Marcus Williams Repeats, Billy Turner Makes First Appearance on AP FCS All-America Team
Release: December 12, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) - 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 straight 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.
Billy Turner and North Dakota State host Georgia Southern on Friday night and Will Post and Eastern Washington host Sam Houston State on Saturday.
Turner, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior from Shoreview, Minn. (Mounds View H.S.), has started all 13 games at left tackle. He helped the transition of a pair of redshirt freshmen and one true freshman upfront, and is a main reason North Dakota State led the conference in scoring (31.4 avg/g) and rushing offense (178.0 avg/g). Nationally, the Bison lead the nation in time of possession (35:14) and are third in third-down conversions (52.13).
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.
Williams, a 5-11, 194-pound junior, is the most electrifying player on a North Dakota State squad that has returned to the national semifinals and is seeking its second straight FCS national championship. Teams shy away from passing toward the shutdown cornerback, but he has five interceptions for 125 return yards, four pass breakups and 27 tackles. He also has two touchdowns and 558 total return yards, including on special teams.
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.
AP FCS ALL-AMERICA TEAM
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.
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.
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 Dunn, senior, Northern Colorado.
Kicker - Colton Cook, junior, Southern Utah.
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 Misssouri.
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.
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.
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.
Punter - Bobby Wenzig, junior, Alabama State.