Old Dominion's Heinicke, Wofford's Breitenstein lead AP FCS All-Americans
NEW YORK -- Payton Award finalists Taylor Heinicke, the record-setting quarterback from Old Dominion, and Eric Breitenstein, the 2,000-yard rusher from Wofford, were selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team.
Heinicke had the most prolific passing season in the history of what used to be called Division I-AA football. The sophomore from Georgia passed for 5,076 yards and had 5,546 yards of total offense, breaking records set by the late Steve McNair when he was at Alcorn State in 1994.
''What Taylor did this year from an individual standpoint is nothing short of incredible,'' ODU coach Bobby Wilder said Wednesday.
''We build our system around our quarterback and what we feel like are his strengths. To run an offense that suits their needs. As (Heinicke) has gotten comfortable in our system, we've become more of a throwing team because of his comfort level.''
Directing the Monarchs' fast-paced spread, Heinicke also set FCS records for completions (398) and total plays (705). And Heinicke ran for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns.
''He understands our philosophy is to find a way to move the chains,'' Wilder said. ''If you need to run the ball, you run it to get a critical first down and those first downs lead to touchdowns. Protect the ball and find a way to move the chains.''
Heinicke did just that in September against New Hampshire when he passed for a Division I record 730 yards in a 64-61 victory. He threw 79 passes in that game without an interception.
Old Dominion finished 11-2 record, losing last week to Georgia Southern, 49-35, in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
Breitenstein made his second consecutive appearance as a first-team All-American. The 230-pound senior fullback ran for 2,035 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.
The Walter Payton Award goes to the top player in FCS. Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman, the other finalist for the Payton Award, was picked second-team All-American.
Joining Heinicke and Breitenstein in the first-team backfield was Stony Brook's Miguel Maysonet, who ran for 1,964 and 21 touchdowns.
Eastern Illinois' Erik Lora and Elon's Aaron Mellette, ranked 1-2 in the nation in catches and yards receiving, were the receivers and Harvard's Kyle Juszczyk was the tight end.
A couple of guys who will be playing in this weekend's FCS semifinals highlight the offensive line.
Bill Turner and North Dakota State host Georgia Southern on Friday night and Will Post and Eastern Washington host Sam Houston State on Saturday.
The other linemen were Earl Watford from James Madison, Mike Sellers from The Citadel and Roger Gaines from Tennessee State.
The defense is led by Georgia Southern's 300-pound defensive tackle Brent Russell and Georgetown linebacker Robert McCabe, who leads the nation with 14.45 tackles per game.
Brandon Thurmond of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the nation's leader with 17 1/2 sacks, joined Russell on the line along with Colton Underwood of Illinois State.
Montana State placed two players on the defense. End Caleb Schreibeis leads FCS with eight forced fumbles and linebacker Cody Owens was the Big Sky defensive player of the year.
New Hampshire linebacker Matt Evans, who was a second-team All-American last year, made the first team this year.
Defensive back Marcus Williams of North Dakota State joined Breitenstein as a two-time All-American and became the only defensive player to repeat this season.
North Dakota State and Montana State were the only teams to place two players on the first team.
The other defensive backs were Darnell Taylor of Sam Houston State, Jaquiski Tartt of Samford and Cooper Taylor of Richmond.
Walter Powell of Murray State was the all-purpose player. He had 1,213 yards receiving and more than 900 yards returning kicks and punts.
Patrick Murray of Fordham was the kicker and Sam Martin of Appalachian State was the punter.
|Quarterback||Taylor Heinicke||Old Dominion||Sophomore|
|Running Back||Miguel Maysonet||Stony Brook||Senior|
|Running Back||Eric Breitenstein||Wofford||Senior|
|Lineman||Earl Watford||James Madison||Senior|
|Lineman||Mike Sellers||The Citadel||Junior|
|Lineman||Will Post||Eastern Washington||Senior|
|Lineman||Bill Turner||North Dakota State||Junior|
|Lineman||Roger Gaines||Tennessee State||Senior|
|Tight End||Kyle Juszczyk||Harvard||Senior|
|Wide Receiver||Aaron Mellett||Elon||Senior|
|Wide Receiver||Erik Lora||Eastern Illinois||Junior|
|All Purpose||Walter Powell||Murray State||Junior|
|Lineman||Caleb Schreibeis||Montana State||Senior|
|Lineman||Colton Underwood||Illinois State||Junior|
|Lineman||Brent Russell||Georgia Southern||Senior|
|Lineman||Brandon Thurmond||Arkansas-Pine Bluff||Senior|
|Linebacker||Matt Evans||New Hampshire||Senior|
|Linebacker||Jody Owens||Montana State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Darnell Taylor||Sam Houston State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Marcus Williams||North Dakota State||Junior|
|Defensive Back||Jaquiski Tartt||Samford||Sophomore|
|Defensive Back||Cooper Taylor||Richmond||Senior|
|Punter||Sam Martin||Appalachian State||Senior|
|Quarterback||Casey Brockman||Murray State||Senior|
|Running Back||Zach Zenner||South Dakota State||Sophomore|
|Running Back||Deonte Williams||Cal Poly||Senior|
|Lineman||Terren Jones||Alabama State||Senior|
|Lineman||Michael Bamiro||Stony Brook||Junior|
|Lineman||Bryan Witzmann||South Dakota State||Junior|
|Lineman||Corey Howard||Central Arkansas||Senior|
|Tight End||A.C. Leonard||Tennessee State||Sophomore|
|Wide Receiver||Jordan Harris||Bryant||Junior|
|Wide Receiver||Brandon Kaufman||Eastern Washington||Junior|
|All Purpose||Dominic Dunn||Northern Colorado||Senior|
|Kicker||Colton Cook||Southern Utah||Junior|
|Lineman||Cody Larsen||Southern Utah||Senior|
|Linebacker||Jeremy Kimbrough||Appalachian State||Senior|
|Linebacker||Stephon Robertson||James Madison||Junior|
|Linebacker||Blake Peiffer||Southeast Missouri State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Robert Alford||Southeastern Louisiana||Senior|
|Defensive Back||B.W. Webb||William & Mary||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Demetrius McCray||Appalachian State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Johnny Towalid||Indiana State||Senior|
|Punter||Andy Wilder||Northern Arizona||Junior|
|Running Back||Shakir Bell||Indiana State||Junior|
|Running Back||Tim Flanders||Sam Houston State||Junior|
|Lineman||Randy Richards||Missouri State||Senior|
|Lineman||Garrett Frye||Georgia Southern||Sophomore|
|Lineman||Aaron Adams||Eastern Kentucky||Senior|
|Lineman||Sean Davies||UC Davis||Senior|
|Tight End||Josh Hill||Idaho State||Senior|
|Wide Receiver||Cordell Roberson||Stephen F. Austin||Senior|
|Wide Receiver||Kevin Norrell||Stony Brook||Senior|
|All Purpose||Tyler Varga||Yale||Sophomore|
|Kicker||Jimmy Pavel||Eastern Washington||Senior|
|Lineman||Ken Boatright||Southern Illinois||Senior|
|Lineman||Joseph Lebeau||Jackson State||Senior|
|Lineman||Andrew Weaver||Sam Houston State||Junior|
|Linebacker||Ian Sluss||Portland State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Kejuan Riley||Alabama State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Steven Godbolt||Tennessee State||Sophomore|
|Defensive Back||Ben Ericksen||Illinois State||Senior|
|Defensive Back||Caleb Schaffitzel||Missouri State||Sophomore|
|Punter||Bobby Wenzig||Alabama State||Junior|