PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Quarterback Chris Lum of Lehigh and defensive end Adrian Hamilton of Prairie View were among the top honorees as College Sports Journal announced its first Football Championship Subdivision All-America team on Thursday.
Other top honors went to Rob Ambrose of Towson as the coach of the year, Tom Compton of South Dakota as the lineman of the year and Georgia Southern’s Laron Scott as the special teams player of the year.
Preston Evans of North Dakota State was chosen in a tough vote as the playoff most valuable player after leading the Bison to their first national championship at the Division I level.
Terrance West of Towson was announced on Wednesday as the College Sports Journal freshman of the year, heading up the 40-man, All-Freshman team.
Lum was named offensive player of the year after leading Lehigh to an 11-2 record and the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Football playoffs.
Piling up 4,499 yards of total offense — the best at the Football Championship Subdivision level — and 32 touchdowns, with just 17 interceptions, Lum helped Lehigh win the prestigious Lambert Cup for the first time since 2001 and to the Patriot League title for the second straight year.
Lum, who also rushed for three TDs to give him a combined 35 scoring plays for the year, was the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award earlier this month and was a consensus All-American at quarterback.
The 6-2, 205-pound senior also threw for 4,378 yards to lead the nation in total yards passing, even though he watched from the bench many times in the fourth quarters of blow-out victories for the Mountain Hawks.
Hamilton was chosen as defensive player of the year after leading the FCS with 20.5 sacks and finishing second in tackles for loss with 26.5.
One of the leaders of a rebuilding Panther defense, the 6-2, 255-pound defensive end also had 81 tackles, 59 of them solo stops, six forced fumbles, five quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
Hamilton was third in the Buck Buchanan Award voting, an honor that has never gone to a Southwestern Conference player.
Ambrose, who also won the Eddie Robinson Award this season, directed one of the best turnarounds at the Division I level in recent memory.
After taking over the program at his alma mater in 2009 and winning just three games in his first two years, including a 1-10 mark in 2010, Ambrose took his squad to a 9-3 record in 2011.
The “Turnaround Tigers,” as they were nicknamed, won the Colonial Athletic Association outright to give Towson its first football championship in school history and made the FCS playoffs for the first time.
Compton left his mark on a South Dakota program that is transitioning to full Division I status. He anchored an offensive line for the Coyotes that rushed for 3,694 yards and threw for 1,954 yards.
The 6-foot-6, 314-pound blocker is considered one of the top offensive line prospects from FCS for the NFL draft, with the potential to be selected as high as the fifth round, and will be playing later this month in the prestigious East-West Shrine all-star game.
Scott made his mark both as a cornerback and a special teams performer for a resurgent Georgia Southern program that made it to the FCS semifinals for the second year in a row and won its first Southern Conference championship since 2004.
The 5-8, 175-pound speedster introduced himself to a larger audience in the final game of the regular season when he scampered 95 yards for a spectacular kickoff return touchdown against eventual BCS national champion Alabama.
He finished with six returns for 183 yards as he helped the Eagles to the highest point total allowed by the Crimson Tide all year in the 45-21 loss.
Scott finished third nationally kickoff returns, averaging 30.6 yards per return with two touchdowns. He also blocked two kicks and returned one for a two-point defensive conversion in a 50-20 victory over arch-rival Furman.
He was also fifth nationally in passes defended with 18 breakups and three interceptions, with 53 tackles, 44 solo stops and two tackles for loss.
While it was difficult to single out one performer on defense as North Dakota State made a magical run to the NCAA Division I Football Championship, no one played better than Bison linebacker Evans.
At the center of the NDSU defense, Evans had 30 tackles during the four-game playoff run, including nine in the 17-6 championship-game win over Sam Houston State. He had 10 tackles in a second-round, 26-14 win over James Madison.
For the year, Evans had 88 tackles, five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
Others considered for the playoff MVP award were linebackers Travis Beck and Chad Wilson, punter Matt Voigtlander, cornerback Marcus Williams, safety Colton Heagle and defensive ends Coulter Boyer and Cole Jirik.
West had already picked up the first Jerry Rice Award as The Sports Network’s freshman of the year and was also honored by College Sporting News as its freshman of the year.
West, a 5-11, 220-pound performer, rushed for 1,294 yards (6.7 average per carry) and 29 touchdowns to spark Towson to a 9-3 record, the Colonial Athletic Association title and the second round of the NCAA Division Football playoffs after the Tigers had finished with a 1-10 record in 2010.
West broke several single-game and single-season records for Towson and the CAA as the Tigers won the first league championship in school history and made their first trip to the FCS playoffs.
Georgia Southern and North Dakota State topped all teams with four picks each, while Sam Houston State and Towson received three selections.
Appalchian State, Furman, Indiana State, Lehigh, Montana, Old Dominion, Northern Iowa, Stony Brook, William & Mary, Wofford picked up two spots each. In all, 43 teams are represented on the All-America list.
All 14 FCS conferences are represented on the All-America team.
The Southern Conference led all leagues with 11 selections, followed by the Colonial Athletic Association with nine, the Missouri Valley Football Conference with eight and the Big Sky Conference with seven.
College Sports Journal (www.college-sports-journal.com) selected 63 players, to signify the 63 scholarships awarded to teams playing at the FCS level, and an additional honorable mention team.
The All-America and All-Freshman teams were selected by a blue ribbon panel of FCS experts put together by College Sports Journal executive editor David Coulson and CSJ publisher and managing editor Chuck Burton.
Coulson has 35 years of experience covering college football, including 20 seasons of following FCS and has served as the executive editor and managing partner of College Sporting News and the executive director for The Sports Network, running its national awards program from 2007-2009.
He has had a hand in selecting honors teams at the FCS level since 2002 and is in the process of writing and compiling the first FCS encyclopedia.
Burton has been acclaimed for his Lehigh Football Nation blog and as a national columnist for College Sporting News in the past decade.
2011 College Sporting News All-America Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Lum, Senior, Quarterback, Lehigh
Defensive Player of the Year: Adrian Hamilton, Senior, Defensive End, Prairie View
Coach of the Year: Rob Ambrose, Towson
Lineman of the Year: Tom Compton, Senior, Tackle, South Dakota
Special Teams Player of the Year: Laron Scott, Senior, Georgia Southern
Freshman of the Year: Terrance West, Freshman, Running Back, Towson
FCS Playoff Most Valuable Player: Preston Evans, Senior, Linebacker, North Dakota State
Quarterback: Nathan Dick, Senior, Central Arkansas
Quarterback: Chris Lum, Senior, Lehigh
Running Back: Shakir Bell, Sophomore, Indiana State
Running Back: Matt Denham, Junior, Eastern Kentucky
Running Back: Tim Flanders, Sophomore Sam Houston State
Running Back: Jonathan Grimes, Senior, William & Mary
Running Back: Miguel Maysonet, Junior, Stony Brook
Running Back: Terrance West, Freshman, Towson
Fullback: Eric Breitenstein, Junior, Wofford
Fullback: Tyler Wharton, Junior, Towson
All-Purpose Back: Jordan Brown, Junior, Bryant
All-Purpose Back: Brock Jakolski, Senior, Stony Brook
Wide Receiver: Elvis Akpla, Senior, Montana State
Wide Receiver: Nicholas Edwards, Junior, Eastern Washington
Wide Receiver: Aaron Mellette, Junior, Elon
Wide Receiver: Brian Quick, Senior, Appalachian State
Wide Receiver: Ryan Spadola, Junior, Lehigh
Wide Receiver: Chris Summers, Senior, Liberty
Tight End: Alex Gottlieb, Senior, William & Mary
Tight End: Matt Veldman, Senior, North Dakota State
Tackle: George Bias, Senior, Stephen F. Austin
Tackle: Tom Compton, Senior, South Dakota
Tackle: Paul Cornick, Senior, North Dakota State
Tackle: Brett Moore, Senior, Georgia Southern
Guard: Gino Gradkowski, Senior, Delaware
Guard: Scott Schweitzer, Senior, Tennessee Tech
Guard: J.C. Oram, Senior, Weber State
Guard: Nate Page, Senior, Wofford
Center: Bryan Boemer, Senior, Southern Illinois
Center: Travis Watson, Senior, Sam Houston State
Defensive End: Ryan Davis, Senior, Bethune-Cookman
Defensive End: Adrian Hamilton, Senior, Prairie View
Defensive End: Zack Nash, Senior, Sacramento State
Defensive End: Ben Obaseki, Junior, Indiana State
Defensive End: Blake Oliaro, Sophomore, San Diego
Defensive End: Andrew Schaetzke, Senior, Georgetown
Defensive Tackle: Ben Boothby, Senior, Northern Iowa
Defensive Tackle: Ronnie Cameron, Senior, Old Dominion
Defensive Tackle: Josue Ortiz, Senior, Harvard
Defensive Tackle: Brent Russell, Junior, Georgia Southern
Linebacker: Kadarron Anderson, Senior, Furman
Linebacker: Matt Evans, Senior, New Hampshire
Linebacker: Preston Evans, Senior, North Dakota State
Linebacker: L.J. Fort, Senior, Northern Iowa
Linebacker: Jeremy Kimbrough, Junior, Appalachian State
Linebacker: Caleb McSurdy, Senior, Montana
Linebacker: Keith Pough, Junior, Howard
Cornerback: Asa Jackson, Senior, Cal Poly
Cornerback: Trumaine Johnson, Senior, Montana
Cornerback: Josh Norman, Senior, Coastal Carolina
Cornerback: Bryce Robertson, Senior, Bucknell
Cornerback: Ryan Steed, Senior, Furman
Cornerback: Marcus Williams, Sophomore, North Dakota State
Strong Safety: Jordan Dangerfield, Junior, Towson
Strong Safety: Darnell Taylor, Junior, Sam Houston State
Free Safety: Kejuan Riley, Junior, Alabama State
Free Safety: Justin Bethel, Senior, Presbyterian
Punt Returner: C.J. Estelle, Senior, Tennessee-Martin
Kickoff Returner: Laron Scott, Senior, Georgia Southern
Kicker: Adrian Mora, Senior, Georgia Southern
Punter: Jonathan Plisco, Junior, Old Dominion
Long-Snapper: Braedyn Eagle, Senior, Portland State
Selections By Conference:
Big Sky: (7) Elvis Akpla, Montana State; Braedyn Eagle, Portland State; Nicholas Edwards, Junior, Eastern Washington; Trumaine Johnson, Senior, Montana; Caleb McSorley, Montana; Zack Nash, Senior, Sacramento State; J.C. Oram, Weber State
Big South: (5) Justin Bethel, Presbyterian; Brock Jakolski, Stony Brook; Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook; Josh Norman, Senior, Coastal Carolina; Chris Summers, Liberty.
CAA: (9) Alex Gottlieb, William & Mary; Ronnie Cameron, Old Dominion; Jordan Dangerfield, Towson; Matt Evans, Senior, New Hampshire; Gino Gradkowski, Delaware; Jonathan Grimes, William & Mary; Jonathan Plisco, Junior, Old Dominion; Terrance West, Towson; Tyler Wharton, Junior, Towson
Great West: (2) Tom Compton, South Dakota; Asa Jackson, Cal Poly;
Ivy League: (1) Josue Ortiz, Harvard.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: (2) Ryan Davis, Bethune-Cookman; Keith Pough, Howard.
Missouri Valley Conference: (8) Shakir Bell, Sophomore, Indiana State; Ben Boothby, Northern Iowa; Paul Cornick, North Dakota State; Preston Evans, North Dakota State; L.J. Fort, Senior, Northern Iowa; Ben Obaseki, Indiana State; Matt Veldman, North Dakota State; Marcus Williams, North Dakota State.
Northeast Conference: (1) Jordan Brown, Bryant.
Ohio Valley Conference: (3) C.J. Estelle, Tennessee-Martin; Matt Denham, Eastern Kentucky; Scott Schwietzer, Tennessee Tech
Patriot League: (4) Chris Lum, Senior, Lehigh; Bryce Robertson, Bucknell; Ryan Spadola, Junior, Lehigh; Andrew Schaetzke, Georgetown.
Pioneer Football League: (1) Blake Oliaro, San Diego.
Southern Conference: (11) Kadarron Anderson, Furman; Eric Breitenstein, Wofford; Jeremy Kimbrough, Appalachian State; Aaron Mellette, Elon; Brett Moore, Georgia Southern; Adrian Mora, Georgia Southern; Nate Page, Wofford; Brian Quick, Appalachian State; Brent Russell, Junior, Georgia Southern; Laron Scott, Georgia Southern; Ryan Steed, Senior, Furman.
Southland Conference: (5) George Bias, Stephen F. Austin; Nathan Dick, Central Arkansas; Tim Flanders, Sam Houston State; Darnell Taylor, Sam Houston State; Travis Watson, Senior, Sam Houston State
Southwestern Athletic Conference: (2) Adrian Hamilton, Prairie View; Kejuan Riley, Alabama State.
Honorable Mention By Position:
Chris Powers, Senior, Eastern Washington
Emil Igwenagu, Senior, Massachusetts; Dominique Swope, Freshman, Georgia Southern.
William Maxwell, Senior, Georgia Southern.
Casey Brockman, Junior, Murray State; Mike Brown, Senior, Liberty; Kevin Decker, Senior, New Hampshire; Jeff Matthews, Sophomore, Cornell; Bo Levi Mitchell, Senior, Eastern Washington; Tirrell Rennie, Senior, Northern Iowa; Brad Sorenson, Southern Utah; Casey Therriault, Senior, Jackson State.
Zach Bauman, Sophomore, Northern Arizona; Jamane Cook, Junior, Youngstown State; Chuck Dibilio, Freshman, Princeton; Kyle Harbridge, Junior, St. Francis; Andrew Pierce, Sophomore, Delaware; Nick Schwieger, Senior, Dartmouth.
Aaron Adams, Junior, Eastern Kentucky; Jeff Adams, Senior, Columbia; Blake Matthews, Junior, Norfolk State; Kadeem Williams, Sophomore, Albany.
Colin Anderson, Junior, Furman; Shadrae King, Senior, Robert Morris.
Xavier Boyce, Junior, Norfolk State; Jake Drwal, Senior, Lehigh; Lanny Funston, Junior, Davidson; Tre Gray, Senior, Richmond; Rodrick Rumble, Junior, Idaho State.
Micah Pellerin, Senior, Hampton; James Pitts, Senior, Villanova.
Frank Beltre, Senior, Towson; Coulter Boyer, North Dakota State; Corey Hart, Alabama A&M; Willie Jefferson, Stephen F. Austin; Joseph LeBeau, Junior, Jackson State; Brian McNally, Senior, New Hampshire; Tyler Osborne, Senior, Southern Utah; Donovan Robinson, Senior, Jackson State.
Zach Minter, Montana State; Renard Williams, Eastern Washington.
Cliff Exama, Senior, Grambling; Mike Groome, Senior, Lehigh; Tyler Holmes, Senior, Massachusetts; Jody Owens, Junior, Montana State; Marty Patterson, Senior, Gardner-Webb; Erik Rask, Senior, Penn; Donovan Richard, Senior, South Carolina State; A.J. Storms, Senior, Idaho State; Chad Wilson, North Dakota State.
Trevor Coston, Senior, Maine; Daxton Swanson, Sam Houston State.
Zach Brown, Portland State; Ryan Estep, Senior, Norfolk State.
A.J. Cruz, Junior, Brown; Kevin Fogg, Junior, Liberty.
Charlie Edwards, Senior, Georgia Southern; Mark Hamilton, Junior, Villanova; David Harrington, Senior, Idaho State; Patrick Murray, Junior, Fordham; Matt Voigtlander, Senior, North Dakota State.
Darius Cary, junior, McNeese State; Jabin Sambrano, Senior, Montana.