Hopkins and Graham received NJCAA honors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 17, 2009) – This season's NJCAA football rushing leader and a top tackler have been selected as the 2009 NJCAA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) sophomore running back Jasmin Hopkins (pictured) has been awarded the offensive honors, while Navarro College (Texas) linebacker Brad Graham receives the defensive award.

The 2009 season marks the 20th consecutive year that the NJCAA Football Coaches Association has selected a player of the year. Since 2000, an award has been given to both an offensive and defensive player.

Jasmin Hopkins
Running Back (5-9, 185 lbs.)
Fort Scott Community College (Kan.)

A native of Stanley, N.C., Hopkins posted the second-most rushing yards by an NJCAA running back in 10 years while helping guide the Fort Scott Greyhounds to their first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference title in 35 years and their first Region 6 title ever. The Greyhounds played in the NJCAA Football Championship Game this season for the first time in over 35 years where they fell in final seconds 31-26 to Blinn College (Texas).

Hopkins led the NJCAA in rushing yards with 1,931, which is the second-best mark by a player since Lackawanna College (Pa.) running back Alan Jones rushed for 2,069 yards in 2000. Jocques Crawford of Cisco College (Texas) rushed for 1,935 yards in 2007 and won that season's Offensive Player of the Year honor.

Hopkins also led in the nation in rushing yards per game with 160.9 and his 16 rushing touchdowns tied for fifth. His 102 points from 17 total touchdowns ranked eighth in the NJCAA in scoring while his 1,931 rushing yards ranked 15th in total offense.

He also earned Offensive Player of the Year honors from the KJCCC, leading the league in rushing yards, all-purpose yards, scoring and touchdowns scored.

Hopkins averaged over 25 rushing attempts per game and gained over 100 yards in 11 straight contests this year, including four games where he eclipsed 200 yards. His best performance came on Sept. 19 against Garden City (Kan.) when he had 267 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns.

In the national title game against Blinn, Hopkins accounted for 188 yards on 35 carries.

For his career at Fort Scott, Hopkins totaled 3,158 rushing yards, which ranks second in school history.

Hopkins has yet to decide where he will continue his education and football career, but is being recruited by Arkansas State, Southern Mississippi and many others according to JC Football.com.

Brad Graham
Linebacker (6-3, 230 lbs.)
Navarro College (Texas)

Graham, a native of Austin, Texas, was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Southwest JC Football Conference while leading Navarro College (Texas) to its second consecutive regular season league title. The Bulldogs also spent two weeks at the No. 1 post in the NJCAA / JC Football.com Poll. Navarro advanced to the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl where the defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 37-26.

For the season, Graham tallied 96 tackles (62 solo, 34 assisted), 13 tackles for loss, one sack and three forced fumbles. He also had four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

Graham is the third consecutive player from the SWJCFC to take home Player of the Year honors. Last year, Blinn's Terrance Cain won the offensive award – as did Cisco's Jocques Crawford in 2007. He is the first Navarro player to ever receive the award.

Graham signed with North Texas on Wednesday.

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