MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — Berry College's Mamadou Soumahoro was named the D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year in the wee hours of Saturday morning, also earning first team All-America recognition from the publication.
This is Soumahoro's fifth individual All-America selection of his career after earning recognition on the AP Little All-America and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams this week. He also became Berry's first All-American last year after earning honors from the AFCA and D3football.com. He is the first player in Berry and Southern Athletic Association (SAA) history to earn National Player of the Year recognition.
A senior defensive lineman out of Lawrenceville, Ga., Soumahoro has solidified himself as one of the top defensive players in the nation. After finishing the season with 14 sacks (fifth in Division III), 15 total tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, four batted passes, two blocked kicks and a career-best 57 tackles, Soumahoro was selected as the SAA Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight time. The four-time All-Conference selection was also named the D3football.com South Region Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Soumahoro helped anchor a defensive line that ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation against the run and allowed just 16.0 points per game during the regular season. He holds every pass rushing record in Berry history with 37.5 career sacks and 49 tackles for a loss. Over his career, he has now accumulated five separate All-America honors, four All-SAA nods, a South Region Defensive Player of the Year award, was a Cliff Harris Award finalist and has earned numerous Player of the Week honors in addition to his National Defensive Player of the Year honor.