PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Sophomore running back Terrance West, senior defensive end Frank Beltre and senior free safety Jordan Dangerfield of Towson University have been named as members of The Sports Network’s FCS pre-season All-America team.
The recipient of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in FCS football last season, West earned first team All-America honors from The Sports Network.
Beltre, a third-year starter at defensive end, and Dangerfield, a third-year starter at free safety, were honored as third team selections.
The Tiger trio was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team last season after leading the “Turnaround Tigers” to a 9-3 record and the CAA championship. The most improved team in NCAA Division I football last year, the Tigers had posted a 1-10 record in 2010.
The NCAA FCS leader with 29 touchdowns scored, West enjoyed a remarkable freshman campaign. He ran for 1,294 yards in 11 games and averaged 6.7 yards per carry. The second-leading rusher in the CAA, he was named as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned first team All-CAA honors. He was also honored as a Walter Camp All-America first team selection and also earned first team All-America recognition from The Sports Network.
Beltre tied for third on the team with 68 tackles last year. He also had 12.5 tackles for lost yardage and four sacks. An honorable mention All-American in 2011, he is a two-time All-CAA selection. After earning third team notice as a sophomore, he was part of the first team in 2011. In his career, he has made 196 tackles, including 30.5 tackles for lost yardage.
One of the hardest-hitting defensive players in FCS football, Dangerfield made a team high 93 tackles last season despite missing two games with an injury. He was ranked seventh in the CAA in tackles and placed second among CAA defensive backs. Dangerfield also intercepted two passes last year and tied for the CAA lead with two fumble recoveries. He also forced two fumbles. In addition to be named as a first team All-CAA honoree, Dangerfield was also named to the All-ECAC first team and earned honorable mention All-American notice.
The Sports Network’s pre-season All-America
first team returns 14 players who were named to the 2011 All-America first team
by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors,
broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries last December. Overall, 35 players
return to the three pre-season teams.
Running backs Shakir Bell of Indiana State and fullback Eric Breitenstein of Wofford join West on the first team. Wide receivers Nicholas Edwards of Eastern Washington, Aaron Mellette of Elon and Ryan Spadola of Lehigh were also named to the All-America first team, along with tight end Colin Anderson of Furman.
On defense, tackle Brent Russell of Georgia Southern, linebacker Matt Evans of New Hampshire, cornerback Marcus Williams of North Dakota State and safeties Kejuan Riley of Alabama State and Darnell Taylor of Sam Houston State were named to the first team.
Placekicker of Portland State and kick return specialist Kevin Fogg of Liberty also return to the preseason first team.
Southland Conference champion Sam Houston State, the national runner-up last season, clearly has the talent to get back to the NCAA Division I FCS championship game, placing a national high five players on the Preseason All-America Team.
Southern Utah, which is moving to the Big Sky Conference, follows Sam Houston State with four selections, including quarterback Brad Sorensen and center Gavin Farr on the first team. Sorensen has thrown for over 3,100 yards in each of his two seasons at Southern Utah.
Like Southern Utah, Appalachian State, Indiana State and Liberty have two first team All-America selections.
The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America Team consists of 93 players over three teams. The Big Sky Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association lead all conferences with 15 selections each from nine member schools.
Towson is one of nine schools with at
least three Pre-Season All-America selections. Appalachian State, Stephen F.
Austin, Eastern Kentucky, James Madison, McNeese State and Montana State each
placed three on the team while Sam Houston State and Southern Utah had five and
four honorees, respectively,
The Southland Conference has 14 selections and the Southern Conference follows with 13. All 13 FCS conferences have at least two selections and 11 conferences have at least one player on the first team.
The 2012 Sports Network All-America Team will be announced after the regular season on Dec. 19.
The Sports Network also presents the four major awards in the division - the Walter Payton (FCS outstanding player), the Buck Buchanan (FCS outstanding defensive player), the Jerry Rice (FCS outstanding freshman player) and the Eddie Robinson (FCS coach of the year) - after the season. In addition, TSN presents the FCS's most widely recognized weekly Top 25 poll and weekly awards honoring the nation's top offensive player, defensive player, special teams player and freshman.