Williams, Jackson and Molino Earn FCS All-American Honors
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Beyond Sports Network has bestowed Football Championship Subdivision All-American honors on Cal Poly slotback Deonte Williams and linebacker Kennith Jackson.
Both seniors, Williams landed on the second team while Jackson was accorded a spot on the third team. Both were Cal Poly's first-ever All-Big Sky Conference first-team selections last month.
Williams, who rushed for 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Jackson, who recorded 97 tackles, led Cal Poly to a 9-3 record and, in its first season in the Big Sky, a share of the conference championship with Montana State and Eastern Washington. The Mustangs earned their third FCS playoff berth in the last eight years, falling to Sam Houston State in the second round last week.
Williams surpassed the 100-yard mark in rushing 10 times in 12 games this season, including a season-high 188 against UC Davis. His streak of six 100-yard games from games six through 11 broke Antonio Warren's streak of five games (1995-96).
Williams' ten 100-yard games this season is two more than the old school record set by James Noble in 2005. He is the 15th Mustang to crack the 1,000-yard mark for a season and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. Williams also caught eight passes for 52 yards and a score.
Williams' rushing total is No. 2 on Cal Poly's all-time single-season list, falling 72 yards short of Noble's school record of 1,578 yards, set in 2005.
Jackson is No. 5 on Cal Poly's career tackles chart with 302, finishing second on the squad in tackles. Jackson was Cal Poly's second-leading tackler as a freshman, sophomore and junior as well, earning 80 tackles in 2011, 67 in 2010 and 58 in 2009.
Jackson also had six career interceptions, intercepting two against Idaho State on Nov. 10, and 14 pass breakups. He was a first-team All-Great West Conference selection as a junior, named to the second team as a sophomore and was an honorable mention as a freshman.
Jackson notched a career-high 12 tackles against UC Davis in September and twice earned 10 tackles in a game this season.
BSN named Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke as offensive player of the year, Appalachian State linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough as defensive player of the year and kicker Patrick Murray of Fordham as special teams player of the year.
In other Cal Poly football news:
• College Sports Madness also has announced its FCS All-American teams, placing Mustang senior cornerback Nico Molino (pictured above) on its second team.
Molino intercepted four passes this season, all in the first four games, including two thefts in the North Dakota contest Sept. 29 in Grand Forks, ND.
Molino notched 66 total tackles this season, including 34 solo stops and 3.5 tackles for lost yardage. In addition, Molino broke up a team-leading 12 passes and forced a pair of fumbles.
In his three-year Mustang career since transferring from Northern Arizona, Molino earned 121 tackles (6.0 for lost yardage), 19 pass breakups and six interceptions.
College Sports Madness selected quarterback DeNarius McGhee of Montana State as offensive player of the year, lineman Colton Underwood of Illinois State as defensive player of the year, linebacker Jeff Williams of Delaware as freshman of the year and North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl as coach of the year.
• Cal Poly junior kicker Bobby Zalud was honored by College Football Performance Awards for his accomplishments in the Mustangs' 18-16 FCS playoff loss at Sam Houston State last Saturday in Huntsville, Texas.
Zalud made his only PAT kick of the game and connected on each of his three field goal attempts spanning 23, 27 and 48 yards. He also averaged 61.4 yards on five kickoffs, including a pair of touchbacks.
For the season, Zalud was 55-for-55 on PAT kicks and 12-for-16 on field goals. He broke the school record for points scored in a season by a kicker with 91, surpassing James Langford's 86 points a year ago.
• Senior slotback Deonte Williams finished 16th in balloting for the Walter Payton Award presented annually by The Sports Network to the most outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Williams tallied 22 points, including a pair of second-place votes, three for fourth place and eight for fifth place. There were 20 candidates on the watch list.
Others from the Big Sky Conference include No. 9 DeNarius McGhee of Montana State and No. 15 Brad Sorensen of Southern Utah, both quarterbacks, and No. 17 Zach Bauman of Northern Arizona, a running back.
The top three vote-getters -- Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein, Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke and Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet -- have been invited to the announcement of the 26th annual award. The Sports Network's FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation is scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia.
Also to be announced are the winners of the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS outstanding defensive player), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of the year) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year).
Cal Poly football is presented by French Hospital Medical Center.