FCS football: STATS releases its 2015 All-America Team
The leading vote-getters for the two national player of the year awards headlined the STATS FCS All-America Team, but many other players, teams and conferences had reason to take a bow Tuesday.
The first-team selections included running backs Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State and Kade Harrington of Lamar and Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp - the three players invited to the Jan. 8 announcement of the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year award.
In addition, defensive ends James Cowser of Southern Utah and Tyrone Holmes of Montana and Portland State free safety Patrick Onwuasor - the trio invited to the announcement of STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year - were selected to the first team.
The three All-America teams went 102 players deep, spread out among 57 schools from all 13 FCS conferences.
Top-ranked Jacksonville State, which will play in the national semifinals for the first time Saturday, garnered the most All-Americans with five, led by junior Eli Jenkins, the first-team quarterback. Northern Iowa, national semifinalists North Dakota State and Richmond had four selections each.
Kupp, Cowser, Holmes and Onwuasor helped the Big Sky Conference gain seven first-team selections and 17 overall - both national highs. The Missouri Valley Football Conference was second with six first-team selections and 13 overall, and CAA Football had three first-teamers and 12 selections overall.
Harrington, the Southland Conference's player of the year, went over 200 rushing yards in a game six times. He ranks first in the FCS in rushing yards (2,092), rushing yards per game (190.2), all-purpose yards per game (213.4) and points per game (12.5).
Coprich, the Missouri Valley's two-time offensive player of the year, is second in rushing yards (1,967) and rushing yards per game (151.3), and third in points per game (11.2). He helped Illinois State to a share of the conference title for a second consecutive season.
The junior Kupp earned his third straight All-America first-team selection and is nearing FCS all-time records with another season of eligibility. The Big Sky's offensive player of the year leads the FCS in receptions (114), receptions per game (10.4), receiving yards (1,642), receiving yards per game (149.3) and touchdown receptions (19).
The Big Sky triumvirate of Cowser, Holmes and Onwuasor was just as dominating on the defensive side of the ball. Cowser, the conference's defensive player of the year, helped Southern Utah claim its first Big Sky title. He had 19 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, which propelled him to becoming the FCS all-time leader with 80 TFLs and 43.5 sacks.
Holmes has the FCS season high with 18 sacks - four more than any other player - and he added 21.5 tackles for loss and 87 tackles in his outstanding season at Montana.
Onwuasor also is a national leader with nine interceptions. He totaled 85 tackles while helping Portland State improve by six wins from a year ago.
Jacksonville State swept through the Ohio Valley Conference for the second consecutive season with Jenkins directing one of the top offenses in the FCS. The dual threat was named the conference's offensive player of the year with 3,514 yards of total offense. He's thrown for 2,484 yards and 19 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,030 and 13 TDs. Included are back-to-back 195-yard rushing performances in the postseason as well as five rushing touchdowns.
The other Jacksonville State All-Americans were center Casey Dunn on the second team, and running back Troymaine Pope, defensive tackle Chris Landrum and cornerback Jermaine Hough on the third team.
"Obviously, it's a great pat on the back for our football team," Gamecocks coach John Grass said. "We've got a lot of guys that work very hard, it's a team effort, and I know those five guys would say the same thing, that any accolades that they get are a tribute back to our team."
STATS FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA
|QB||Eli Jenkins||Junior||Jacksonville State||DL||James Cowser||Graduate||Southern Utah|
|RB||Marshaun Coprich||Senior||Illinois State||DL||Javon Hargrave||Senior||South Carolina St.|
|RB||Chase Edmonds||Sophomore||Fordham||DL||Tyrone Holmes||Senior||Montana|
|RB||Kade Harrington||Junior||Lamar||DL||Victor Ochi||Senior||Stony Brook|
|FB||Tyler Renew||Junior||The Citadel||DL||Noah Spence||Junior||Eastern Kentucky|
|WR||Jamaal Jones||Junior||Montana||LB||Deon King||Senior||Norfolk St.|
|WR||Cooper Kupp||Junior||Eastern Washington||LB||Christian Kuntz||Junior||Duquesne|
|WR||Jake Wieneke||Sophomore||South Dakota St.||LB||Darnell Sankey||Senior||Sacramento St.|
|TE||Ben Braunecker||Senior||Harvard||LB||Myke Tavarres||Senior||Incarnate Word|
|OL||Clay DeBord||Senior||Eastern Washington||DB||Dee Delaney||Sophomore||The Citadel|
|OL||Joe Haeg||Senior||North Dakota St.||DB||Deiondre' Hall||Senior||Northern Iowa|
|OL||Donald Jackson II||Senior||Sam Houston St.||DB||DeAndre Houston-Carson||Senior||William & Mary|
|OL||Corey Levin||Junior||Chattanooga||DB||Patrick Onwuasor||Senior||Portland St.|
|All-Purpose||Johnta' Herbert||Senior||Prairie View A&M|
|PK||Nick Dorka||Sophomore||William & Mary||KR||Willie Quinn||Senior||Southern|
|P||Ben LeCompte||Senior||North Dakota St.||PR||Khris Gardin||Sophomore||North Carolina A&T|
|LS||Joshua Appel||Junior||Indiana St.|
After the Big Sky, Missouri Valley and CAA, the breakdown of All-Americans among conferences saw the Big South with nine, Southern and Southland with eight each, the Ohio Valley with seven, the Ivy and Patriot with six apiece. The Mid-Eastern Athletic and Northeast had five each, and the Pioneer and Southwestern Athletic three apiece.
The offensive players of the year in nine conferences and defensive players of the year in 13 conferences made the All-America team.
STATS SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA
|QB||Jacob Huesman||Senior||Chattanooga||DL||Keionta Davis||Junior||Chattanooga|
|RB||Jacobi Green||Senior||Richmond||DL||Dino Fanti||Senior||Eastern Illinois|
|RB||De'Angelo Henderson||Junior||Coastal Carolina||DL||P.J. Hall||Sophomore||Sam Houston St.|
|FB||Andrew Bonnet||Senior||Montana St.||DL||Karter Schult||Junior||Northern Iowa|
|WR||Emmanuel Butler||Sophomore||Northern Arizona||DL||Chima Uzowihe||Senior||Liberty|
|WR||Tyler Dube||Graduate||Sacred Heart||LB||Andrew Ankrah||Sophomore||James Madison|
|WR||Brendan Flaherty||Junior||Holy Cross||LB||Kourtney Berry||Junior||Alabama St.|
|TE||Beau Sandland||Senior||Montana St.||LB||Don Cherry||Senior||Villanova|
|OL||Erik Austell||Junior||Charleston Southern||LB||Stephen Hodge||Graduate||Fordham|
|OL||Jonathan Burgess||Senior||Liberty||LB||Brett McMakin||Junior||Northern Iowa|
|OL||Jule'n Davenport||Junior||Bucknell||DB||David Jones||Junior||Richmond|
|OL||Casey Dunn||Junior||Jacksonville St.||DB||Miles Killebrew||Senior||Southern Utah|
|OL||Mitch Kirsch||Junior||James Madison||DB||Harlan Miller||Senior||Southeastern Louisiana|
|All-Purpose||John Sanitago||Freshman||North Dakota||DB||Donald Payne||Junior||Stetson|
|DB||Wallace Scott||Senior||McNeese St.|
|PK||John Lunsford||Senior||Liberty||KR||Lorenzo Jerome||Junior||St. Francis|
|P||Ryan Hawkins||Senior||Northern Arizona||PR||Ellis Onic II||Sophomore||Northern Colorado|
|LS||Joseph Smith||Junior||Charleston Southern|
STATS THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICA
|QB||Case Cookus||Freshman||Northern Arizona||DL||Mitchell Jeter||Senior||The Citadel|
|QB||Vad Lee||Senior||James Madison||DL||Chris Landrum||Graduate||Jacksonville St.|
|RB||Tarik Cohen||Junior||North Carolina A&T||DL||O.J. Mau||Senior||Gardner-Webb|
|RB||Troymaine Pope||Senior||Jacksonville St.||DL||Greg Menard||Sophomore||North Dakota St.|
|FB||Joe Protheroe||Sophomore||Cal Poly||DL||Derek Rivers||Junior||Youngstown St.|
|WR||Brian Brown||Junior||Richmond||LB||Aaron Brown||Senior||Charleston Southern|
|WR||Anthony Warrum||Junior||Illinois St.||LB||Tyler Drake||Senior||Penn|
|WR||Justin Watson||Sophomore||Penn||LB||John Hugunin||Graduate||Drake|
|TE||ERic Saubert||Senior||Drake||LB||Cory Magwood||Senior||Furman|
|OL||Quinton Marsh||Senior||McNeese St.||LB||James Rentz||Junior||Sacred Heart|
|OL||Garrick Mayweater||Senior||Fordham||DB||James Bradberry||Senior||Samford|
|OL||Sean Meehan||Senior||North Dakota||DB||Casey DeAndrade||Junior||New Hampshire|
|OL||Brandon Parker||Sophomore||North Carolina A&T||DB||Jermaine Hough||Senior||Jacksonville St.|
|OL||Nick Ritcher||Senior||Richmond||DB||Jevon Elmore||Junior||Central Connecticut St.|
|PK||Chris Moore||Senior||Northwestern St.||KR||Devin Brown||Junior||Coastal Carolina|
|P||Chris Fraser||Junior||Cornell||PR||Makinton Dorleant||Senior||Northern Iowa|
|LS||Kameron Canaday||Senior||Portland St.|