Concord Defensive Duo Earns Don Hansen All-America Honors - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Concord Defensive Duo Earns Don Hansen All-America Honors

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For the second time this season, junior linebacker Jake Lilly and junior cornerback Riyahd Richardson have been recognized as All-American caliber players. When the Don Hansen Football Committee unveiled its 2012 NCAA Division II All-America Team Friday Lilly received third team accolades and Richardson was bestowed with honorable mention honors.

Friday's honors cap off an outstanding awards season for the two defensive standouts. Lilly and Richardson both earned Beyond Sports Network All-America, Daktronics All-Region, Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Region and first team All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recognition previously. Lilly was also named the WVIAC's Defensive Player of the Year.

The junior standouts led a CU defense that ranked 13th in the nation in total defense, ninth in scoring defense and seventh in passing defense last season. Concord closed out the year by winning its final three games to finish with a 7-4 overall record and 6-2 mark in the WVIAC. The Mountain Lions went 6-2 in the WVIAC, finishing tied for second in the league.

The WVIAC's leading tackler in 2011 and 2012, Lilly finished his 2012 season with 126 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, 0.5 sacks and six pass break-ups. He ranked fourth in Division II with 11.45 tackles per game, fifth in solo tackles per game (6.27) and 83rd  in tackles for loss per game (1.18). Lilly, who enters his senior season 127 tackles away from breaking the record for career tackles at Concord, registered at least 10 tackles in a game seven times this season including a season-best 18 stops at Liberty.

Not to be outdone, Richardson was Concord's top defensive back on a unit that had both cornerbacks and safeties earn all-conference honors. For the season, Richardson totaled team-highs of five interceptions and 13 pass break-ups to go with 28 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, once fumble recovery and 0.5 sacks. He intercepted passes in five of Concord's final six games, finishing the season atop the WVIAC in interceptions and passes defended.

Richardson will begin his final collegiate season in 2013 tied for the most pass break-ups (39) in Concord history while also ranking third in career interceptions (10).

The Don Hansen Football Committee selected All-Super Region teams in December and early January, with the first-team and second-team All-Super Region players advancing to the national ballot.

A total of 175 players earned some form of Don Hansen All-America honors. Players from 83 of the 157 football-playing schools in Division II earned Don Hansen All-America accolades. National Champion Valdosta State and national semifinalist West Texas A&M led the way by placing eight players apiece on the All-America squad.