CARBONDALE — Running back D.J. Davis and safety Jeremy Chinn were named the Tony Bleyer Team MVPs at the SIU football team's awards banquet in January.
Davis, one of two 1,000-yard rushers for the 7-5 Salukis, had 1,026 yards and four touchdowns on 189 carries last season in 10 games. He missed two games after fracturing his elbow at Arkansas State in Week 4 but returned against No. 18 Youngstown State. Davis also caught 19 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, returned three punts for 11 yards and took five kickoff returns for 92 yards.
SIU's all-time kickoff return yardage leader, Davis rushed for 2,697 yards and 13 scores in four years and caught 112 passes for 908 yards and seven touchdowns. His 2,697 career rushing yards are fifth in school history.
Chinn, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound strong safety for the Salukis last season, finished his storied career with 243 tackles, 13 interceptions, 31 passes defended and six forced fumbles. He finished 17th in the voting for the 2019 Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the nation's top FCS defensive player. He was an all-conference selection his sophomore through senior years and has experience at both cornerback and safety.
Chinn started several games at cornerback during his collegiate career as well as at safety, and led the Salukis with four interceptions in 2019. He also had 71 tackles. Chinn was the only Saluki on the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team and one of eight all-conference honorees from SIU this past season. He was selected to participate in the Senior Bowl, and has been invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this month. After the season, Chinn was named to the Athlon Sports 28-player FCS All-America Team on Jan. 15 and the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team.
Redshirt freshman running back Javon Williams Jr., a Centralia native, was the team's Offensive Player of the Year. Williams rushed for a team-high 1,038 yards and 17 touchdowns on 162 carries, caught two touchdown passes and threw two touchdown passes. Chinn was the Salukis' Defensive Player of the Year.
Linebacker Cody Crider, who received a sixth year of eligibility and will compete in 2020, was named the Toughest Saluki. Davis received the Harry Bobbitt Spirit Award, and sophomore linebacker Bryson Strong won the Most Improved Player Award. Strong started the last seven games of the year and had 61 stops, fourth-most on the squad. Freshman guard Chase Evans and freshman outside linebacker Will Hopkins were named the offensive and defensive scouts of the year, respectively.