Football Championship Subdivision

By Craig Haley, FCS Exec. Director - Archive - Email
NDSU headlines FCS All-Americans
2014 FCS All-American Team Walter Payton Award winner John Robertson, top left, and Buck Buchanan Award winner Kyle Emanuel, top right, are flanked by headshots of five multi-time FCS first-team All-Americans.
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The value of experience and intangibles can't be understated within a successful football team.

But there's even more to be said for good old fashioned talent.

North Dakota State is one win shy of capturing an unprecedented fourth straight FCS national title because of the way it blends all of the factors together. Senior defensive end Kyle Emanuel, the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award winner, led the way Tuesday as the Bison placed a national-high six players on The Sports Network FCS All-America Team.

Bison junior left tackle Joe Haeg joined Emanuel on the first team, while senior running back John Crockett, senior safety Colten Heagle and junior punter Ben LeCompte were named to the second team, and junior fullback Andrew Bonnet to the third team. No other program had more than four players on the three All-America teams, which were comprised of 104 players spread across 64 programs and all 13 FCS conferences.

Like Emanuel, the national defensive player of the year, the other players to win major FCS awards earned All-American honors. Villanova junior quarterback John Robertson (Walter Payton Award, outstanding player) and South Dakota State senior running back Zach Zenner (Mickey Charles Award, outstanding FCS student-athlete) were named to the first team, and Fordham freshman running back Chase Edmonds (Jerry Rice Award, freshman of the year) made the second team.

Zenner's spot on the first team was his third straight, and it follows his third consecutive season of rushing for more than 2,000 yards, which had never been done previously on the Division I level. He had 2,019 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns this season.

Eastern Washington sophomore wide receiver Cooper Kupp, Southern Illinois senior tight end MyCole Pruitt and Eastern Illinois senior offensive lineman Collin Seibert made the first team for a second consecutive season. Senior safety Jaquiski Tartt of Samford also landed on the first team for a second time, having previously earned the honor in 2012.

FCS conference breakdown of All-Americans:

Missouri Valley Football Conference - 18; Big Sky Conference - 12; CAA Football - 12; Ohio Valley Conference - 11; Southland Conference - 10; Northeast Conference - 8; Big South Conference - 6; Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference - 6; Southern Conference - 6; Patriot League - 5; Ivy League - 4; Southwestern Athletic Conference - 4; Pioneer Football League - 2

The schools with the most All-Americans:

North Dakota State - 6; Northern Iowa - 4; Coastal Carolina - 3; Eastern Washington - 3; Fordham - 3; Illinois State - 3; Jacksonville State - 3; Liberty - 3; New Hampshire - 3; Villanova - 3

During the regular season, the 6-foot-3, 251-pound Emanuel tied for the FCS high in sacks and ranked second in tackles for loss. He now has 93 tackles, 19.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss for the 14-1 Bison heading into the national championship game against Illinois State on Jan. 10. Emanuel is part of a North Dakota State senior class that will try to finish with more FCS titles than losses in their career as they have an incredible 57-3 record over the last four seasons.

"I've been extremely blessed to be put in a great situation at North Dakota State," Emanuel said, "whether it's my teammates, my coaches or just friends and people that I've met at North Dakota State. It really is a special place."

Haeg is the other first-team All-American from the Missouri Valley Football Conference co-champion Bison, anchoring an offensive line that set up Crockett for a record-setting season in the backfield.

Villanova reached the national quarterfinals as Robertson added to his 2012 Jerry Rice Award with the 2014 Payton. CAA Football's top offensive player surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the third time and threw for a career-high 2,846 yards to average 301.8 total yards per game and account for 46 total touchdowns (35 passing, 11 rushing).

"Being around this team," Robertson said, "I've never been around a team with so much passion. And they made me the best player that I could be. They showed me so much support."

Other offensive players on the All-America first team were: running backs Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State and Gus Johnson of Stephen F. Austin; fullback Seth Fisher of Richmond; wide receivers DeAndre Carter of Sacramento State and R.J. Harris of New Hampshire; offensive linemen Mason Halter of Fordham, Chad Hamilton of Coastal Carolina and Max Holcombe of Jacksonville State; and all-purpose player David Johnson of Northern Iowa.

Among the defensive standouts, there were defensive linemen Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State, Davis Tull of Chattanooga and Zack Wagenmann of Montana; linebackers Quinn Backus of Coastal Carolina, Don Cherry of Villanova, Nick Dzubnar of Cal Poly and Connor Underwood of Indiana State; and defensive backs Jacob Hagen of Liberty, Donald Payne of Stetson and Christian Ricard of Stony Brook.

The first-team specialists were Liberty's John Lunsford (place-kicker), Portland State's Kyle Loomis (punter), Murray State's Pokey Harris (kick returner), South Carolina State's Antonio Hamilton (punt returner) and Illinois State's Chris Highland (long snapper).

The first team included the FCS leaders in rushing yards (Coprich, 2,168), passing efficiency and points responsible for (Robertson, 181.3 and 280), receiving yards (Harris, 1,551); tackles per game (Payne, 14.5), punting average (Loomis, 46.0) and punt return average (Hamilton, 25.6).

The Missouri Valley Conference had both the most All-Americans (18) and first- team selections (eight). The Big Sky (12), CAA (12), Ohio Valley (11) and Southland (10) also reached double figures in All-American selections.

2014 The Sports Network FCS All-America Team

First Team - Offense
John Robertson Villanova QB Jr. 6-1 221
Marshaun Coprich Illinois State RB Jr. 5-9 205
Gus Johnson Stephen F. Austin RB Sr. 5-10 224
Zach Zenner South Dakota State RB Sr. 6-0 220
Seth Fisher Richmond FB Jr. 6-2 232
DeAndre Carter Sacramento State WR Sr. 5-10 185
R.J. Harris New Hampshire WR Sr. 6-0 201
Cooper Kupp Eastern Washington WR So. 6-2 195
MyCole Pruitt Southern Illinois TE Sr. 6-3 255
Joe Haeg North Dakota State OL Jr. 6-6 299
Mason Halter Fordham OL Sr. 6-8 297
Chad Hamilton Coastal Carolina OL Sr. 6-3 305
Max Holcombe Jacksonville State OL Sr. 6-3 290
Collin Seibert Eastern Illinois OL Sr. 6-4 290
David Johnson Northern Iowa AP Sr. 6-1 229
John Lunsford Liberty PK Jr. 6-1 180
Pokey Harris Murray State KR Sr. 5-10 173

First Team - Defense
Kyle Emanuel North Dakota State DL Sr. 6-3 251
Javon Hargrave South Carolina State DL Jr. 6-2 295
Davis Tull Chattanooga DL Sr. 6-3 240
Zack Wagenmann Montana DL Sr. 6-3 250
Quinn Backus Coastal Carolina LB Sr. 5-10 215
Don Cherry Villanova LB Jr. 6-1 221
Nick Dzubnar Cal Poly LB Sr. 6-2 250
Connor Underwood Indiana State LB Jr. 6-3 240
Jacob Hagen Liberty DB Sr. 6-3 205
Donald Payne Stetson DB So. 6-0 215
Christian Ricard Stony Brook DB Sr. 6-1 205
Jaquiski Tartt Samford DB Sr. 6-1 218
Kyle Loomis Portland State P Sr. 6-2 230
Chris Highland Illinois State LS Sr. 6-2 230
Antonio Hamilton South Carolina State PR Jr. 6-0 185

Second-Team Offense
Vernon Adams Jr. Eastern Washington QB Jr. 6-0 200
John Crockett North Dakota State RB Sr. 6-0 215
Chase Edmonds Fordham RB Fr. 5-9 185
Tyler Varga Yale RB Jr. 5-11 220
Brandon Howe Cal Poly FB Sr. 6-2 225
Adam Drake Eastern Illinois WR Sr. 6-2 199
Darrin Peterson Liberty WR Jr. 6-2 190
Brian Wetzel Fordham WR Sr. 5-11 190
Harold Spears New Hampshire TE Sr. 6-4 255
Cole Caruthers Central Arkansas OL Sr. 6-4 292
Nick Easton Harvard OL Sr. 6-3 300
Antoine Everett McNeese State OL Sr. 6-3 325
Darren Pinnock Morgan State OL Sr. 6-4 330
Jake Rodgers Eastern Washington OL Sr. 6-6 315
Jack Rummells Northern Iowa OL Sr. 6-5 300
Johnta Hebert Prairie View A&M AP Jr. 5-10 195
Michael Schmadeke Northern Iowa PK Jr. 5-10 181
Devin Rahming Duquesne KR Sr. 5-11 170

Second-Team Defense
Jeff Covitz Bryant DL Sr. 6-2 255
James Cowser Southern Utah DL Jr. 6-4 244
Zack Hodges Harvard DL Sr. 6-3 235
Alec May Georgetown DL Sr. 6-4 255
Xavier Williams Northern Iowa DL Sr. 6-2 309
Tony Bell UT Martin LB Sr. 6-1 200
Evan Byers Bucknell LB Sr. 6-0 235
Isiah Corbett SE Louisiana LB Sr. 6-3 250
Lynden Trail Norfolk State LB Sr. 6-7 250
Colten Heagle North Dakota State DB Sr. 5-11 206
Gordon Hill Sacred Heart DB Sr. 6-0 220
De'Ante Saunders Tennessee State DB Sr. 5-11 220
Caleb Schaffitzel Missouri State DB Sr. 6-0 215
Ben LeCompte North Dakota State P Jr. 5-10 200
Phil Faccone Wagner LS Sr. 5-9 195
Ladarius Vanlier Tennessee Tech PR Jr. 5-8 175

Third-Team Offense
Justin Arias Idaho State QB Sr. 6-1 210
Malcolm Cyrus Alabama State RB Sr. 5-10 180
Khairi Dickson Saint Francis RB Jr. 6-0 182
Connor Kacsor Dayton RB Sr. 6-0 200
Dy'Shawn Mobley Eastern Kentucky RB Jr. 5-11 217
Andrew Bonnet North Dakota State FB Jr. 6-3 250
Chris King Duquesne WR Jr. 6-1 196
Mark Roberts Lamar WR Sr. 6-3 190
Jake Wieneke South Dakota State WR Fr. 6-4 205
Nick Boyle Delaware TE Sr. 6-6 270
Jermaine Barton Illinois State OL Sr. 6-7 315
Mike Coccia New Hampshire OL Sr. 6-3 301
Cornelius Edison Portland State OL Sr. 6-3 295
Vince Kowalski Villanova OL Sr. 6-4 298
Corey Levin Chattanooga OL So. 6-5 285
Jaime Martinez Sacred Heart OL Sr. 6-4 340
Tarik Cohen North Carolina A&T AP So. 5-6 172
Chandler Curtis Mercer AP Fr. 5-10 186
Ryan McCrum Southeast Missouri PK So. 6-0 228
Xavier Roberson SE Louisiana KR Jr. 5-9 180

Third-Team Defense
P.J. Hall Sam Houston State DL Fr. 6-1 270
Sage Harold James Madison DL Sr. 6-4 245
Mike Reilly William & Mary DL Sr. 6-4 265
Devaunte Sigler Jacksonville State DL Jr. 6-5 292
Gary Wilkins Furman DL Sr. 6-3 240
Jonathan Woodard Central Arkansas DL Jr. 6-6 271
Kourtney Berry Alabama State LB So. 6-0 215
Christon Gill Western Carolina LB Sr. 6-0 225
Jerome Howard Prairie View A&M LB Sr. 6-0 216
Mike Zeuli Princeton LB Sr. 6-2 230
Imoan Claiborne Northwestern State DB Sr. 5-11 187
Jarrett Dieudonne Wagner DB Sr. 6-1 190
Matt Hermanson Montana DB Sr. 6-1 198
Jermaine Hough Jacksonville State DB Jr. 5-10 180
Tye Smith Towson DB Sr. 6-0 170
Lachlan Edwards Sam Houston State P Jr. 6-5 214
Shane Ballard Coastal Carolina LS Sr. 6-3 210
Michael Jones North Carolina Ctl PR So. 5-10 180

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