both Jason Hunter and Marques Murrell were absolutely unblockable and completely took over the game in the 2nd half, culminating in Murrell's strip sack and Hunter's recovery and return for a TD. Demetrius Taylor's 2019 game against UNC certainly comes to mind as a recent dominating performance.

No disrespect to any App on this list, but Dexter Coakley was a one man wrecking crew every time he stepped on the field.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by appstate24 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:17 am

SpeedkingATL wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:10 am
As far as a single game, I will never forget the 2005 National Championship game against UNI when both Jason Hunter and Marques Murrell were absolutely unblockable and completely took over the game in the 2nd half, culminating in Murrell's strip sack and Hunter's recovery and return for a TD. Demetrius Taylor's 2019 game against UNC certainly comes to mind as a recent dominating performance.

No disrespect to any App on this list, but Dexter Coakley was a one man wrecking crew every time he stepped on the field.
This!

If you haven’t re-watched the ‘05 National Championship game lately, it’s definitely worth a watch. Those two were absolute animals on the field. Completely unstoppable.

As an ‘07 graduate, Coakley was before my time. I would have loved to watch him live. Armanti and Coakley, far and away our two GOAT’s.

GO APPS!!



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:07 pm

appstate24 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:17 am
SpeedkingATL wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:10 am
As far as a single game, I will never forget the 2005 National Championship game against UNI when both Jason Hunter and Marques Murrell were absolutely unblockable and completely took over the game in the 2nd half, culminating in Murrell's strip sack and Hunter's recovery and return for a TD. Demetrius Taylor's 2019 game against UNC certainly comes to mind as a recent dominating performance.

No disrespect to any App on this list, but Dexter Coakley was a one man wrecking crew every time he stepped on the field.
This!

If you haven’t re-watched the ‘05 National Championship game lately, it’s definitely worth a watch. Those two were absolute animals on the field. Completely unstoppable.

As an ‘07 graduate, Coakley was before my time. I would have loved to watch him live. Armanti and Coakley, far and away our two GOAT’s.

GO APPS!!
That game by them both were insane. The fumble return by Hunter, Dexter Jackson's long TD against Michigan, Lynch's FG block vs Michigan, Armanti's TD run vs Ga Sou, and Taylor's sack and TD against UNC have to be the biggest individual plays by an App player.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by asu66 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:07 pm

AppStFan1 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:00 pm
A comment on another thread had me think on this. Who and what were the top defensive performances in App State history?

I would not rank these in order yet but some of the top ones off the top of my head are these:

2019 LB Akeem Davis-Gaither- 4th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 104 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 6 QBH, 1 BLK.

2015 DE Ronald Blair- 5th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 71 tkl, 19 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF.

2005 DE Jason Hunter- Undrafted, 2nd team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 101 TKL, 24.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT returned for TD, 2 FR for TDs.

1996 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 166 tkl (2nd most all-time in a single year), 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon,

1995 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon, 165 tkl, 20 TFL

1985 LB Dino Hackett- 2nd round pick, 1st team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 200 tkl (all-time single season high), 27 tkl vs ETSU (all-time single game high)

I felt like since the 80s these have to be the top ones but I think Marques Murrell in 2006, Josh Jeffries in 2002, Avery Hall in 1992, Dexter Coakley again in 1994, Matt Stevens in 1994, Larry Harbin in 1963, and Mark LeGree in 2010 could all be worthy of a mention.

I can't find all the stats for Larry Hand's last year but his story along with what he ended up doing makes me feel like he should be mentioned as well.

Am I missing anyone else?

Larry Hand, from the mid-60s is definitely a keeper in this discussion. His stats will need to carry an asterisk because he played most of the minutes of most of his Mountaineer games on both defense and offense. THE APPALACHIAN'S coverage referred to him as a Greek God for his iron-man heroics. He drew double-team attention on every snap regardless of where he was lined up. He was the most busy guy in the stadium on game day.

DB Wayne Byrd, also from the mid-60s, deserves to be in this conversation.

Then there was a guy named Corey Lynch just a few years back who had this *bad habit* of breaking-up or intercepting passes and blocking punts. His teammates still tease him good-naturedly about a particular play in '07.


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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by AppStFan1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:15 pm

asu66 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:07 pm
AppStFan1 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:00 pm
A comment on another thread had me think on this. Who and what were the top defensive performances in App State history?

I would not rank these in order yet but some of the top ones off the top of my head are these:

2019 LB Akeem Davis-Gaither- 4th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 104 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 6 QBH, 1 BLK.

2015 DE Ronald Blair- 5th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 71 tkl, 19 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF.

2005 DE Jason Hunter- Undrafted, 2nd team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 101 TKL, 24.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT returned for TD, 2 FR for TDs.

1996 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 166 tkl (2nd most all-time in a single year), 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon,

1995 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon, 165 tkl, 20 TFL

1985 LB Dino Hackett- 2nd round pick, 1st team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 200 tkl (all-time single season high), 27 tkl vs ETSU (all-time single game high)

I felt like since the 80s these have to be the top ones but I think Marques Murrell in 2006, Josh Jeffries in 2002, Avery Hall in 1992, Dexter Coakley again in 1994, Matt Stevens in 1994, Larry Harbin in 1963, and Mark LeGree in 2010 could all be worthy of a mention.

I can't find all the stats for Larry Hand's last year but his story along with what he ended up doing makes me feel like he should be mentioned as well.

Am I missing anyone else?

Larry Hand, from the mid-60s is definitely a keeper in this discussion. His stats will need to carry an asterisk because he played most of the minutes of most of his Mountaineer games on both defense and offense. THE APPALACHIAN'S coverage referred to him as a Greek God for his iron-man heroics. He drew double-team attention on every snap regardless of where he was lined up. He was the most busy guy in the stadium on game day.

DB Wayne Byrd, also from the mid-60s, deserves to be in this conversation.

Then there was a guy named Corey Lynch just a few years back who had this *bad habit* of breaking-up or intercepting passes and blocking punts. His teammates still tease him good-naturedly about a particular play in '07.
I could not find full stats for them for specific years so I did not list them. I am highlighting top single-season performances and not overall career.

If we are talking about top 5 careers among defenders in App history I would definitely say Coakley, Hackett, Hand, and Lynch would be in there. Not sure who I would would fill 5th spot but I feel like those 4 would have to be there. I do believe had Jason Hunter been able to learn the system a lot sooner and have 3 years as a starter that he would have been drafted and would be considered among the top 5 for sure.



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by Blackshirt68 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:43 pm

Hand and Byrd. Bad days for Blackshirt offensive backs!



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Re: Top 5 most dominant single-season App defensive performances

Unread post by asu66 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:55 pm

AppStFan1 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:15 pm
asu66 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:07 pm
AppStFan1 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:00 pm
A comment on another thread had me think on this. Who and what were the top defensive performances in App State history?

I would not rank these in order yet but some of the top ones off the top of my head are these:

2019 LB Akeem Davis-Gaither- 4th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 104 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 6 QBH, 1 BLK.

2015 DE Ronald Blair- 5th round pick, SBC DEF POY, 1st team All-SBC, 71 tkl, 19 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF.

2005 DE Jason Hunter- Undrafted, 2nd team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 101 TKL, 24.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT returned for TD, 2 FR for TDs.

1996 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 166 tkl (2nd most all-time in a single year), 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon,

1995 LB Dexter Coakley- 3rd round pick, Buck Buchanan Award Winner, 1st team All-American, SoCon Athlete of Year, SoCon DEF POY, 1st team All-SoCon, 165 tkl, 20 TFL

1985 LB Dino Hackett- 2nd round pick, 1st team All-American, 1st team All-SoCon, 200 tkl (all-time single season high), 27 tkl vs ETSU (all-time single game high)

I felt like since the 80s these have to be the top ones but I think Marques Murrell in 2006, Josh Jeffries in 2002, Avery Hall in 1992, Dexter Coakley again in 1994, Matt Stevens in 1994, Larry Harbin in 1963, and Mark LeGree in 2010 could all be worthy of a mention.

I can't find all the stats for Larry Hand's last year but his story along with what he ended up doing makes me feel like he should be mentioned as well.

Am I missing anyone else?

Larry Hand, from the mid-60s is definitely a keeper in this discussion. His stats will need to carry an asterisk because he played most of the minutes of most of his Mountaineer games on both defense and offense. THE APPALACHIAN'S coverage referred to him as a Greek God for his iron-man heroics. He drew double-team attention on every snap regardless of where he was lined up. He was the most busy guy in the stadium on game day.

DB Wayne Byrd, also from the mid-60s, deserves to be in this conversation.

Then there was a guy named Corey Lynch just a few years back who had this *bad habit* of breaking-up or intercepting passes and blocking punts. His teammates still tease him good-naturedly about a particular play in '07.
I could not find full stats for them for specific years so I did not list them. I am highlighting top single-season performances and not overall career.

If we are talking about top 5 careers among defenders in App history I would definitely say Coakley, Hackett, Hand, and Lynch would be in there. Not sure who I would would fill 5th spot but I feel like those 4 would have to be there. I do believe had Jason Hunter been able to learn the system a lot sooner and have 3 years as a starter that he would have been drafted and would be considered among the top 5 for sure.
Understood. App had no SID in those days. I think Jim Jones/students kept team stats [he was business mgr for athletics, head tennis coach and (of course) a much-feared accounting professor then]. Many of the athletic department's collection of official team scoring books were carelessly tossed with construction debris when Brook-Kirk Gym fell to a wrecking bar. I bought one for '50-'51 men's basketball that was found in a trash pile by a grad student and ended up in a Boone antique mall.

I believe I'm correct in stating that a part-time SID was hired just before the '68 football season. By then, Hand had been starting for the Lions for a couple of years plus.


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