Big Sky Conference

Kupp among eight from Big Sky named to STATS preseason All-America teams

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Behind yet another first-team All-America nod for Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the Big Sky landed eight players on the STATS FCS preseason All-America team released Wednesday.

Kupp, the reigning FCS Offensive Player of the Year, already holds 18 EWU, eight Big Sky Conference and seven FCS records as he enters his senior season. As a junior, Kupp became the Big Sky’s all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns by hauling in 114 passes for 1,642 yards and 19 scores.

“I’d be shocked if you could show me a better receiver at any level in the country,” Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin said.

Kupp and North Dakota running back John Santiago — selected to the first team as an all-purpose player — were the lone first-team selections from the Big Sky Conference. No Big Sky players earned recognition on the first-team defense.

Montana defensive end Caleb Kidder, a Helena native who was a first-team All-Big Sky selection at defensive tackle as a junior, headlined four Big Sky players selected to the second team. Mike Needham, a first-team All-Big Sky outside linebacker as a sophomore for Southern Utah last fall, joined Kidder on the second-team defense.

Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus, last season’s FCS Freshman of the Year, was the second-team quarterback and Emmanuel Butler, Cookus’ 6-foot-3, 230-pound deep threat, was a second-team selection at wide receiver. Ellis Onic, who scored two special teams touchdowns last season for Northern Colorado, was the second-team selection as a punt returner.

Portland State senior Xavier Coleman earned third-team recognition for the Vikings, the only Big Sky team to earn a seed in the FCS playoffs last season.

Among FCS conferences, the Missouri Valley had the most All-America selections with 16. CAA Football (13) and the Southern Conference (11) also reached double figures.

The Big Sky and the Ohio Valley each had eight, the Southland had seven, Big South and Patriot League had six each, Mid-Eastern Athletic with five, Ivy League, Northeast and Southwestern Athletic with four each, and Pioneer League had three. Coastal Carolina, which is transitioning to the FBS as an FCS independent, also had three All-Americans.

STATS FCS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB – Eli Jenkins, senior, 6-2, 205, Jacksonville State

RB – Chase Edmonds, junior, 5-9, 196, Fordham

RB – Kade Harrington, senior, 5-9, 190, Lamar

FB – Tyler Renew, senior, 5-11, 217, The Citadel

WR – Cooper Kupp, senior, 6-2, 210, Eastern Washington

WR – Jake Wieneke, junior, 6-4, 210, South Dakota State

TE – Eric Saubert, senior, 6-4, 242, Drake

OL – Erik Austell, junior, 6-3, 285, Charleston Southern

OL – Julie’n Davenport, senior, 6-7, 315, Bucknell

OL – Casey Dunn, senior, 6-3, 285, Jacksonville State

OL – Zack Johnson, senior, 6-4, 329, North Dakota State

OL – Corey Levin, senior, 6-5, 305, Chattanooga

DEFENSE

DL – Keionta Davis, senior, 6-4, 260, Chattanooga

DL – P.J. Hall, junior, 6-1, 280, Sam Houston State

DL – Derek Rivers, senior, 6-5, 255, Youngstown State

DL – Karter Schult, senior, 6-2, 265, Northern Iowa

LB – Andrew Ankrah, junior, 6-4, 234, James Madison

LB – Dylan Cole, senior, 6-1, 236, Missouri State

LB – Nick DeLuca, senior, 6-3, 245, North Dakota State

LB – Christian Kuntz, senior, 6-1, 220, Duquesne

DB – Casey DeAndrade, senior, 5-11, 212, New Hampshire

DB – Dee Delaney, junior, 6-1, 191, The Citadel

DB – David Jones, senior, 6-1, 187, Richmond

DB – Donald Payne, senior, 6-1, 217, Stetson

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK – Nick Dorka, junior, 6-0, 180, William & Mary

P – Chris Fraser, senior, 6-2, 211, Cornell

LS – Joshua Appel, senior, 6-2, 250, Indiana State

KR – Willie Quinn, graduate, 5-5, 145, Southern

PR – Khris Gardin, junior, 5-7, 158, North Carolina A&T

AP – John Santiago, sophomore, 5-9, 170, North Dakota

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

QB – Case Cookus, sophomore, 6-4, 200, Northern Arizona

RB – Kendell Anderson, senior, 5-9, 200, William & Mary

RB – Tarik Cohen, senior, 5-6, 173, North Carolina A&T

RB – De’Angelo Henderson, senior, 5-8, 205, Coastal Carolina

FB – Joe Protheroe, junior, 6-0, 225, Cal Poly

WR – Josh Barge, senior, 6-1, 178, Jacksonville State

WR – Emmanuel Butler, junior, 6-3, 210, Northern Arizona

WR – Justin Watson, junior, 6-3, 210, Penn

TE – Dallas Goedert, junior, 6-5, 245, South Dakota State

OL – Mitch Kirsch, senior, 6-6, 300, James Madison

OL – Javarius Leamon, senior, 6-7, 310, South Carolina State

OL – Brandon Parker, junior, 6-7, 279, North Carolina A&T

OL – Mark Spelman, senior, 6-3, 280, Illinois State

OL – Anton Wahrby, senior, 6-5, 300, Wofford

DEFENSE

DL – Pat Afriyie, junior, 6-2, 235, Colgate

DL – Anthony Ellis, junior, 6-1, 245, Charleston Southern

DL – Caleb Kidder, senior, 6-5, 275, Montana

DL – Tanoh Kpassagnon, senior, 6-7, 275, Villanova

DL – Greg Menard, junior, 6-2, 240, North Dakota State

LB – Kourtney Berry, senior, 6-0, 215, Alabama State

LB – Omar Howard, senior, 6-0, 231, Richmond

LB – Mike Needham, junior, 6-4, 210, Southern Utah

LB – Folarin Orimolade, senior, 5-11, 240, Dartmouth

LB – James Rentz, senior, 6-2, 245, Sacred Heart

DB – LeRoy Alexander, senior, 6-0, 195, Youngstown State

DB – Mike Basile, junior, 6-1, 200, Monmouth

DB – Trey Robinson, senior, 6-1, 212, Furman

DB – Tremon Smith, junior, 6-0, 185, Central Arkansas

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK – Lance Geesey, senior, 5-10, 180, Saint Francis

P – Keith Wrzuszczak, junior, 5-11, 194, Eastern Kentucky

LS – Joseph Smith, senior, 6-3, 200, Charleston Southern

KR – Lorenzo Jerome, senior, 6-0, 195, Saint Francis

PR – Ellis Onic II, junior, 5-6, 163, Northern Colorado

AP – Darius Hammond, senior, 5-10, 192, Charleston Southern

THIRD TEAM

OFFENSE

QB – KD Humphries, senior, 6-3, 225, Murray State

RB – Corey Avery, junior, 5-10, 190, Sam Houston State

RB – Derrick Craine, senior, 5-10, 205, Chattanooga

RB – Darius Victor, senior, 5-8, 227, Towson

FB – Lorenzo Long, senior, 5-9, 210, Wofford

WR – Brian Brown, senior, 6-1, 198, Richmond

WR – Brendan Flaherty, senior, 6-2, 200, Holy Cross

WR – Anthony Warrum, senior, 6-2, 190, Illinois State

TE – Phazahn Odom, graduate, 6-8, 245, Fordham

OL – Kyle Avaloy, senior, 6-5, 330, Illinois State

OL – Armando Bonheur, senior, 6-3, 300, Samford

OL – Sam Ekwonike, senior, 6-2, 350, Coastal Carolina

OL – Justin Lea, junior, 6-4, 295, Jacksonville State

OL – Timon Parris, junior, 6-5, 310, Stony Brook

OL – Bret Treadway, senior, 6-3, 280, Lamar

DEFENSE

DL – Isaiah Golden, junior, 6-2, 335, McNeese State

DL – Javancy Jones, senior, 6-2, 230, Jackson State

DL – Ebenezer Ogundeko, junior, 6-3, 255, Tennessee State

DL – Patrick Ricard, senior, 6-3, 285, Maine

LB – Sam Denmark, junior, 6-1, 230, Abilene Christian

LB – Chad Geter, graduate, 6-2, 253, Gardner-Webb

LB – Darius Leonard, junior, 6-3, 200, South Carolina State

LB – Nakevion Neslie, senior, 5-11, 220, Chattanooga

LB – Brett Taylor, junior, 6-2, 230, Western Illinois

DB – Jamerson Blount, senior, 6-0, 180, Samford

DB – Xavier Coleman, senior, 5-11, 190, Portland State

DB – Jihaad Pretlow, senior, 5-11, 195, Fordham

DB – Taylor Reynolds, senior, 6-0, 190, James Madison

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK – Zak Kennedy, sophomore, 6-0, 160, Youngstown State

P – Alex Knight, senior, 6-1, 199, Southeast Missouri

LS – James Fisher, junior, 6-2, 212, North Dakota State

KR – Devin Brown, senior, 5-8, 170, Coastal Carolina

PR – Christian Searles, junior, 5-9, 178, Dayton

AP – Martez Carter, junior, 5-8, 175, Grambling State

AP – Justice Shelton-Mosley, sophomore, 5-10, 170, Harvard

 

 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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