Keith Pough has been voted the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Damon Gresham Chisholm the MEAC Rookie of the Year as announced by the conference.
The Bison, who finished 7-4 overall and second in the conference at 6-2 after being picked to be 8th in the pre-season poll, capped off an outstanding season by having four players named to the first team and three to the second team.
A 6-3, 235-pound red-shirt senior linebacker from Orangeburg, SC, Pough closed out his brilliant career as the Football Championship Subdivision all-time career leader in tackles for losses with 71.5.
The FCS All American and the pre-season MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, Pough finished third on the team in tackles with 44 solos, 28 assists, 10.0 tackles for losses, 3.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, including his first career TD, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. One of the team captains the past two years, Pough's leadership played a great role in the program's turnaround the past two seasons.
Greshman Chisholm, a 6-3, 250-pound freshman from Covington, GA, came on strong late in the season and proved to be a terror to opposing offensive lineman. Gresham did not start until the sixth game of the season, but he made the most of the opportunity by finishing with 28 solos, 13 assists, 18.0 tackles for losses, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 9 QB hurries.
Gresham Chisholm ranked 4th in the country in the tackles for losses and was the highest ranked among all freshmen. His fumbles forced tied him for 9th nationally and fumbles recovered tied for 13th. It is one of the rare occasions in MEAC history that a true freshman has been named to the first team.
Joining Pough and Gresham Chisholm on the first team were Julien David and Joshua Matthews. David, a 5-11, 190-pound junior safety from Coral Springs, FL proved to be one of the most consistent players at his position in the conference. He tallied a team and conference-high 108 tackles, including an impressive 67 solos, which tied him for 11th nationally in that statistical category.
A sure tackler and one of the more cerebral players in school history, David also recorded 9 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, a sack, an interception, 2 forced fumbles and 2 blocked kicks, including a blocked PAT that preserved an overtime win over Norfolk State.
Matthews, a 6-4, 330-pound junior guard from Bowman, SC, had his best season by far and was a key to the success of the Howard running game, which averaged over 221 yards per game, good enough to rank 15th nationally and second in the conference.
The talented junior proved to be a main cog in the offensive from ranked second in the MEAC in total offense (365 yards per game) and second in fewest sacks allowed.
Wilson, a 6-3, 235-pound junior transfer, helped provide balance to the Howard offensive attack by catching 16 passes for 220 yards and 3 TDs, including game winner in the closing seconds of the season opening win over Morehouse. It was the most passes caught by a Bison tight end in over a decade.
Morris, a 6-6, 310-pound senior from Houston, TX, had his best season and proved to be an anchor on the offensive line that dominated defensive fronts and helped the productivity of the Bison offense.
Bush Johnson, 6-3, 275-pound senior from Charlotte, NC, was truly the anchor of the offensive line as he called out the various defensive front and made few errors snapping the ball. His decisive blocks created running lanes for Bison runners and also allowed his team to be one of the more successful on third and fourth and short yardage situations.