The 2019 Samford football season came to an end a few short weeks ago. The Bulldogs completed the season with an overall record of 5-7 (4-4 SoCon), finishing fifth in the Southern Conference standings.
Highlighted by impressive conference wins over No. 21 Wofford and No. 25 The Citadel, the Bulldogs played stellar football during a selection of games but lacked the depth and defensive prowess to put together a winning season.
In the final game of the season, Samford was thrashed 52-0 by the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Throughout the course of the season, a quarterback duel ensued between University of South Florida transfer Chris Oladokun and junior Liam Welch.
Oladokun finished the year with 2,058 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added 491 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Oladokun was also sacked 15 times.
In comparison, Welch passed for 759 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. He rushed for 160 yards and four touchdowns. Welch was sacked a total of nine times.
A third quarterback who saw playing time in 2019 was Head Coach Chris Hatcher’s son Ty Hatcher. Hatcher finished the year with a 100 percent completion percentage, completing a perfect 7/7 passes for 29 yards. He also tallied one reception on the year for 11 yards.
Freshman running back Jay Stanton led the Bulldog rushing game the entire season. Stanton appeared in 10 games, rushing for 690 yards on 122 carries, good for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. He finished with seven rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns at the conclusion of his freshman campaign.
Senior wide receivers Chris Shelling and Robert Adams led the Bulldog receiving game. Shelling tallied five receiving touchdowns while Adams complied 565 receiving yards in 2019.
Samford struggled on the defensive side of the ball, finishing with zero interceptions at the end of the year. They allowed 37.8 points per game, ranking 120 out of 125 total FCS football teams. The defense gave up a total of 5,486 total yards and 57 touchdowns.
In terms of end-of-season accolades, multiple Bulldogs took home Southern Conference awards.
Junior Montrell Washington earned a second-team SoCon special teams spot for his kickoff and punt return ability. Washington finished the year with 458 return yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore kicker Mitchell Fineran earned second-team SoCon special teams as well, completing the year with 15 made field goals and 46 made extra points.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior offensive lineman Nick Nixon took home first-team SoCon honors.
Two players made the all-freshman list, Stanton and freshman wide receiver AJ Toney.
Samford’s defense had three players earn SoCon defensive honors. Junior linebacker John Staton made first-team SoCon defense, finishing the year with 115 total tackles and three tackles for loss.
Junior Armond Lloyd picked up second-team honors, completing the year with 62 tackles and two sacks.
Freshman Trimarcus Cheeks earned an all-freshman spot with 47 tackles on the year.
Although the Samford football season has come to an end, multiple Bulldogs are currently continuing their NFL seasons. The list of former Samford standouts includes Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges, 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt and Ravens offensive lineman Michael Pierce. Hodges earned the second start of his career in a win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.