Navarro may have finished the regular season unbeaten and No. 1 in the nation, but the rest of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference coaches seemed to have be unimpressed.

Navarro had five first-team All-SWJCFC players in 2009 and only one first- or second-team offensive selection in voting by league coaches that followed the final regular-season game.

Sophomore linebacker Brad Graham, the conference’s second-leading leading tackler with 106 stops, was named the conference Defensive MVP after also recording two sacks, 13 tackles for loss, four interceptions, five quarterback pressures and six pass breakups. Graham also recovered one fumble and forced three more.

Other than Graham’s honor, the Bulldogs were seemingly snubbed in a major way by the league’s coaches. Navarro’s five first-team selections trailed eventual national champion Blinn (seven) and equaled Tyler. Offensively, Navarro’s one first- or second-team player (tackle David Grant) was less than one-win Cisco (four), Trinity Valley (four), three-win NEO (three), Kilgore (three) and Tyler (four).

Kilgore tight end Chase Ford, bound for Miami next season, was selected as the conference’s Most Valuable Player, despite finishing fourth in the conference in receptions (32) and tied for 10 in receiving touchdowns (three).

Trinity Valley running back Chad Winbush was the league’s Offensive MVP after rushing for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Navarro was much better represented on defense. Defensive end Brandon Joiner earned first-team honors after posting 48 tackles and a team-high 11 sacks to go with 20 quarterback pressures and six tackles for loss.

Graham was a first-team selection at linebacker as were cornerback Saheed Imoru and safety Trevor Drayton. Imoru, likely bound for Pittsburgh next season, led the secondary with 59 tackles and had three interceptions and broke up nine passes. Drayton led the conference with seven interceptions, returning a pair for touchdowns. Perhaps his most important play of the season was when he stripped a Mississippi Gulf Coast receiver heading into the end zone for the tying score in the Heart of Texas Bowl. Navarro’s Chevy Bennett recovered in the end zone and the Bulldogs went on to win, 37-26. Drayton also had an interception in the game.

Navarro’s Justin Williams and Ray Kibble, both of whom have committed to Kansas State, were named to the second-team All-SWJCFC. Baylor transfer Trenston Hill was named second-team safety.

Earning All-SWJCFC honorable mention for Navarro were receiver J.J. Hayes, guard Daniel Campbell and tackles Robert Griffin and Nick Johnson, quarterback Milton Howell, tight ends Kalan Jenkins and Chase Harper and running back Derrick Hall, who capped a fine sophomore season with 182 yards and three TDs in the Heart of Texas Bowl, pushing his team-leading rushing total to 1,011 yards and 14 touchdowns. Fellow running back DePauldrick Garrett failed to make the honorable mention list after gaining 964 yards, good for sixth in the conference.

Howell’s honor was especially impressive considering he played only about three and a half games before going down with a foot injury that sidelined him the remainder of the season. In just 15 quarters this season, Howell gained 399 yards on the ground and had nine touchdown passes while winning top honors with pass efficiency with a 202.9 quarterback rating, more than 40 points higher than any other SWJCFC passer.

Defensive honorable mention Bulldogs were linebacker Justin Clark and defensive end Toby Jackson.

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