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Pearl River's Bryan Whitehead II named MACCC South Division Defensive Player of the Year

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director


POPLARVILLE, Miss. — After being a terror for defenses all season long, Pearl River football defensive lineman Bryan Whitehead II (Bartlett, Tenn.) finally received the recognition that he deserves. The Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference announced Tuesday that the sophomore was named South Division Defensive Player of the Year.

"I couldn't be happier for Bryan," Pearl River coach Seth Smith said. "To me, he was the most dominant defensive player in the country this year. He has a tremendous amount of God-given ability and he uses every bit of it every time that ball is snapped. He's a relentless player with a motor that doesn't stop."

"He's equally as great off the field. This young man truly is a joy and his journey on the field is just getting started. He will soar on the field and in life. I'm so happy for him. What a testament to his hard work."

Whitehead II's story is truly remarkable. After suffering a season-ending injury after playing one game as a freshman, the defensive lineman rehabbed heavily to make up for the missed time during his 2022 campaign.

The sophomore wreaked havoc on opposing teams all season long. He finished the year with 39 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries two forced fumbles and one interception.

All three of his fumble recoveries were returned for touchdowns. His sack total ranks third in the NJCAA and his TFL mark places him fifth.

Whitehead II helped the Pearl River defense be one of the most feared units in the country during the 2022 season. The Wildcats ranked in the top-20 in both passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed.

With his help, Pearl River secured a six-win season for the first time since 2010.

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).

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