Bryson Armstrong became the second straight Kennesaw State linebacker to be named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The announcement was made by conference officials Tuesday with the release of Big South all-conference team.

Armstrong finished the regular season with 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks an interception and a fumble recovery. The former Kell High School follows in the footsteps of Anthony Gore Jr., who won the award last year.

Armstrong has led the Kennesaw State defense to big heights in 2019. The unit led the conference, allowing only 277.8 yards and 17.9 points per game, both of which ranked in the top 10 in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Armstrong was one of nine Owls to earn all-conference honors.

Offensive linemen Chris Dye and Jake Lassiter earned first-team honors for helping Kennesaw State become the No. 1-ranked rushing team in the FCS at 350 yards per game.

On the defensive side, Armstong was joined by defensive lineman Desmond Johnson Jr., who had 33 tackles, including a Big South-best 14 tackles for loss. Johnson also had six sacks and a forced fumble.

Running back Bronson Rechsteiner earned second-team all-conference honors after rushing for 843 yards and seven touchdowns. He has had touchdown runs of 85, 65, 56 and 55 yards this season.

Linebacker Kareem Taylor and defensive back Le’Vonte Larry earned second-team honors on defense.

Taylor is second on the team with 45 tackles, including 10 for loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Larry is third on the team in tackles with 43, in addition to an interception and four passes defensed.

Running back Isaac Foster also earned a second-team nod at punt returner, despite missing the final five games of the season due to a broken ankle. Otherwise, he would have been a leading candidate to earn first-team honors as kick and punt returner, as well as a potential special teams player of the year.

Foster finished his shortened season returning six punts for 112 yards, for a 18.7-yard average. He was injured on his longest return of the year, a 57-yarder against Presbyterian.

Foster also finished the year with 14 kick returns for 457 yards, with a long of 54.

Defensive back Cole Loden was one of eight players named to the Big South All-Academic Team.

Monmouth quarterback Kenji Bahar was named the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, with Charleston Southern kicker Alex Usry the Special Teams Player of the Year, Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams the Offensive Freshman of the Year, Charleston Southern defensive back Cody Cline the Defensive Freshman of the Year, Monmouth’s Kevin Callahan the Coach of the Year and North Alabama’s K.J. Smith the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


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