Desmond Johnson Jr., who was a standout defensive lineman at Rome High, and Isaac Foster, who spent his high school career racking up yardage at Chattooga, were both named first team all-conference this season, helping the Owls win their second consecutive Big South title.
Johnson, a junior, had 24 total tackles in the regular season — 17 solo and seven assists — that included seven tackles for loss and two sacks. He also had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
A running back and return specialist, Foster was named the Big South Special Teams of the Year after becoming the first Kennesaw State player to return a kickoff for a touchdown, doing it twice this season. Both came from 100 yards and led to his 47.5 yard per return average.
The redshirt freshman from Summerville was also the Big South’s first-team kick returner and second-team punt returner.
The Owls won the majority of the superlative awards. Quarterback Chandler Burks was named the Offensive Player of the Year, linebacker Anthony Gore Jr. was the Defensive Player of the Year and Brian Bohannon was named Coach of the Year.
The Owls also earned 19 all-conference selections, including 13 on the first team.
Burks, who is also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision, earned his second Big South Offensive Player of the Year Award in as many years. The senior from Douglasville has 864 rushing yards along with an FCS single-season quarterback record of 29 rushing touchdowns.
Burks has also thrown for 952 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In addition to his exploits on the field, Burks also excelled in the classroom and was named the Big South Scholar Athlete of the Year for the second time.
Joining Burks on the first-team offense was running back Darnell Holland, who has run for 783 yards and eight touchdowns, wide receiver Justin Sumpter and three members of the offensive line — C.J. Collins, Joseph Alexander Jr. and Chiaza Nwadike.
Running back Shaquil Terry earned second-team honors.
Gore became the leader of the Kennesaw State defense this season. The senior from Statesboro has 61 tackles, five sacks and nine tackles for loss, and he was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defensive player in the FCS.
Defensive linemen Desmond Johnson Jr. and Andrew Butcher, linebacker Bryson Armstrong and defensive back Dorian Walker also made the first-team defense.
Defensive lineman McKenzie Billingslea, linebacker Charlie Patrick and defensive back Jace White earned second-team nods.
Long snapper Drew McCracken was named to the first team, while kicker Justin Thompson earned second-team honors.
Bohannon earned his second straight Coach of the Year award after leading Kennesaw State to a 10-1 record, consecutive Big South championships and a No. 2 national ranking in both FCS polls.
The Owls will open the FCS tournament Dec. 1, hosting the winner of a first-round game between Elon and Wofford.