TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE FOOTBALL: No. 24 Lions go for ninth-straight Chennault Cup
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9/21/2021 | Football
COMMERCE - The Chennault Cup is for grabs at Javelina Stadium on Saturday when the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team takes on Texas A&M-Kingsville at 7 p.m. The Lions look to snap their two-game losing skid.

WHO: A&M-Commerce at Texas A&M-Kingsville

WHERE: Kingsville | Javelina Stadium

WHEN: Saturday, September 25 at 7 p.m.

RECORDS: The Javelinas are 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in Lone Star Conference play. The Lions are 1-2 overall and 0-1 in LSC games.

RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 24 in the D2Football.com poll and receiving votes in the AFCA poll.

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network - KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)

LIVE VIDEO: https://lonestarconferencenetwork.com/tamuc/

LIVE STATS: https://javelinaathletics.com/sidearmstats/football/summary

TICKETS: https://javelinatickets.universitytickets.com/w/

GAME NOTES

ALL-TIME AGAINST THE JAVELINAS

The Lions are 30-36-1 against the Javelinas all-time, having won the last eight meetings.

The eight-straight wins in the series is longest winning streak for either team in the series.

The Lions won 33-6 in Kingsville in the last meeting during the 2019 season.

A&M-Commerce's last loss in the series came in 2011 in Kingsville. The score of that game was 39-21.

A&M-COMMERCE AND MIDWESTERN STATE BEGAN TWO-YEAR SERIES AT CHOCTAW STADIUM

The Lions and the Mustangs played at Choctaw Stadium on Saturday, September 11, with MSU winning 31-30.

This was the Lions' first regular season neutral site game since the Lone Star Conference Football Festival in 2014, and the first Division II game played at Choctaw Stadium, which is in its second fall season as a football facility.

"I think it will be an exciting opportunity for the young men on this football team to play at Choctaw Stadium," A&M-Commerce head football coach David Bailiff said. "I went to several of the XFL games there last year, and it's a beautiful venue with incredible amenities. I'm excited for this team and this university to show what we have there."

This Saturday's game was the first of a two-game series between A&M-Commerce and Midwestern State at Choctaw Stadium.

The 2022 game between the Lions and Mustangs will be played at Choctaw Stadium on October 8, with Midwestern State as the home team.

MORRIS AND VIQUEZ EARN LSC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK AWARDS

Linebacker Xavier Morris was named Defensive Player of the Week and kicker Jake Viquez was named Special Teams Player of the Week on September 6 after the 12-6 win over CSU-Pueblo.

Morris (Converse - Judson)- Part of the defensive unit that allowed just six points and 219 total yards from scrimmage. The senior linebacker had nine total tackles to lead the Lions and also caught an interception in the fourth quarter.

Viquez (Rockwall) - Responsible for all 12 points in the win over the Thunderwolves, he went 4-for-5 in his field goal attempts with makes of 30, 29, 40, and 52 yards. His 52-yarder tied for the second-longest field goal made in program history. He also had three punts.

LONE STAR CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Date Offense Defense Special Teams
Sept. 6 CJ Odom, Angelo State Xavier Morris, A&M-Commerce Jake Viquez, A&M-Commerce
Sept. 13 Clayton Roberts, UT Permian Basin Dylon Davis, Midwestern State Ritse Vaes, Midwestern State
Sept. 20 Dillon Sterling-Cole

Midwestern State
Jacob Clarkson

Texas A&M-Kingville
Fernando Piedra

Midwestern State


SUCCESS AT ALL MULTIPLE LEVELS

Based on our research, coach David Bailiff is the fourth-ever coach to qualify for the Division II playoffs, Division I-AA or FCS playoffs, and win a Division I-A or FBS bowl game.

Coach D2 FCS FBS Bowl Wins
David Bailiff 2019

A&M-Commerce
2005

Texas St.
2008 Texas

2012 Armed Forces

2014 Hawai'i

Rice
Terry Bowden 2009-11

North Alabama
1991-92

Samford
1996 Independence^

1997 Peach^

2015 Idaho Potato*

*- Akron

^- Auburn
Willie Fritz 2002

Central Missouri
2011-13

Sam Houston State
2018 Cure

Tulane
Joe Glenn 1990-91, 95-99

Northern Colorado
2000-02

Montana
2004 Las Vegas

Wyoming


LONG TIME COMING

The Lions played their first game in 636 days against the CSU-Pueblo ThunderWolves on September 2. It was the longest drought in program history since World War II.

Seasons Missed Days Between Games
1943-45 (World War II) 1,409
1918 (World War I) 688
2020 (COVID-19 Pandemic) 636


A&M-COMMERCE PICKED TO WIN THE LSC

The Lions are voted the top team in the preseason poll conducted by the Lone Star Conference.

A&M-Commerce collected 15 of the 23 first place votes for 175 points in the preseason poll, 23 points ahead of Angelo State. The Lion's last appearance at the top of the preseason poll was in 2018, and the Lions' last LSC title came in 2016. A&M-Commerce is 41-5 in the LSC in the last six seasons and has not lost more than one conference game in a season since 2013.

LONG LIST OF STUDENT-ATHLETES FINDING SECOND HOMES

There are 31 transfers on the rosters who will make their Lion debut this season. The transfers came to Commerce from all over the country and hail from all levels of college football

College Football Division Number of Transfers
Division I FBS 11 (Five from Power-Five)
Division I FCS 5
Division II 1
NAIA 1
NJCAA 9
CCCAA 4


A&M-COMMERCE TRANSFERS
College Football Division Pos. Previous School
King Ambers DB New Mexico Military Institute
Rehoboth Chibesa OL Cisco College
Chris Dascher TE Florida Tech
Brendan Easley WR Morgan State
D'Angelo Ellis DB Rice
Dominion Ezinwa DL UNLV
Jalen Graves DL UNLV
Celestin Haba DL Scottsdale Community College
Anthony Hayes DL Southwest Mississippi Community College
Darvis Holmes DL Fullerton College
Ben Hutch DL Southeast Missouri State
Jo-Bentley Keilani OL Mt. SAC College
Riley Langton WR Northern Arizona
Kevin Ledee WR Tulane
Jaiave Magalei QB Louisiana
Tyler Malin LB Kentucky
Dontay Mayfield WR Duquesne
Cameron Nellor WR Trinity Valley CC
Michael Noble LB Fullerton College
Jrake Polk DB Navarro College
Cameron Proctor DL Fullerton College
Austin Smith LB Tennessee
Jaelin Smith DL Friends (Kan.)
Kenedy Snell WR TCU
Anthonie Thomas OL Kilgore College
Dante Vandenberg TE Northern Iowa
Brenden Young DB Arkansas
Dee Walker LB Arkansas
Cedrick Wilcox III LB Jacksonville
Justice Williams DL Independence Community College
Stephan Zabie OL Trinity Valley Community College


READY FOR LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL

Twenty-nine student-athletes have already received their degrees going into the 2021-22 academic year.

A&M-Commerce and Illinois are tied for most student-athletes with degrees across all levels of college football according to the National Football Foundation.

Emmanuel Adabgdon James Bell Alex Carswell
Matthew Childers Chance Cooper Travis Dafft
Elijah Earls D'Angelo Ellis Dominion Ezinwa
Shane Gosson Carandal Hale Noah Harris
Christian Hernandez Jaylon Hodge Peter Kazibwe
Kader Kohou Antonio Leali'ie'e Wyatt Leath
Darius Leonard-Williams Xavier Morris Solomon Nduwke
Dominique Ramsey Alex Shillow Amon Simon
Austin Smith Jontavis Smith Jake Viquez
Richard West Jemal Williams  


NCAA DIVISION II SCHOOLS WITH 10 OR MORE GRADUATES
School Numbers of Degrees
Texas A&M-Commerce 29
New Haven (Conn.) 28
West Alabama 19
Shepherd (W.Va.) 16
Wingate (N.C.) 15
Henderson State (Ark.) 14
North Greenville (S.C.) 14
Slippery Rock (Pa.) 13
Concordia St. Paul (Minn.) 12
Colorado School of Mines 11
Fort Hays (Kan.) 11
Harding (Ark.) 11
West Florida 11
Ashland (Ohio) 10
Ferris State (Mich.) 10


TOP-FIVE SCHOOLS AMONG ALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL
School Numbers of Degrees Division
Texas A&M-Commerce 29 NCAA Division II
Illinois 29 NCAA Division I FBS
Baylor (Texas) 28 NCAA Division I FBS
New Haven (Conn.) 28 NCAA Division II
Western Kentucky 27 NCAA Division I FBS


A LONG STREAK COMES TO AN END

The Lions are unranked in this week's AFCA poll, ending a streak of 68 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.

The Lions were ranked No. 11 nationally in the final 2019 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches' Poll, they have been ranked as high as No. 7 this season.

The Lions have 74 all-time appearances in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.

In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 123 times since joining Division II in 1981.

ANOTHER STREAK IS STILL ACTIVE!

By qualifying for their fifth straight NCAA Division II Playoff berth in 2019, the Lions have the third-longest active playoff streak in the nation.

Only Northwest Missouri State (16 straight) and Ferris State (six straight) have longer active playoff streaks than A&M-Commerce.

In Lone Star Conference history, only A&M-Kingsville (1992-98, 7 straight) has a streak of more than four appearances. The Javelinas' 1996-98 appearances were vacated by action of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

The Lions have also advanced to the regional semifinal round for four consecutive seasons. 2018 national runner-up Ferris State has reached the regional semifinal five times in a row.

SENIORS SUCCEED OVER CAREER SPAN

The 2019 senior class claimed sole possession of the school record for wins in a four-year period with 46. Their .845 winning percentage was second-best in school history.

The 2021 senior class is already on pace to challenge those records with 35 wins and an .833 winning percentage.

Years Record Pct
2016-19 46-9 83.9
2015-18 43-10 81.1
2014-17 42-10 80.8
1951-54 36-5-2 86.0
2017-21* 36-9 80.0
2013-16 35-14 71.4
1957-60 34-7 82.9
1972-75 32-13-1 76.0
1936-39 31-8 79.5
1990-93 31-16-1 65.6


RAMSEY, SIMON, KOHOU NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS

Dominique Ramsey and Amon Simon are named Preseason All-Americans by Lindy's magazine this summer. Ramsey, Simon and Kader Kohou are named Preseason All-Americans by D2Football.com

Ramsey earned his preseason All-American honors as an all-purpose player, while Simon is honored as an offensive lineman.

Ramsey and Simon were honored as First Team Preseason All-Americans in Lindy's Sports prior to the anticipated 2020 season as well, before that season was ultimately canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kohou earned first-team all-Lone Star Conference in 2019.

Ramsey - a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson) - earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career.

He was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as both a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners' Association (D2CCA).

The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell's Texas Football All-Texas small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association as both a safety and return specialist.

He earned Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice in 2019, ranking second in the nation in kickoff return average at 37.5 yards per return, and second in the LSC and ninth in the nation in punt return average at 14.7 yards per return. His return prowess has seen teams kick away from him insomuch as he did not return a kickoff in the last three games of the regular season. He also had 39 tackles, three interceptions, two pass breakups, and two tackles for loss on defense.

He is also named the Lone Star

Simon - a redshirt senior from Humble (Atascocita) - earned Second Team All-American honors from both the Associated Press and D2CCA in 2019. He was on the Dave Campbell's Texas Football All-Texas small college team and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. In 2019, he earned Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and First Team All-LSC honors at offensive tackle. He blocked for an offense that averaged 407.9 yards and 36.1 points per game during the regular season.

Kohou- a redshirt senior from Euless (Trinity) - earned first-team all-LSC in 2019, second-team in 2018. In 2019, he recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and five pass breakups.

For his career, Kohou has played in 33 games with 87 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 31 passes defended. He's forced four fumbles and recovered three, while returning an interception for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons.

KOHOU NAMED TO PRESEASON STARTING LINEUP

Kader Kohou has been named to the College Football America Yearbook's Preseason Starting Lineup. - a redshirt senior from Euless (Trinity) - earned first-team all-LSC in 2019, second-team in 2018. In 2019, he recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and five pass breakups.

For his career, Kohou has played in 33 games with 87 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 31 passes defended. He's forced four fumbles and recovered three, while returning an interception for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons.

SMALLS, RAMSEY NAMED ON HARLON HILL TROPHY WATCHLIST

Miklo Smalls and Dominique Ramsey of the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team are named preseason contenders for the 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy by Turner Sports' Wayne Cavadi on NCAA.com.

The two current Lions look to join former star Luis Perez, who hoisted the trophy in 2017 on the way to leading A&M-Commerce to the 2017 National Championship.

LIONS SWEEP LSC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Defensive back Dominique Ramsey is named the preseason Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while quarterback Miklo Smalls is named the preseason LSC Offensive Player of the Year.

Ramsey- a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson) is selected as the conference's preseason defensive player of the year, adding to a lengthy tally of honors in his career.

The redshirt senior earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career. He was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as both a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners' Association (D2CCA).

The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell's Texas Football All-Texas small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association as both a safety and return specialist.

Smalls- A senior from Plano (Plano-East) is selected as the league's preseason offensive player of the year after a phenomenal 2019 season at the quarterback position.

He was named second team all-Lone Star Conference and won LSC Offensive Player of the Week honors four times in 2019. Smalls completed 244-of-376 passes for 3,010 yards with 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions, while also carrying the ball 124 times for 488 yards and three touchdowns.

He had six games with multiple touchdown passes, including five against Midwestern State. In the playoff wins over Tarleton and Colorado School of Mines, he had over 100 yards rushing and over 150 yards passing in each contest.

RIEBOCK NAMED TO DAVE CAMPBELL'S "40 UNDER 40"

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Billy Riebock has been named to the Dave Campbell's Texas Football 40 Under 40 list in the annual publication.

Riebock is entering his second competitive season and third year as the Lions' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helping lead A&M-Commerce to the third round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, the Super Region Four finals, and an 11-3 overall record in 2019.

In the first season with Riebock as coordinator, the Lions ranked first in the Lone Star Conference and eighth nationally in completion percentage and third in the LSC in total offense. Offensive lineman Amon Simon was named to two All-American teams, two All-Region teams, and was the LSC's Offensive Lineman of the Year. Guard Deion Malone also earned All-Region and First Team All-LSC honors. Eight offensive players earned All-LSC recognition, representing every position group on the offense.

ADIBI ELECTED TO VIRGINIA TECH HALL OF GAME

Defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Xavier Adibi is part of the 2021 class into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

Adibi is one of many in a long line of great Virginia Tech defensive backs, earning All-America honors and All-ACC recognition during an illustrious career from 2003-07. He became just the second linebacker in program history to earn All-America honors when he accomplished the feat as a senior following the 2007 season.

Adibi led the Hokies that fall with 115 tackles, including a team-best 12 for a loss. He also added three sacks and two interceptions on his way to earning first team All-ACC recognition. Behind him, Tech finished near the top of the ACC in virtually every defensive category that season, which was highlighted by a 30-16 win over No. 12 Boston College in the 2007 ACC championship game.

A two-time All-ACC pick, Adibi earned second team distinction in 2006 after finishing second on the team with 82 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, three sacks and three interceptions. The Hampton, Va., product started the final 40 games of his career, and he finished his career with 291 tackles, including 30 for a loss and 11 sacks.

Adibi was a fourth-round draft pick (118th overall) by the Houston Texans in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played five seasons in the NFL - Houston (2008-10), Minnesota (2011) and Tennessee (2012). He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in apparel, housing and resource management.

Adibi enters his third year and second full playing season as the Lions' defensive coordinator in 2021. Adibi's defensive unit was one of the best in the Lone Star Conference in 2019, leading the league in sacks per game and finishing in the top two in total defense, passing yards allowed, rushing defense, red zone defense, defensive touchdowns, and tackles for loss. Safety Dominique Ramsey was named a first team All-American, and the defense earned four all-region and seven all-LSC honors.

SHILLOW NOMINATED FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY

Alex Shillow is A&M-Commerce's nominee for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy®. He was a semifinalist for the award in 2020.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

Shillow - a redshirt senior from Pflugerville - becomes the third Lion student-athlete to win multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, and the first Lion football player to do so. Andrew Davis (men's basketball) was a third team honoree in 2012 and a first team honoree in 2013, and Jaslyn Wacker (volleyball) was a second team selection in both 2017 and 2018.

Shillow has distinguished himself on the field, in the classroom, and in the community during his career at A&M-Commerce. In January 2020, he was elected to his second term as the National Chair of the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has served as the president of the A&M-Commerce SAAC, which has won the last three LSC SAAC Cups and been selected to reveal multiple Make-A-Wish recipients.

He was a 2019 and 2020 nominee for the American Football Coaches' Association's Good Works Team and recipient of the NACDA John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2020, he was a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy, and due to the unique settings of the pandemic, he will likely be eligible for these awards again in the 2021 season.

Following the 2019 season, Shillow was honored as a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America, the Lone Star Conference's Fred Jacoby Academic Athlete of the Year, and the Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year in football. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor's degree in sports management in August 2019 and his Masters of Business Administration in December 2020, and continues graduate work currently in preparation for his final season of eligibility.

On the field, Shillow has been named Second Team All-LSC in 2019 and 2017 with 159 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and 5.5 tackles for loss in 36 games over three seasons.

SHILLOW NAMED FIRST TEAM COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA, RAMSEY NAMED TO SECOND TEAM

Two Lions were named to the 2020-21 Academic All-America® Football Team, as Alex Shillow earned first team honors and Dominique Ramsey earned second team honors.

Division II members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) select the Academic All-America teams, and for the 2020-21 academic year, these honorees were based on career accomplishments instead of single season statistics.

Shillow earns Academic All-America honors for the second consecutive season after earning second team honors in the 2019 season. This is the first Academic All-America honor for Ramsey.

The duo are the 17th and 18th CoSIDA Academic All-Americas in A&M-Commerce history, and the football team now has eight honorees in program history. The Lions have had at least one CoSIDA Academic All-America in each of the last five years, which marks the longest streak in Lion Athletics history.

Shillow - a redshirt senior from Pflugerville - becomes the third Lion student-athlete to win multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, and the first Lion football player to do so. Andrew Davis (men's basketball) was a third team honoree in 2012 and a first team honoree in 2013, and Jaslyn Wacker (volleyball) was a second team selection in both 2017 and 2018.

Shillow has distinguished himself on the field, in the classroom, and in the community during his career at A&M-Commerce. In January 2020, he was elected to his second term as the National Chair of the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has served as the president of the A&M-Commerce SAAC, which has won the last three LSC SAAC Cups and been selected to reveal multiple Make-A-Wish recipients.

He was a 2019 and 2020 nominee for the American Football Coaches' Association's Good Works Team and recipient of the NACDA John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2020, he was a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy, and due to the unique settings of the pandemic, he will likely be eligible for these awards again in the 2021 season.

Following the 2019 season, Shillow was honored as a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America, the Lone Star Conference's Fred Jacoby Academic Athlete of the Year, and the Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year in football. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor's degree in sports management in August 2019 and his Masters of Business Administration in December 2020, and continues graduate work currently in preparation for his final season of eligibility.

On the field, Shillow has been named Second Team All-LSC in 2019 and 2017 with 159 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and 5.5 tackles for loss in 36 games over three seasons.

Ramsey - a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson) - earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career. He was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as both a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners' Association (D2CCA). The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell's Texas Football All-Texas small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the D2CCA as both a safety and return specialist.

He was named the National Football Foundation Gridiron Club of Dallas Scholar-Athlete in 2021, as he graduated with his bachelor of science in industrial engineering in May. He's been named to the President's List once, the Dean's List four times, and the LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll five times. He was also a 2019 Academic All-LSC selection.

LEALI'IE'E AND SIMON NAMED TO DAVE CAMPBELL'S TEXAS FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-TEXAS SMALL COLLEGE TEAM

The Lions' Antonio Leali'ie'e and Amon Simon have been named to the Dave Campbell's Texas Football Preseason All-Texas Small College Team in advance of the 2021 season.

Dave Campbell's Texas Football considered all four-year institutions under the Division I FBS level for this team, which reflects the 2019 season statistics for the Lions. A&M-Commerce went 11-3 and advanced to the Super Regional finals in their first season under head coach David Bailiff.

Simon (Humble - Atascocita) had a spectacular 2019 season, earning second team All-American honors from the Associated Press and D2CCA. The Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year was also named first team all-region by the D2CCA and earned his second consecutive first team All-Lone Star Conference honor. Simon has the opportunity to become the first repeat winner of LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year in the non-divisional era since Texas A&M-Kingsville's Moses Horn did so in 1986 and 1987. A&M-Commerce's R.J. Brisbon won consecutive awards in 2008 and 2009, but the award was divisionally split from 1997-2010.

Leali'ie'e (Copperas Cove) was a first team All-Lone Star Conference pick at running back in 2019, appearing in 10 games with 104 carries for 689 yards and seven touchdowns, for an average of 6.6 yards per carry and 68.9 yards per game. He had three games with over 100 yards rushing, including 18 carries for 169 yards against Midwestern State in a game where he also had a receiving touchdown. He had 17 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns against Western New Mexico, and 13 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

SHILLOW NOMINATED FOR 2021 ALLSTATE/AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM

Shillow (Pflugerville) is one of 42 scholar-athletes from the Combined Divisions (FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA) vying for 11 spots on the Good Works Team. Since its inception in 1992, the award shines a spotlight on selfless student-athletes and honors their dedication to volunteerism, community service and their commitment to enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

Shillow was also a nominee for this award in 2019. As an active participant in multiple leadership roles for the Lions' Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Shillow has led community service and fundraising efforts to raise awareness, and funds for the Make A Wish Foundation. Shillow's student-athlete group raised over $15,000 to grant two "Wish Kids" trips to Walt Disney World, as well as a trip to the NBA All-Star Game for the most recent "Wish Kid" at A&M-Commerce. Through fundraising initiatives and coordinated efforts, Shillow has also driven fundraisers and clothing donation collections to provide underprivileged families in the Commerce community with personalized gifts for Christmas.

Shillow was also a leader of the Make It Important Campaign in the summer of 2020, which involved a video and an action plan to bring awareness to the social injustices going on in the country in response to the George Floyd murder.

He led in getting his team fully registered to vote, along with other sport teams in the department, and initiated a conference-wide voter registration challenge. He sat on the university's voter coalition committee to help make voter registration and voting more accessible for A&M-Commerce students. Shillow also led a virtual political open forum with two Texas state legislators - Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) and former Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) - in front of over 300 student-athletes and guests, moderating an insightful conversation and dialogue between Texas legislators and student-athletes. This initiative won 3rd place for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence this past year.

Shillow is also a leader and a part of Athletes In Action - a student-athlete faith based organization.

Shillow has also served on the NCAA Division II National Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2018-21 and was the national chair of the committee from 2019-21. He led discussion and change around the topics of mental health, professional development, name image and likeness, and many student-athlete well-being topics, all while being a student-athlete and involved heavily in the Commerce community.

LION FOOTBALL RANKED NO. 4 IN "TOP 20 PROGRAMS THAT INSPIRE"

The Lion Football program was ranked No. 4 in College Athletic Advisor's Top 20 Programs That Inspire.

The program rankings are open to all four-year, collegiate-level programs outside of NCAA Division I and are based on a subjective assessment of student experience in four areas:

-Holistic development of student-athletes in the institution;

-Academic achievement and support for the academic success of student-athletes;

-Overall college experience for participants within the program;

-Affordability/graduation rates/student satisfaction.

Although College Athletic Advisor's list is subjective, the organization believes these rankings "present an informed starting point for a discussion about where student-athletes can excel as 'triple-threat' competitors (academics, athletics, and socially) in college and in their future lives."

SMITH EARNS ALL-AMERICAN HONORS IN TRACK

Jontavis "J.T." Smith was the Lions' running back to start the 2019 season, but was injured in the Western Oregon game.

He was prepared to compete in the 2020 season, but the COVID pandemic shut down his chances for that year.

Smith joined the Lions' track and field team and claimed three All-American honors and a national championship in the spring of 2021 outdoor season.

He was the second leg in the Lions' national championship 4x100 meter relay team that claimed the gold medal with a time of 39.69 seconds.

Smith finished fifth in the 100 meter dash at 10.42 seconds, and 12th in the 200 meter dash at 21.59.
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