CAA Football Places Six on AP All-America Team
RICHMOND, Va. - Four first-team selections highlight a list of six CAA Football players named to the 2012 Associated Press FCS All-America Team on Wednesday.
Comprising the list of four first-team honorees were New Hampshire senior LB Matt Evans, Old Dominion sophomore QB Taylor Heinicke, Richmond senior DB Cooper Taylor and James Madison senior OL Earl Watford. Dukes junior LB Stephon Robertson and William and Mary senior DB B.W. Webb were named to the second team.
All six players were selected as All-Americans by The Sports Network earlier this week, while both Evans and Watford were also designated as AFCA All-Americans this month.
Evans led CAA Football with 115 total tackles, which ranked 20th in the country, while tacking on an FCS-best 77 solo tackles. The Hanover, Mass., product, and team co-captain became UNH's all-time tackle leader on Nov. 3 against William and Mary and capped his career with 449 stops and 266 solo tackles, both figures ranking first among all active FCS players. The reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner and a recently crowned AFCA All-American, Evans closed out the season with six straight double-digit tackle games and paced the Wildcats in tackles nine times in 12 games this fall.
Heinicke broke Steve McNair's single-season FCS passing yards record with 5,076 yards on the season and also set the nation's completions record with 398. The Atlanta native finished the year 398-of-579 passing and set a new CAA Football record with 44 touchdown tosses. His 390.5 passing yards per game led the nation and is the third highest in FCS history, with his 44 touchdown passes also serving as the third most in history. Heinicke ran for 11 scores this season as well and concluded his sophomore campaign with an FCS-best 55 touchdowns. The Walter Payton Award finalist was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year in November.
Despite playing only two seasons at Richmond, Taylor will graduate having made a tremendous impact for the Spiders in his short time on campus. A First-Team All-CAA honoree, Taylor totaled 78 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and four interceptions in 10 games this fall. Taylor was also recently recognized by The Touchdown Club of Richmond as the Division I Defensive Back of the Year in the state of Virginia.
Watford was the top-rated offensive lineman for the Dukes, starting all 11 games while also serving as a team captain. The AFCA All-American and First Team All-CAA selection allowed just one sack on the season while leading an offense that ranked fourth in rushing offense in CAA Football at 209.0 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush. Watford started in 37 of the 43 games he played in his career, including a stint as a starter in each of the Dukes' last 35 contests.
Robertson was selected as CAA Football Defensive Player of the Year in addition to earning first-team all-conference honors for the second-consecutive year. A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, he started in all 11 games this season and 34 over his career, finishing 2012 with a team-high 101 tackles, including 48 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups. Robertson completed his junior campaign ranked third in the league and tied for 43rd in the nation with 9.18 tackles per game while leading JMU in tackles in seven of the 11 games played this year and recording double-digit tackles in six games.
A First-Team All-CAA selection during each of the past three seasons and a nine-time all-conference honoree over his four years, Webb was honored as the 2012 Special Teams Player of the Year by both CAA Football and the Touchdown Club of Richmond. Also named a Buchanan Award finalist, Webb earned a school-record 48 starts and finished his career ranked among W&M's all-time top 10 with 11 interceptions and 603 punt return yards. As a senior, Webb totaled 46 tackles, eight pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss. Additionally, he averaged 11.2 yards per punt return while ranking third in the conference with 123 punt return yards. He was recently invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
The complete list of AP All-Americans can be found below.
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2012 Associated Press All-America Team
First Team (Offense)
- Quarterback - Taylor Heinicke, sophomore, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Old Dominion
- Running backs - Miguel Maysonet, senior, 5-10, 205, Stony Brook; Eric Breitenstein, senior, 5-11, 230, Wofford
- Offensive linemen - Earl Watford, senior, 6-4, 290, James Madison; Mike Sellers, junior, 6-0, 295, The Citadel; Will Post, senior, 6-6, 295, Eastern Washington; Billy Turner, junior, 6-6, 300, North Dakota State; Roger Gaines, senior, 6-6, 320, Tennessee State
- Tight end - Kyle Juszczyk, senior, 6-3, 240, Harvard
- Receivers - Aaron Mellett, senior, 6-4, 220, Elon; Erik Lora, 5-10, 181, junior, Eastern Illinois
- All-purpose player - Walter Powell, junior, 6-0, 180, Murray State
- Kicker - Patrick Murray, senior, 5-7, 160, Fordham
First Team (Defense)
- Linemen - Caleb Schreibeis, senior, 6-3, 252, Montana State; Colton Underwood, junior, 6-4, 255, Illinois State; Brent Russell, senior, 6-2, 300, Georgia Southern; Brandon Thurmond, senior, 6-2, 260, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- Linebackers - Matt Evans, senior, 6-0, 228, New Hampshire; Jody Owens, senior, 6-0, 223, Montana State; Robert McCabe, senior, 6-2, 230, Georgetown
- Defensive backs - Darnell Taylor, senior, 6-0, 195, Sam Houston State; Marcus Williams, junior, 5-11, 194, North Dakota State; Jaquiski Tartt, sophomore, 6-1, 220, Samford; Cooper Taylor, senior, 6-5, 235, Richmond
- Punter - Sam Martin, senior, 6-1, 205, Appalachian State
Second Team (Offense)
- Quarterback - Casey Brockman, senior, Murray State
- Running backs - Zach Zenner, sophomore, South Dakota State; Deonte Williams, senior, Cal Poly
- Linemen - Terren Jones, senior, Alabama State; Michael Bamiro, junior, Stony Brook; Bryan Witzmann, junior, South Dakota State; J.C. Tretter, senior, Cornell; Corey Howard, senior, Central Arkansas
- Tight end - A.C. Leonard, sophomore, Tennessee State
- Receivers - Jordan Harris, junior, Bryant; Brandon Kaufman, junior, Eastern Washington.
- All-purpose player - Dominic Gunn, senior, Northern Colorado
- Kicker - Colton Cook, junior, Southern Utah
Second Team (Defense)
- Linemen - Cody Larsen, senior, Southern Utah; Davis Tull, sophomore, Chattanooga; Mike Catapano, senior, Princeton; Zach Wagenmann, sophomore, Montana
- Linebackers - Jeremy Kimbrough, senior, Appalachian State; Stephon Robertson, junior, James Madison; Blake Peiffer, senior, Southeast Missouri
- Defensive backs - Robert Alford, senior, Southeastern Louisiana; B.W. Webb, senior, William & Mary; Demetrius McCray, senior, Appalachian State; Johnny Towalid, senior, Indiana State
- Punter - Andy Wilder, junior, Northern Arizona.
Third Team (Offense)
- Quarterback - Gavin McCarney, junior, Colgate
- Running backs - Shakir Bell, junior, Indiana State; Tim Flanders, junior, Sam Houston State
- Linemen - Randy Richards, senior, Missouri State; Garrett Frye, sophomore, Georgia Southern; Aaron Adams, senior, Eastern Kentucky; Sean Davies, senior, UC Davis; Dakota Dozier, junior, Furman
- Tight end - Josh Hill, senior, Idaho State
- Receivers - Cordell Roberson, senior, Stephen F. Austin; Kevin Norrell, senior, Stony Brook
- All-purpose player - Tyler Varga, sophomore, Yale
- Kicker - Jimmy Pavel, senior, Eastern Washington
Third Team (Defense)
- Linemen - Caraun Reid, senior, Princeton; Ken Boatright, senior, Southern Illinois; Joseph Lebeau, senior, Jackson State; Andrew Weaver, junior, Sam Houston State
- Linebackers - Jordan Tripp, junior, Montana; Keith Pough, senior, Howard; Ian Sluss, senior, Portland State
- Defensive backs - Kejuan Riley, senior, Alabama State; Steven Godbolt, sophomore, Tennessee State; Ben Ericksen, senior, Illinois State; Caleb Schaffitzel, sophomore, Missouri State