WACO, TEX. — Junior running back Terrance West and senior tackle Eric Pike of Towson University have been named as members of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Football Championship Subdivision Coaches’ All-America Team announced today by the AFCA.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best - the coaches themselves.
West and Pike have led the Tigers to a 13-2 record and a berth in the NCAA FCS Championship Game on Jan. 4.
The leading rusher in all of college football, West has rushed for 2,410 yards on 391 carries, setting an NCAA FCS single season record. The Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year, he also leads college football with 41 touchdowns scored, including 40 rushing TD’s. His 41 touchdowns are also an FCS single season record.
A 6-5, 298-pound tackle, Pike is a two-year co-captain who has started all 49 games of his college career. A two-time All-CAA first team tackle, he set a school record by playing in 49 games.
West and Pike were also named to the Walter Camp All-America first team and The Sports Network All-American first team.
Towson was one of five schools with two players named to the first team. Eastern Illinois, Eastern Washington, North Dakota State and Montana also had two All-American selections.
Team Background: The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. In 2006, the Division I-A and Division I-AA teams were renamed Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), respectively. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.
From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006.
Top Teams: Eastern Kentucky has been represented a total of 23 times by 21 players on the AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Team since 1979. The Colonels are followed by Appalachian State (23/17), Montana (23/22), Delaware (20/17), Eastern Washington (19/18), Furman (19/18), Northern Iowa (19/16), Georgia Southern (17/13), Lehigh (15/15), Portland State (15/15), Youngstown State (15/14), Grambling State (14/13), Stephen F. Austin (14/13), Eastern Illinois (14/12), New Hampshire (14/12), Jackson State (13/12), Weber State (13/12), Montana State (12/12) and James Madison (11/11) among current FCS schools.
Top Conference: The Colonial Athletic Association (formerly Atlantic 10) (122 appearances/112 players) is tops among all FCS conferences on the AFCA FCS Coaches All-America Team since 1979. Following the CAA is the Southern (111 appearances/97 players), Missouri Valley Football (formerly Gateway) (90/82), Big Sky (87/85), Ohio Valley (65/60), Southland (62/57), Southwestern Athletic (54/52), Patriot (48/47), Ivy League (33/33), Mid-Eastern Athletic (30/28), Northeast (15/13), Pioneer (13/13) and Big South (9/9). These totals reflect FCS selections only from current conference members. Several schools had additional players chosen when they played in divisions other than FCS.
2013 Conference-by-Conference Breakdown: Big Sky – 6; Missouri Valley – 6; Southern – 4; Colonial – 3; Ohio Valley – 3; Ivy – 2; Southland – 1.
Consecutive Years: Eastern Kentucky leads all schools, having had at least one player named to the AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Team in each of the first 15 years a FCS team was chosen (1979-93). Eastern Washington has the longest current streak at six straight years from 2008 to present.
Long Time Coming: Senior linebacker Cqulin Hubert makes the AFCA FCS All-America Team for Southeastern Louisiana, marking the first time the Lions’ have had a representative since 1985, when defensive lineman Willie Shepard made the team.
Repeat After Me: Eastern Illinois’ Erik Lora, South Dakota State’s Zach Zenner, Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Davis Tull and North Dakota State’s Marcus Williams were elected to the AFCA FCS All-American Team for the second consecutive year.
Linebackers Gary Reasons of Northwestern State (La.) (1981-83) and Dexter Coakley of Appalachian State (1994-96) are the only three-time AFCA All-Americans in Football Championship Subdivision.
Yearly Leaders: Alabama State (2012-OL Terren Jones, DB Kejuan Riley and P Bobby Wenzig) joins Grambling State (1979-DL Joe Gordon, LB Aldrich Allen and DB Robert Salters) and Jackson State (1996-QB Grailyn Pratt, LB Otha Evans and DB Sean Woodson) as the only schools to have more than two players named to the AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Team in one year.
Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn Coaches’ All-America honors at two different schools. Bounds was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991. Zuerlein was named to the Division II Coaches’ All-America Team in 2009 while playing for Nebraska-Omaha. He transferred to Missouri Western State after Nebraska-Omaha dropped its football program and earned Division II honors in 2011 as a Griffon.
Class Distinction: This year’s AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 17 seniors, seven juniors and one freshman.
– TowsonTigers.com –