Six Southeast Missouri players were named to the 2019 All-Ohio Valley Conference Football Team.
Wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson, offensive lineman Elijah Swehla and inside linebacker Zach Hall earned first-team honors, outside linebacker Justin Swift and defensive back Bydarrius Knighten garnered second-team accolades, and running back Geno Hess was an all-newcomer honoree.
Wilkerson lands a spot on the first-team after being a Second-Team All-OVC selection in 2018. He broke three of SEMO's career receiving records this season, including receiving yards (3,426), receiving touchdowns (33) and receptions (214). Wilkerson caught 66 passes for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 starts this season. Wilkerson is third in the nation in receiving yards and seventh in receiving yards per game.
Swehla, who hails from Des Moines, Iowa, is SEMO's only returning starter on the offensive line. He makes the All-OVC Team as a first-team pick for the first time in his career. Swehla started all 26 games of his two-year SEMO career at left guard.
The reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner, Hall went over 100 tackles (113) for the second year in a row. A three-year starting inside linebacker, Hall also tallied nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups, three forced fumbles and eight quarterback hurries in 12 starts this year. He was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week two-straight weeks and posted double-digit tackles a total of six times in 2019.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Swift is back on the second-team for the second-straight year. He is currently SEMO's second-leading tackler with 86 stops and leads the Redhawks with 13 tackles for loss, which ranks fifth in the conference in tackles for loss.
Knighten, who hails from Tunica, Mississippi, ranks third on the team with 65 total tackles through 12 starts. He leads the Redhawks with three interceptions and stands tied for third with four pass breakups. Knighten also has 1.5 tackles for loss. This year marks the second-straight that Knighten has earned all-conference honors.
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Hess is SEMO's second-leading rusher with 575 yards and six touchdowns on 102 carries. Hess ranks sixth in the OVC in rushing yards per game.
The #12-ranked Redhawks host the #13 Illinois State Redbirds in the FCS Playoffs First Round tomorrow. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and tickets are available at GoSoutheast.com.
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