NORMAL — All three began as reserves, but now have starting roles for the Illinois State football team.
And because of their impact with the Redbirds, Adam Blankenship, Brandon Joyce and Jonathan St-Pierre were named to the Gateway Conference’s All-Newcomer Team on Wednesday.
Both Joyce, a transfer from Indiana, and St-Pierre, a transfer from Miami (Fla.), played instrumental roles for the Redbird offense this season.
Joyce has started the last 10 games at right tackle after Jonathan Lyon was lost for the season with a leg injury. St-Pierre has started eight straight games at center. The duo helped pave the way for a 1,600-yard rusher in Pierre Rembert, while also blocking for the top passing offense in the conference.
Blankenship, a transfer from Nebraska, has started the last five games at defensive end, while playing in all 12. He has 12 tackles on the season, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.
The three selections were the most Redbirds on the all-newcomer team since 2002 when ISU had six all-newcomer picks.
Northern Iowa running back Darian Williams earned the league’s Newcomer of the Year honor, while Southern Illinois linebacker Brandin Jordan claimed the Freshman of the Year award.
Gateway Conference All-Newcomer Team
Brandon Joyce (Illinois State), Jonathan St-Pierre (Illinois State), Terrell Allen (Northern Iowa), Eric Davis (Missouri State), Reilly Murphy (Indiana State), Jake Gaebler (Western Kentucky), Louis Irizarry (Youngstown State), Tamarkus McElvane (Missouri State), Andrew McCloud (Western Kentucky), John Randle (Southern Illinois), Shawn Smith (Southern Illinois), Darian Williams (Northern Iowa), J.R. Zwierzynski (Western Illinois)
Adam Blankenship (Illinois State), Blake Boyd (Western Kentucky), Rashad Etheridge (Western Kentucky), Brandin Jordan (Southern Illinois), Chuck Kinney (Northern Iowa), Chauncey Mixon (Southern Illinois), Jeron Poole (Missouri State), Scott Ravanesi (Southern Illinois), James Ruffin (Northern Iowa), Patrick Stoudamire (Western Illinois), Andre Tillman (Southern Illinois)
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Darian Williams (Northern Iowa)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Brandin Jordan (Southern Illinois)