EMCC’s Upshaw, Crabtree earn NJCAA All-America football honors

The NJCAA’s Football All-Americans, as chosen by the NJCAA Football Committee, were announced Tuesday.

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 3:08 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 11:20 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (WTVA/EMCC Athletics) – For their respective efforts in helping lead East Mississippi Community College to the school’s fourth national football championship in seven years this past season, sophomores Duke Upshaw and Taylor Crabtree have earned 2017 NJCAA All-America honors. The NJCAA’s Football All-Americans, as chosen by the NJCAA Football Committee, were announced Tuesday.


A defensive back from Baldwyn, Upshaw received first-team honors from the NJCAA, while Crabtree, a product of Vancleave High School, earned honorable mention status as a placekicker. Both players were previously named NJCAA All-Region 23 and MACJC All-State First Team this year after helping lead head coach Buddy Stephens’ 11-1 EMCC Lions to a second straight MACJC state title.

A two-year starter at cornerback for EMCC, Upshaw led the Lions with three pass interceptions during each of his two seasons. Despite missing this year’s state and national championship games due to injury, Upshaw was credited with 39 total tackles and eight pass breakups for the season. Two of his three interceptions on the year came during EMCC’s 72-7 homecoming victory over Coahoma, including a 30-yard pick six, to go along with two pass breakups and a forced fumble. For his East Mississippi career, Upshaw totaled 79 career tackles, six pass interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

Crabtree, who concentrated on placekicking duties as a sophomore after handling all of EMCC’s kicking and punting chores in 2016, finished as the nation’s third-leading scorer among NJCAA kickers for the second year in a row with 97 points scored. He converted on 97 percent (67-of-69) of his point-after-touchdown attempts and 77 percent (10-of-13) of his field goal tries this past year. For his EMCC career, the two-time MACJC All-State kicker connected on 95 percent (131-of-138) of his PATs and 76 percent (19-of-25) of his field goals to score 188 career points for the Lions.

EMCC’s Stephens has now produced a total of 26 NJCAA All-America selections in his 10 seasons on the Scooba campus, while ranking as the Lions’ career wins leader (98-13) as well as the NJCAA’s all-time leader in career winning percentage (.883) among head football coaches with 100 or more career games coached. Among EMCC’s All-Americans dating back to the 2009 football season have been seven quarterbacks, including Florida Atlantic University’s De’Andre Johnson and former Ole Miss signal callers Chad Kelly, Bo Wallace and Randall Mackey, in addition to current NFL defensive linemen Za’Darius Smith (Baltimore Ravens), Denico Autry (Oakland Raiders) and Quinton Dial (Green Bay Packers).

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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DeSoto703979
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Jackson457884
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Forrest304678
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Washington258399
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Panola170040
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Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
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Prentiss106120
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Tippah90322
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Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
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Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
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Perry49423
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Wilkinson33820
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Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
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Baldwin665869
Lee654665
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Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
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Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
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Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
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