UAPB Football Lands Four On Preseason HBCU All-America Team
With the season last than a month away before the season opener on September 4, Mark Evans II, Isaac Peppers, Jalon Thigpen, and Tyrin Ralph continue to pile up awards and gain recognition from a historic spring 2021 season for the Golden Lions.R/S Ralph was recently named fall 2021 preseason first-team FCS All-American and was named to his second consecutive Boxtorow All-America team as a returner after leading the SWAC. Ralph ranked third in the FCS in all-purpose yards with 892 yards (178.40 ypg), is first in the FCS in combined kick returns (589 yards), led the SWAC in punt returns (17.5 ypr), and led the SWAC and is tied for 9th in the FCS in kickoff returns (27.1 ypr). Ralph gained a career-high 279 all-purpose yards at Miss. Valley St. (142 punt return yards on five returns, including a game-winning 77-yard return for TD; 85 kick return yards on four returns, and 61 receiving yards on four receptions.) Ralph posted a career-high 100 receiving yards and a touchdown against Prairie View A&M. In the SWAC Championship, Ralph went 81 yards on a kick return touchdown against Alabama A&M.
OL Evans earned first-team Boxtorow All-America honors the past two seasons, contributing to an offense that allowed the fewest sacks in the conference (six) in 183 pass attempts. The offense ranks third in the league in touchdown passes with 14 as the offense gained 370.8 yards per game in scoring 30+ points three times, including season-high 48 points at Grambling.
DB Jalon Thigpen was named to his first Boxtorow All-America first-team for his hard hitting and nose to the ball. Thigpen led the SWAC and tied for first in the FCS in interceptions with five picks, returning one for a touchdown while leading the SWAC in pass breakups (seven) while ranking third on the team in tackles (28). He made a career-high two interceptions along with six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one pass breakup against Prairie View A&M. Thigpen made a season-high eight tackles and returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown at Grambling.
LB Isaac Peppers was named to his first Boxtorow All-America first-team for his outstanding performance on the field, ranked second in the SWAC and led the team in sacks (7.5 sacks), is second on the team with 33 tackles, led the SWAC in forced fumbles (three), and led the team and ranks second in the SWAC in tackles for loss with 9.0. He recorded six tackles, with a career-high 3.5 sacks, a career-high 4.0 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble against Prairie View A&M.