Jan. 6, 2008
Lance Witherspoon joined the club.
The junior defensive tackle joined sophomore wide receiver Aaron Boyce, senior offensive guard Matt Alfred and junior defensive end Greg Peach on the 2007 Sports Network NCAA Football Championships Subdivision All-America team.
Witherspoon, who is from Federal Way, Wash., and is a 2004 graduate of Decatur High School, was an honorable mention selection. He finished the season with 44 tackles, including 12 for losses with one sack, and two passes broken up.
The Sports Network honored Boyce on its first team and Alfred on its second team, while Peach earned honorable mention All-America accolades. All three players were previously honored on the Associated Press All-America team released in December -- Boyce and Peach on the second team and Alfred on the third team.
Boyce, a 2005 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., caught 85 passes (second in school history) for 1,308 yards (fourth) and 10 touchdowns (eighth). He ranked sixth in FCS in receiving yards per game (100.6) and was 14th in receptions (6.5).
Boyce was mainly a basketball player in high school who played just one year of football at Kentwood. He and Rodney Stuckey helped lead Kentwood to the State 4A Basketball title in 2004. Stuckey went on to earn honorable mention All-America honors at Eastern in basketball both seasons he played for EWU, and is now a member of the Detroit Pistons in the NBA.
Alfred was a four-time All-Big Sky Conference selection who graduated from Gig Harbor (Wash.) High School in 2003. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Alfred closed his career with 46-straight starts and earned first team All-Big Sky honors twice (2007 and 2005) and second team accolades twice (2006 and 2004).
Alfred was coached the last five years by former EWU head coach Paul Wulff, who was named on Dec. 11 as the new head coach at Washington State University. Wulff will now get to coach Matt Alfred's younger brother Kenny Alfred, who starts on the offensive line for the Cougars.
Boyce and Alfred helped Eastern's offense finish the season with an average of 462.3 yards of offense per game (fifth in FCS), including 295.4 passing (eighth) and 166.8 rushing (50th). The Eagles were 10th in passing efficiency (155.6) and 18th in scoring offense (33.6).
Peach was 11th in FCS in sacks (0.85 per game) with a total of 11 that ranks as the fifth-best performance in school history. The 2005 graduate of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash., will enter his senior season with 29 career starts and 17 1/2 sacks that ranks ninth in school history.
The Eagles finished the 2007 season with a 9-4 record after advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the fourth time in school history. The advancement to the "Elite Eight" was a complete reversal from a year prior when EWU was just 3-8.
The Eagles overcame a 1-2 start in Big Sky Conference play to finish second in the league with a 6-2 record after being picked to finish fifth. A four-game winning streak to end the regular season helped the Eagles garner an at-large playoff berth.
An impressive 44-15 first-round victory over second-seeded McNeese State helped the Eagles finish the season ranked eighth in the final Sports Network FCS Top-25 poll. The Eagles ended the regular season ranked 14th.
More on the 2007 Sports Network All-America Team . . .
Fresh off an unprecedented third consecutive national championship, Appalachian State pulled off some more history with a record 11 selections to the 2007 Sports Network FCS All-America squad announced on Saturday.
The Mountaineers bested the previous high of eight players and nine positions won by Marshall on the 1996 All-America squad. Randy Moss was named as a wide receiver and kick returner on that team.
ASU senior free safety Corey Lynch, who placed second to Montana defensive end Kroy Biermann by five points in the closest Buck Buchanan Award balloting in history, was one of three players who were nearly unanimous picks on the 2007 All-America squad.
Lynch, Delaware senior running back Omar Cuff and Hampton junior punt returner Jeremy Gilchrist were named on all but a handful of ballots. Voting is done by a panel of sports information directors, media and others associated closely with FCS.
Biermann was also a first-team selection. Both Lynch and Biermann were second- team picks last season and Lynch also earned second-team honors as a sophomore in 2005.
Cuff had previously won third team recognition as sophomore in 2005.
Tony LeZotte, a senior free safety from James Madison, earned a special place in Sports Network All-America history as a four-time selection. LeZotte made the third team as a freshman in the Dukes' 2004 national championship season, was a first-team pick in 2005, a second-team selection in 2006 and first-team honoree in 2007.
Walter Payton Award winner Jayson Foster, a senior from Georgia Southern, headed up a star-studded group as the first-team quarterback.
It was Foster's first Sports Network postseason All-America honor. He was listed as a third-team return specialist on the 2007 preseason All-America squad.
Appalachian State guard Kerry Brown was the only player to repeat as a first- team selection from 2006. But several other players from the 2006 second and third teams were also on the 2007 squad.
Joining Brown, Biermann, LeZotte and Lynch in that distinction were Portland State senior center Brennan Carvalho (first team in 2007, second team in 2006), Northern Iowa tackle Chad Rinehart (first team in 2007, second team in 2006), Colgate linebacker Mike Gallihugh (second team both years), San Diego quarterback Josh Johnson (third team both years), Appalachian State running back Kevin Richardson (third team both years), North Dakota State tackle Nate Safe (third team in 2007, second team in 2006) and Bethune-Cookman safety Bobbie Williams (second team in 2007, third team in 2006).
Joining Appalachian State as teams with multiple selections on the 2007 squad were Northern Iowa with five, Delaware with four, Cal Poly, Colgate, Georgia Southern, North Dakota State, Richmond and San Diego with three each and Bethune-Cookman, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Washington, Elon, Massachusetts, Montana, Prairie View and San Diego with a pair of picks.
ASU, which had five players in 2005 and six in 2006 on its first two national title squads, nearly ended up with two other players on the third team. Linebackers Jacque Roman and D.J. Smith narrowly missed making the squad.
Nineteen juniors, nine sophomores and one freshman were on the senior- dominated squad. Justin Rogers, a first-year player from Richmond made the squad as a third-team kickoff returner and was the first freshman on the Sports Network All-America squad since running back James Noble of Cal Poly and return specialist Nick Feldman of Morehead State made it as third-team picks in 2005.
2007 SPORTS NETWORK ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
QB Jayson Foster Georgia Southern Senior
RB Omar Cuff Delaware Senior
RB Tim Hightower Richmond Senior
FB Jerome Felton Furman Senior
WR Ramses Barden Cal Poly Junior
WR Aaron Boyce Eastern Washington Senior
WR Terrell Hudgins Elon Sophomore
TE Matt Champa Dayton Senior
T Russell Orr Georgia Southern Senior
T Chad Rinehart Northern Iowa Senior
G Kerry Brown Appalachian State Senior
G Marcelo Estrada Georgia Southern Senior
C Brennan Carvalho Portland State Senior
DE Kroy Biermann Montana Senior
DE Eric Bakhtiari San Diego Senior
DT Cory Clark Jackson State Senior
DT Anthony Williams Appalachian State Sophomore
LB Pierre Banks Appalachian State Junior
LB Brian Bradford Towson Senior
LB Bobby Daly Montana State Junior
LB Kye Stewart Illinois State Senior
CB Derrick Huff Eastern Kentucky Senior
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Tennessee State Senior
S Tony LeZotte James Madison Senior
S Corey Lynch Appalachian State Senior
S Ladarius Webb Nicholls State Junior
Pos Player School Class
PK Jon Striefsky Delaware Junior
P Benjamin Dato Fordham Senior
KR JT Rogan San Diego Senior
PR Jeremy Gilchrist Hampton Junior
2007 SPORTS NETWORK ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM
QB Armanti Edwards Appalachian State Sophomore
RB Mike McLeod Yale Junior
RB Tyler Roehl North Dakota State Junior
FB Mike Tolbert Coastal Carolina Senior
WR Eddie Cohen Western Carolina Senior
WR Tremayne Kirkland Portland State Senior
WR J.J. Moore Massachusetts Senior
TE Scott Sicko New Hampshire Sophomore
T Mike Byrne Delaware Senior
T Corey McKenna Wofford Senior
G Matt Alfred Eastern Washington Senior
G Barret Anderson Northern Iowa Senior
C Stephen Field Cal Poly Senior
DE Brian Johnston Gardner-Webb Senior
DE Bryan Smith McNeese State Senior
DT Mark Huygens Northern Iowa Junior
DT Brian Jackson Lehigh Junior
LB Zach East Prairie View Senior
LB Mike Gallihugh Colgate Senior
LB Jason Hatchell Massachusetts Senior
LB Jason Williams Western Illinois Junior
CB K.J. Gerard Northern Arizona Senior
CB Steve Williams Harvard Senior
S Chris Camacho Chattanooga Senior
S Al Donaldson Alabama A&M Junior
S Bobbie Williams Bethune-Cookman Senior
Pos Player School Class
PK Julian Rauch Appalachian State Senior
P Tyson Johnson Montana Senior
KR Larry Shipp Tennessee Tech Senior
PR Johnny Gray Northern Iowa Senior
2007 SPORTS NETWORK ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM
QB *Josh Johnson San Diego Senior
QB *Joe Flacco Delaware Senior
RB Kevin Richardson Appalachian State Senior
RB Jordan Scott Colgate Junior
FB Joe Casey Rhode Island Junior
WR Michael Mayers Elon Senior
WR Andre Roberts The Citadel Sophomore
WR Charles Sullivan Hofstra Senior
TE Blake Martin Sam Houston State Senior
T Nate Safe North Dakota State Senior
T David Hale Weber State Senior
G John Holt Appalachian State Senior
G Matthew McCracken Richmond Sophomore
C Scott Suttle Appalachian State Senior
DE Jovan Belcher Maine Junior
DE Gary Tharrington Appalachian State Sophomore
DT Pat Nolan Colgate Senior
DT Mychel Savage Youngstown State Junior
LB Joe Mays North Dakota State Senior
LB Ronnie McCullough Bethune-Cookman Senior
LB Chauncey Mixon Southern Illinois Sophomore
LB Brannon Carter Northern Iowa Senior
CB *David Hyland Morehead State Junior
CB Tyler Koch South Dakota State Senior
CB *Jerome Touchstone Appalachian State Senior
S Brandon Gathof Eastern Kentucky Junior
S Jarmaul George Southern Senior
S Terrell Whitehead Norfolk State Junior
K Dan Carpenter Montana Senior
P Chris McDonald Texas State Senior
KR Justin Rogers Richmond Freshman
PR *Tristan Jackson Central Arkansas Senior
PR *Anthony Weeden Prairie View Sophomore
* - Josh Johnson and Joe Flacco, David Hyland and Jerome Touchstone, and Tristan Jackson and Anthony Weeden tied with the same number of votes.
HONORABLE MENTION (10 or more points)
Offense: Quarterback: Nathan Brown, Central Arkansas; Liam Coen, Massachusetts; Nick Hill, Southern Illinois; Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross; Scott Riddle, Elon; Eric Sanders, Northern Iowa; Ricky Santos, New Hampshire. Running Back: Jason Butler, Wagner; Herb Donaldson, Southern Illinois; Lex Hilliard, Montana; Corey Koenig, South Dakota State; Rashad Jennings, Liberty; Kevious Johnson, Wofford; Byron Lawrence, Northwestern State; Matt Lawrence, Massachusetts; Corey Lewis, Northern Iowa; David McCarty, Albany; Maurice Murray, Northeastern; Chad Simpson, Morgan State; Trevyn Smith, Weber State. Fullback: Broderick Cole, Nicholls State; Michael Hobbs, Wofford; Olaniyi Sobomehin, Portland State; JoJo Freeman, Central Connecticut State. Tight End: Robbie Agnone, Delaware; Drew Atchison, William & Mary; Marquez Branson, Central Arkansas; Shawn Fitzpatrick, Northern Arizona; Clay Harbor, Missouri State; Larry Hedden, Furman; Matt Sherry, Villanova; Jeremiah Wurzbacher, North Dakota State. Wide Receiver: Hans Batichon, Appalachian State; Terrance Butler, Presbyterian; Wes Doyle, San Diego; Clyde Edwards, Grambling; Buddy Farnham, Brown; Jeremy Gilchrist, Hampton; Johnny Gray, Northern Iowa; Bruce Hocker, Duquesne; Ryan Hubbard, Davidson; Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State; Austin Knowlin, Columbia; Keith LeVan, New Hampshire; Aaron Love, Delaware; Cameron Luke, Texas State; Ryan Maher, Holy Cross; John Matthews, San Diego; Corey Mazza, Harvard; Shaheer McBride, Norfolk State; Paul Raymond, Brown; Micah Rucker, Eastern Illinois; Larry Shipp, Tennessee Tech; Jerome Simpson, Coastal Carolina; Eddie Thompson, Idaho State; Jarahn Williams, Harvard. Center: Matt Austin, Massachusetts, Shawn Dedden, Eastern Kentucky; Colin Dow, Montana; Lance Freman, McNeese State; Raymond Harrison, South Carolina State; Kheon Hendricks, Delaware; Eric Hoffman, Northern Iowa; Drew Kair-Gross, Eastern Illinois; Scott Lemm, James Madison; Jordan Paopao, San Diego; John Reese, Lehigh; George Yarno, Idaho State. Guard: Marshall Ausberry, Liberty; Gabe DeAnda, San Diego; Mitch Erickson, South Dakota State; Ben Gobossy, Nicholls State; Greg Lippert, Lafayette; Chaz Millard, Eastern Illinois; Jeff Monaco, Yale; Eman Naghavi, McNeese State; Sam Pagano, Albany; J.D. Quinn, Montana; Bakhari Thornton, Eastern Kentucky. Tackle: Demetrius Bell, Northwestern State; Joel Bell, Furman; Andrew Brecher, Harvard; Adrian Brown, Delaware State; Keith Buckman, North Dakota State; Sean Dumford, Eastern Kentucky; Brandon Hale, Sam Houston State; Steve Jonas, Colgate; Brandon Keith, Northern Iowa; James Lee, South Carolina State; Darren Marquez, Southern Illinois; Jesse Padilla, Lafayette; Eddie Pinigis, Liberty; Anthony Rubican, Eastern Illinois; Brent Russem, Montana; Brad Samsa, Youngstown State; Isaiah Wiggins, Illinois State; James Williams, Harvard; Derek Wooten, Wofford; George Zoeckler, Davidson.
Defense: Defensive End: Wallace Artis, Furman; John Baranowsky, James Madison; Danny Batten, South Dakota State; Trevor Broughton, The Citadel; Chris Brown, Sam Houston State; Robert Brown, Wagner; David Burris, Massachusetts; James Cloud, Southern Illinois; Chris Coy, Eastern Kentucky; Derrick Gray, Texas Southern; Rudolph Hardie, Howard; Kendall Langford, Hampton; Jeremy Maddox, Alabama A&M; Matt Marcorelle, Delaware; Greg Peach, Eastern Washington; Tony Robertson, Appalachian State. Defensive Tackle: Kyle Adams, Lehigh; Andrew Asbell, Drake; Justin Brown, Furman; Michael Dungey, Albany; Kalen Hemmelgarn, Dayton; Brandt Hollander, Yale; John Jackson, Tennessee Tech; Craig Mettler, Montana; John Scott, Jacksonville State; Kyle Sprenkle, Lafayette; Dan Walters, Iona; Lance Witherspoon, Eastern Washington; Geoffrey Woods, Tennessee Tech. Linebacker: Bobby Abare, Yale; Justin Barnes, James Madison; Bryan Brand, Wagner; Mike Brannon, Sacramento State; Mario Brown, Gardner-Webb; Adam Casper, Southeast Missouri State; James Cottrell, Dartmouth; Marquez Davis, Norfolk State; Tim Diamond, Lehigh; Seth Goldwire, Wofford; Thaddeus Griffin, Winston- Salem State; Earl Hudnell, Fordham; Rechard Johnson, Alabama State; Brandin Jordan, Southern Illinois; Andrew Jones, Furman; Scott Lewis, St. Francis; Cyrus Mulitalo, Sacramento State; Quinton Phillips, Western Carolina; Vince Redd, Liberty; Russell Reeves, Delaware State; Jacque Roman, Appalachian State; Andy Romans, Lafayette; Jada Ross, Charleston Southern; Andrew Rowell, The Citadel; D.J. Smith, Appalachian State; James Terry, Youngstown State; Donald Thomas, Eastern Illinois; Timothy Turner, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Gian Villante, Hofstra; Charles Walker, Massachusetts; Chad Wengert; Robert Morris; Josh Yarbrough, Tennessee-Martin. Cornerback: Patrick Calvary, Liberty; Casey Gough, Holy Cross; Brian Kemp, Wofford; Cedric McGowan, Gardner-Webb; Bryan Richmond, Sam Houston State; Courtney Robinson, Massachusetts; Sean Small, Massachusetts; Patrick Stoudamire, Western Illinois; Ricky Wilson, Northern Arizona. Safeties: Colt Anderson, Montana; Jesse Caesar, Illinois State; Chris Covington, Georgia Southern; Akeem Green, Delaware State; Cyrus Igono, Northern Arizona; Javorris Jackson, Savannah State; Clayton Johnson, Southern Illinois; Josh Lawson, The Citadel; Kareem Moore, Nicholls State; Marrio Norman, Coastal Carolina; Jeff Pammer, New Hampshire; Jordan Senn, Portland State; Maurice Smith, Tennessee Tech; Thomas Twitty, Furman; Clifford Waters, Northern Iowa; Chris Wynn, Penn.
Special Teams: Kickers: Piotr Czech, Wagner; Parker Douglass, South Dakota State; Peter Gaertner, Delaware State; Gavin Hallford, Jacksonville State; Jesse Hartley, Georgia Southern; Brian Palmer, Youngstown State; Taylor Rowan, Western Illinois; Dave Stannard, James Madison; Jeff Turner, Southeastern Louisiana. Punters: Kevin Cook, Eastern Illinois; Robbie Dehaze, Northern Arizona; Mike Dragosavich, North Dakota State; Jason Leo, Lehigh; Scott Ravanesi, Southern Illinois; Doug Spada, Southeast Missouri State; Dan Zeidman, Idaho State. Kickoff Returners: Dominic Bolden, Liberty; Maurice Dupree, Jacksonville Sate; Bryant Eteuati, Weber State; Michael Mayers, Elon; Tim Mayprey, VMI; J.D. Ponciano, Idaho State; Craig Turner, Southern Illinois; Shamen Washington, North Dakota State; Ladarius Webb, Nicholls State. Punt Returners: Paul Aanonson, South Dakota State; Shawn Adair, Lafayette; Wynton Jackson, Liberty; Craig Turner, Southern Illinois; Ladarius Webb, Nicholls State.