Aaron Mellette: Courtesy Elon Athletics
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Senior wide receiver Aaron Mellette was the lone first-team All-Southern Conference selection for the Elon football program as he was selected to that spot by both the coaches and the media.
Three other Phoenix players earned honors from the coaches while three others were also recognized by the media.
The coaches bestowed second-team all-league accolades on both senior quarterback Thomas Wilson and senior offensive lineman Justin Ward while running back Tracey Coppedge earned a spot on the All-Freshman Offense.
Media members placed Wilson, sophomore linebacker Jonathan Spain and senior kicker Adam Shreiner on the second team.
Mellette led the SoCon and ranked second nationally in both receptions per game (8.82) and receiving yards per game (127.09) to earn all-league distinction for the third consecutive season. His league-leading 108 points this season came on 18 receiving touchdowns, which are tied for the second-most ever in a single season in SoCon history. In his senior season, Mellette caught 97 passes for 1,398 yards. He eclipsed 100 receiving yards in eight of Elon's 11 games, including matching career-highs with 237 yards and three touchdowns against Appalachian State. The native of Sanford, N.C., posted a six-game span in which he caught at least two TDs.
Mellette concluded his career with 4,254 receiving yards, 304 receptions, 44 TD catches and 23 100-yard games. All of those rank second in both Elon and Southern Conference history.
Wilson led the SoCon and ranked ninth nationally with 286.27 passing yards per outing. The senior from Raleigh, N.C., passed for 3,149 yards this season and was the only league quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in the regular season. He completed over 65 percent of his passes (248-of-379) while his 25 touchdown passes led the SoCon. Wilson threw for 200 or more yards in nine of his 11 games, including two games of 400+ passing yards. Against Appalachian State, Wilson completed 25 of his 41 passes for a career-high 419 yards and three touchdowns. In his next outing, Wilson completed 20-of-28 passes for 412 yards and a personal-best five TDs.
Despite being the starter for only two seasons, Wilson leaves as the second-leading passer in school history with 6,649 yards.
Ward, of Summerfield, N.C., started all 11 games of his senior season along the offensive line for the Phoenix to claim his first all-league honor.
Spain, who hails from Greensboro, N.C., was one of only three players in the league to make 100 or more tackles in 2012 as he recorded a team-high 120 total stops, the program's fourth-best single-season total since the move to NCAA Division I play. His 10.91 tackles per game ranked 13th nationally at the conclusion of the regular season. Of his 120 tackles, 51 were of the solo variety. He recorded 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks to go along with two quarterback hurries. Spain posted eight consecutive outings of 10 or more tackles to end the year. Along the way he became the first Elon player since 2006 to have a 20-tackle game as he made 20 stops against Samford.
Shreiner led the Southern Conference with 16 field goals and a 72.7 percent success rate on his attempts. The 16 field goals rank third on Elon's single-season Division I chart. Originally from Marietta, Ga., Shreiner finished the regular season tied for fourth nationally with 1.45 field goals made per game. He was a perfect 27-for-27 in PATs on the year.
Shreiner leaves Elon with 50 career field goals made, the second-most in program history. He connected on 50-of-74 career attempts, a 67.6 percent success rate. Shreiner is also Elon's all-time leader in PATs made with 141.
Coppedge, of Nashville, N.C., toted the ball 106 times for a team-high 432 yards and two scores as a true freshman. He added 15 receptions for 139 yards and another touchdown. Coppedge averaged 4.1 yards per carry and 9.3 yards per reception.
Both the coaches and media selected Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein as the league's offensive player of the year. The media dubbed Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull as the defensive player of the year while Tull and Appalachian State linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough shared that distinction from the coaches. Both groups also agreed on the freshman of the year with Appalachian State receiver Sean Price claiming that honor.
Kevin Higgins of The Citadel was selected as the coach of the year by the media, but shared the honor with Samford's Pat Sullivan in the coaches' voting.
Finally, the Jacobs Blocking Award, which is presented by the coaches, went to The Citadel's Mike Sellers.