I-AA College Football News
Appalachian State lands six on 2006 Preseason All-America Team
Jul 6, 2006, 18:52 GMT
Philadelphia, PA - Defending national champion Appalachian State placed six players on The Sports Networks 2006 Division I-AA Preseason All-America Team, including three selections to the first team. Offensive tackle Matt Isenhour, defensive end Marques Murrell and safety Corey Lynch all earned first-team honors, while tight end Daniel Bettis was a second-team selection and offensive guard Kerry Brown and safety Jeremy Wiggins garnered honorable mention accolades.
After placing second in the closest voting in the history of the Walter Payton Award, New Hampshires Ricky Santos returns for his junior season as a first- team All-American at quarterback. Santos threw for 3,797 yards and 39 touchdowns with just nine interceptions and ran for 499 yards and eight scores to lead the Wildcats to the No. 1 seed in the postseason and a quarterfinal appearance. Southern Illinois Arkee Whitlock and Harvards Clifton Dawson were selected as the first-team running backs. Whitlock ran for 1,457 yards and 14 touchdowns to lead the Salukis to the quarterfinals, while Dawson racked up 1,139 yards and 11 scores and leads all active I-AA players in rushing and all- purpose yardage. Furmans Jerome Felton (940 yards, 18 TD) earned the first- team nod at fullback.
New Hampshires David Ball and Illinois States Laurent Robinson garnered first-team recognition at wide receiver after each made the 2005 postseason team. Ball is in position to break Jerry Rices I-AA record for touchdown receptions, and comes of a strong campaign of 87 receptions for 1,551 yards and a I-AA best 24 touchdowns. Robinson notched 86 receptions for 1,465 yards and 12 scores in a breakout junior season. Eastern Kentucky tight end Patrick Bugg (608 yards, 10 TD) rounds out the trio of pass-catchers.
Two players from the Big Sky Conference are among the five on the first-team offensive line. Guards Brennan Carvalho (Portland State) and Matt Alfred (Eastern Washington) made the team along with Isenhour and Ed McCarthy (Yale) at tackle and Ryan Jewell (Youngstown State) at center.
The first-team defense consists of nine players that earned postseason All- America honors in 2005. Murrell and Alcorn States Martin Jackson man the defensive end spots, with Northwestern States Tory Collins and Cal Polys Chris White at defensive tackle. Justin Durant (Hampton), Tyler Knight (Mississippi Valley State), Chad Nkang (Elon) and Clint Sellers (Eastern Illinois) make up the first-team linebacking corps, while James Madisons Tony LeZotte joins Lynch at safety with Cal Polys Courtney Brown and Youngstown States Codera Jackson as first-team honorees at cornerback.
In all, 81 players from 14 conferences were selected to the team. The Atlantic 10 led all leagues with 14 selections, followed by 11 from the Gateway Conference, 10 from the Southern Conference, and seven from both the Big Sky Conference and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Appalachian State led all teams with six selections, with Hampton, New Hampshire and Cal Poly each totaling four players on the All-America team.
The Preseason All-America Team is the first of TSNs many services to I-AA for the 2006 season. The Sports Network also administers the Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan, and Eddie Robinson Awards, which are presented annually to the divisions top player, defensive player, and coach, respectively. The 2006 I-AA Awards ceremony will be held on December 14th, 2006, on the eve of the I-AA national championship game in Chattanooga, TN. TSN also administers I-AAs most widely recognized weekly Top 25 poll, as well as Players of the Week, Postseason All-America Team, and regular features and columns dealing with I-AA college football.
© 2006 The Sports Network