VALDOSTA, Ga. - A day after being named the nation's top defensive player by the nation's sports information directors, Valdosta State linebacker Larry Dean was named one of the top players at his position by the nation's coaches as Dean was named first team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association Wednesday.
Dean earned the honor after tallying 122 tackles, an 11.1 tackles per game average, during a 2010 season that saw him become the Valdosta State and Gulf South Conference career leader in tackles. The senior tallied 8.5 tackles for loss on the year and had one interception and one fumble recovery, both of which he returned for touchdowns. Dean also forced on fumble and broke up three passes while blocking one kick on the year.
Dean finished his illustrious career with 368 career tackles, surpassing the old VSU mark of 340 held by College Football Hall of Fame member Jessie Tuggle and the GSC record of 341 established by Delta State's Lardester Hicks-Green in 2009. He recorded 33.0 tackles for loss in his career, the sixth-best total in school history.
Dean, who became the first Valdosta State player to win National Defensive Player of the Year honors, has also been selected to play in the Cactus Bowl, a Division II all-star game, on January 7.