July 31, 2017

(STATS) - The offensive fireworks in the FCS were impressive enough last year, but the 2017 season could get even brighter and louder.

Few should be anxious to try to stop the offensive skill position players on the STATS FCS Preseason All-America Team that was announced Monday - perhaps not even the defensive players on the three-team, 97-player squad.

It's a banner list headlined by quarterbacks Jeremiah Briscoe of Sam Houston State and Gage Gubrud of Eastern Washington, Fordham running back Chase Edmonds and South Dakota State's dynamic receiving duo, tight end Dallas Goedert and wide receiver Jake Wieneke.

All 13 conferences and 55 schools had selections. The Missouri Valley Football Conference had the most with 17, while CAA Football was second with 14, the Big Sky third with 11 and the Ohio Valley and the Southland tied for fourth with 10 each. Among schools, South Dakota State led the way with six selections, North Dakota State and Sam Houston State had five each and 2016 FCS champion James Madison four.

The record-setting ability on offense is particularly impressive. Briscoe, who won the 2016 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award as the national offensive player of the year, passed for 57 touchdowns, a single-season record in the division, as well as 4,602 yards. He was so good that Gubrud and his FCS-record 5,160 passing yards were rendered to the second team. They hold the same positions on the preseason team.

Edmonds led the FCS in rushing yards per game (163.5), finishing with 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns on 257 carries. He has 5,285 career rushing yards entering his senior season, which puts him on pace to surpass former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson's FCS all-time rushing record of 6,559 yards.

South Dakota State's seniors Goedert and Wieneke were unstoppable in combining for 170 receptions, 2,609 yards and 27 touchdown catches last season. They caught passes from Taryn Christion, the preseason third-team quarterback along with Samford's record-setter Devlin Hodges, who was third in the FCS behind Gubrud and Briscoe with 4,088 yards and 36 touchdown passes.

Also named to the first-team offense were Albany running senior Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, Cal Poly fullback Joe Protheroe, Penn wide receiver Justin Watson, and offensive linemen Justin Lea of Jacksonville State, Jacob Ohnesorge of South Dakota State, Brandon Parker of North Carolina A&T, Timon Parris of Stony Brook and Aaron Stinnie of James Madison.

If any defense could slow all those offensive standouts, it would be members of the preseason All-America team. Like the offense, the defensive first team was senior-laden, including dominant pass rushers in defensive ends Pat Afriyie of Colgate, Anthony Ellis of Charleston Southern, P.J. Hall of Sam Houston State and Darius Jackson of Jacksonville State. Hall was the runner-up for the 2016 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year.

The linebackers were Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State, Darius Leonard of South Carolina State, Christian Rozeboom of South Dakota State and Brett Taylor of Western Illinois. Monmouth's Mike Basile, Jacksonville State's Marlon Bridges, North Dakota's Cole Reyes and Villanova's Rob Rolle were the defensive backs.

The first-team special-teamers were Tennessee State kicker Lane Clark, Western Carolina punter Ian Berryman, North Dakota State long snapper James Fisher, North Dakota kickoff returner John Santiago, North Carolina A&T punt returner Khris Gardin and Princeton all-purpose standout John Lovett.

The three teams included 37 players who earned STATS All-America honors after the 2016 season.

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2017 STATS FCS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM=

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB - Jeremiah Briscoe, senior, 6-3, 220, Sam Houston State

RB - Chase Edmonds, senior, 5-9, 210, Fordham

RB - Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, junior, 5-9, 199, Albany

FB - Joe Protheroe, senior, 6-0, 225, Cal Poly

WR - Justin Watson, senior, 6-3, 210, Penn

WR - Jake Wieneke, senior, 6-4, 215, South Dakota State

TE - Dallas Goedert, senior, 6-5, 250, South Dakota State

OL - Justin Lea, senior, 6-4, 290, Jacksonville State

OL - Jacob Ohnesorge, senior, 6-3, 285, South Dakota State

OL - Brandon Parker, senior, 6-7, 299, North Carolina A&T

OL - Timon Parris, senior, 6-5, 310, Stony Brook

OL - Aaron Stinnie, senior, 6-5, 290, James Madison

DEFENSE

DL - Pat Afriyie, senior, 6-2, 235, Colgate

DL - Anthony Ellis, senior, 6-1, 245, Charleston Southern

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

DL - Darius Jackson, senior, 6-3, 237, Jacksonville State

LB - Nick DeLuca, senior, 6-3, 248, North Dakota State

LB - Darius Leonard, senior, 6-3, 220, South Carolina State

LB - Christian Rozeboom, sophomore, 6-2, 220, South Dakota State

LB - Brett Taylor, senior, 6-2, 230, Western Illinois

DB - Mike Basile, senior, 6-1, 200, Monmouth

DB - Marlon Bridges, sophomore, 6-1, 210, Jacksonville State

DB - Cole Reyes, senior, 6-2, 215, North Dakota

DB - Rob Rolle, senior, 6-0, 190, Villanova

SPECIAL TEAMS

K - Lane Clark, senior, 5-11, 170, Tennessee State

P - Ian Berryman, junior, 6-0, 205, Western Carolina

LS - James Fisher, senior, 6-2, 216, North Dakota State

KR - John Santiago, junior, 5-9, 180, North Dakota

PR - Khris Gardin, senior, 5-7, 165, North Carolina A&T

AP - John Lovett, senior, 6-3, 225, Princeton

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SECOND TEAM=

OFFENSE

QB - Gage Gubrud, junior, 6-2, 195, Eastern Washington

RB - Corey Avery, senior, 5-10, 190, Sam Houston State

RB - Detrez Newsome, senior, 5-10, 210, Western Carolina

FB - Anthony Manzo-Lewis, senior, 6-2, 245, Albany

WR - Emmanuel Butler, senior, 6-3, 210, Northern Arizona

WR - Kamron Lewis, junior, 6-4, 195, Saint Francis

WR - Troy Pelletier, senior, 6-3, 205, Lehigh

TE - Andrew Vollert, senior, 6-5, 245, Weber State

OL - Daniel Cooney, junior, 6-8, 315, San Diego

OL - Ben Huss, senior, 6-2, 307, Duquesne

OL - Jacob Judd, senior, 6-3, 300, Western Illinois

OL - Stockton Mallet, senior, 6-3, 307, Central Arkansas

OL - Skyler Phillips, senior, 6-2, 322, Idaho State

DEFENSE

DL - Andrew Ankrah, senior, 6-4, 234, James Madison

DL - Miles Brown, junior, 6-1, 310, Wofford

DL - Kurt Holuba, senior, 6-4, 270, Princeton

DL - Greg Menard, senior, 6-2, 239, North Dakota State

DL - Ebenezer Ogundeko, senior, 6-3, 255, Tennessee State

LB - Solomon Brown, junior, 6-1, 220, Charleston Southern

LB - Garrett Dolan, senior, 6-2, 240, Houston Baptist

LB - Jared Farley, senior, 5-11, 221, Northern Iowa

LB - Shaheed Salmon, senior, 6-1, 226, Samford

DB - Tre Dempsey, senior, 5-10, 179, North Dakota State

DB - Kahlid Hagens, senior, 6-3, 200, UT Martin

DB - Davontae Harris, senior, 6-0, 200, Illinois State

DB - Tremon Smith, senior, 6-0, 186, Central Arkansas

DB - Kailik Williams, senior, 5-11, 185, The Citadel

SPECIAL TEAMS

K - Griffin Trau, junior, 5-8, 180, Richmond

P - Keith Wrzuszczak, senior, 5-11, 202, Eastern Kentucky

LS - Hunter Winstead, senior, 6-0, 240, Liberty

KR - Shane Simpson, sophomore, 5-9, 185, Towson

PR - Londell Lee, senior, 6-2, 210, UT Martin

AP - Harold Cooper, senior, 5-9, 183, Rhode Island

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THIRD TEAM=

OFFENSE

QB - Taryn Christion, junior, 6-2, 215, South Dakota State

QB - Devlin Hodges, junior, 6-1, 213, Samford

RB - Dom Bragalone, junior, 5-11, 215, Lehig

RB - Anthony Philyaw, senior, 6-1, 205, Howard

RB - Deontez Thompson, sophomore, 6-0, 200, Richmond

FB - Kane Louscher, senior, 6-2, 245, South Dakota State

WR - Yedidiah Louis, senior, 5-8, 187, Sam Houston State

WR - Patrick Smith, senior, 6-0, 190, Tennessee State

TE - Jonathan Kloosterman, senior, 6-3, 245, James Madison

OL - Frank Cirone, senior, 6-3, 280, Charleston Southern

OL - Jamil Demby, senior, 6-5, 310, Maine

OL - Chris Durant, senior, 6-4, 310, William & Mary

OL - Justin Spencer, senior, 6-5, 305, Youngstown State

OL - Tyler Tezeno, senior, 6-4, 317, Sam Houston State

DEFENSE

DL - Abdullah Anderson, senior, 6-4, 295, Bucknell

DL - Keontre Anderson, senior, 6-3, 240, Jackson State

DL - Jonathan Petersen, senior, 6-1, 230, San Diego

DL - Jay-Tee Tiuli, senior, 6-4, 315, Eastern Washington

DL - Juwan Wells, junior, 6-2, 255, Liberty

LB - Mac Bignell, senior, 6-1, 205, Montana State

LB - George Odum, senior, 6-2, 190, Central Arkansas

LB - Chad Meredith, senior, 6-4, 244, Southeast Missouri

LB - Dale Warren, junior, 6-0, 215, Chattanooga

DB - Raven Greene, senior, 6-0, 200, James Madison

DB - Robbie Grimsley, junior, 6-0, 183, North Dakota State

DB - Danny Johnson, senior, 5-10, 195, Southern

DB - Taron Johnson, senior, 6-0, 180, Weber State

DB - Omari Williams, senior, 6-1, 190, Samford

SPECIAL TEAMS

K - Alex Probert, sophomore, 5-9, 170, Liberty

P - Jacob DeMaio, senior, 6-5, 205, Weber State

LS - Danny Garza, senior, 6-0, 230, Houston Baptist

KR - Deion Holliman, senior, 5-9, 188, Missouri State

PR - Terry Wallen, senior, 5-11, 182, Drake

AP - Justice Shelton-Mosley, junior, 5-10, 195, Harvard

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