CSU's James named 2012 Big South Preseason Defensive Player of the YearJuly 26, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charleston Southern senior defensive back Charles James (Jacksonville, Fla.) has been recognized as the 2012 Big South Preseason Defensive Player of the Year at the 2012 Big South Conference Football Media Day, held at the Renaissance Suites Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
James, who has already been named a 2012 preseason All-American by The Sports Network, received eight of 18 first-place votes and 24 points to claim the defensive honor.
"It’s an honor and I want to thank God for this opportunity," James said Thursday. "My goal is to make this team the best it can be week in and week out. The main goal is to make this defense better with each snap and do everything I can to help this team win games."
"Charles is very deserving," CSU Head Coach Jay Mills said on Thursday. "He’s very selfless. He is a young man who gets his energy from his team, because he gives the team so much energy. He is a very confident young man and a man of faith. To see him go from a non-scholarship redshirt to being the league’s preseason MVP is very satisfying as a coach."
The 5-foot-9 redshirt senior adds the award to a growing list of accolades this summer. James was named to the Sports Network Preseason All-America Second Team earlier this month. He was also named to the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Back watch list, and was also named to the CFPA Preseason Player Watch List over the offseason.
James enters the 2012 season just one interception away from tying Phillip Ashley’s program record of 11 career picks with the Buccaneers. James enjoyed a breakout season in 2010 with six interceptions, and added two more this past season to run his three year total to 10 interceptions at CSU, the most of any player in the Big South since the 2010. His 39-yard interception return against Florida State set up the Bucs’ only touchdown in a loss to the Seminoles last September.
James' career totals also include 19 pass break-ups and 29 passes defended, good for seventh all-time in Big South history. His 10 career interceptions are tied for fifth in Big South history, while his 14 career interception return yards also place him in the top five.
In addition to his ball-hawking skills in the secondary, the Jacksonville, Fla. native also displayed an adept nose for the ball this past season, finishing third on the team at CSU with 66 total tackles, of which 40 were solo stops. James averaged 6.0 tackles per game over the season, finishing in the top 10 in the Big South over the season and first among returning defensive backs in conference competition.
He also proved to be a game changer in the return game for the Buccaneers, returning 19 punts for 185 yards in 2011. He added several highlights on the season, putting CSU on the scoreboard with a 34-yard touchdown return versus Wesley in Oct., and showcased his elusiveness in the open field with a 46-yard return in the season finale against Presbyterian.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet was named the BSC’s 2012 Offensive Preseason Player of the Year.
Charleston Southern kicks off the 2012 season on the road on Sept. 1 as the Buccaneers travel to Sansom Field to take on The Citadel. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.