Furman linebacker Kadarron Anderson and cornerback Ryan Steed continued their postseason honors parade today by collecting first team Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Associated Press All-America accolades, it was announced.
Both players were recently named to the AFCA All-America squad. The Walter Camp Foundation and Sports Network have yet to announce their 2011 season honorees.
Wofford full back Eric Breitenstein was named to the first team and offensive lineman Nate Page was named to the second team.
Coastal Carolina cornerback and 2011 Buck Buchanan Award finalist Josh Norman was also selected to the first team, while Presbyterian defensive back Justin Bethel was named to the second team. And Ridge View graduate and Appalachian State receiver Brian Quick also was picked for the second team.
Steed, a senior who this week accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 Senior Bowl, totaled 46 tackles, four interceptions, and four pass deflections in a 2011 campaign that also featured a 48-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Elon. The Mt. Pleasant, S.C., native (Pinewood Prep) and three-time All-SoCon selection finished his Paladin tenure with 180 tackles and tallied 38 passes defensed and 14 interceptions, the third and fourth best marks, respectively, in Paladin football history. He returned three pickoffs for touchdowns, forced four fumbles, recovered three fumbles, recorded a sack, and blocked three kicks in his career.
Anderson, a senior, paced the SoCon in tackles in the regular season with 111 stops, an average of 11.1 per game, despite missing the season finale against Florida due to a knee injury. The Greenwood, S.C, product (Emerald High School) and three-year starter tallied 372 stops, including 21 for-loss, in his 44-game Paladin tenure, the 13th-highest tackle total in Furman history.
The Paladins posted a 6-5 overall record in 2011 and finished fourth in the SoCon with a 5-3 league mark that included wins over both Wofford (26-21) and Appalachian State (20-10).
Breitenstein, a junior from Valle Cruis, N.C., leads the SoCon and ranks tenth nationally with 122.8 rushing yards per game. He finished the season with 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns. Breitenstein rushed for at least 100 yards in ten of twelve games played this year and turned in a season-high 217 yards against Elon on October 29. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry for the Terriers. His 1,474 rushing yards are the third most in a single season at Wofford.
Earlier this season he became the first Wofford player to earn Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors from both the media and coaches. Breitenstein is the first Wofford player since 2004 (Lee Basinger and Eric Deutsch) to earn first team AP All-America honors. He is also the first Terrier to repeat as an AP All-American since Deutsch in 2003 and 2004, as Breitenstein earned second-team honors in 2010.
Page, a senior from Charlotte, North Carolina, was a part of an offensive line that powered the Terriers’ rushing attack. Wofford leads all of FCS with 364.58 yards per game on the ground. The Terriers also boast one of the top scoring units in the nation as they averaged 32.3 points per game, the 24th best mark in the country. Page also became the fourth Terrier to earn a Jacobs Blocking Award, joining Pat Illig (2010), Eric Deutsch (2003), and Bob Prevatte (1949).
The Terriers ended the season 8-4 and were 6-2 in the Southern Conference to earn a bid to the FCS Playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
Norman joins fellow Big South student-athletes and second team honorees Joe Faiella (OL, Stony Brook), Brock Jackolski (all-purpose, Stony Brook) and Justin Bethel (DB, Presbyterian) as well as third team pick Malcolm Boyd (OL, Liberty) on the AP All-America team. The five total selections to the prestigious squad are the most by the Big South since 2006, when the conference placed six on the team – including four Chanticleers (Tyler Thigpen, Jerome Simpson, Brad Poston and Quinton Teal).
Norman has previously been named to the 25-man American Football Coaches Association squad this season. He joins Thigpen as the only two Chants to be both a first team AP All-America and make the AFCA. In fact, Norman and Thigpen are just two of four Big South student-athletes to be honored accordingly, joining Gardner-Webb’s Harold Wells and Brian Johnston.
Norman is a three-time, first team All-Big South selection and was a 2009 third team All-American after shattering a Big South single-season record and ranking second in the NCAA with eight interceptions.
This past season, Norman led the Chanticleers in tackles and led the Big South in both passes defended (1.27) and pass breakups (12). Nationally, his 12 PBU ranks sixth-best, while his 1.27 passes defended ranks 10th-best. The 12 PBU was additionally a CCU single-season record and Norman’s 49 solo tackles this past season ranks fifth on the CCU seasonal chart. He was a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week, helping Coastal Carolina defeat VMI and Presbyterian in the process.
Bethel, who earned second-team honors from the AP, was recently named to the College Sports Madness 2011 FCS All-American Team recently as well earning CSN Big South All-Conference honors.
Bethel was a Big South Pre-season All-Conference Selection and earned the third All-Conference nod of his career and his and PC’s first Defensive Player-of-the-Year award for his performance on the field this past season. Bethel was just the second defensive back to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year and the first since 2003.
The Two-time Big South Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week is a Buck Buchanan Award finalist and a FCS College Football Performance Award DB, National DB and National Defensive Performance Award winner.
He became the all-time leader in blocked kicks this season as well as the all-time leader in career solo blocks. Bethel leads the team in tackles with 87, 3.5 of which were for a loss. He has a sack to his credit and has recorded four interceptions, one of which he ran back for a touchdown against California, where he also had a blocked punt that he ran back for a score for the team’s only points of the game.
Bethel was fourth in the league in tackles, third in passes defended and second in interceptions. He recorded double-digit tackles in four games, including a career-high 15 at Furman this season.
Bethel is the PC career leader in tackles, as well as interceptions.