Coaches Select Taiwan Jones and J.C. Sherritt to All-America Team
Sherritt, who is just eight tackles away from the school record for career tackles, is a repeat selection on the AFCA All-America squad
Eastern Washington University junior running back Taiwan Jones and senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt have been selected to the 2010 AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team announced today by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. They are chosen exclusively by collegiate coaches nationwide.
Both players will be in action this Saturday (Dec. 11) at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., when the Eagles host North Dakota State in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs.
Sherritt is EWU's leading tackler thus far with 135 for the season, an average of 11.25 per game that ranks 10th in FCS. Last season, the 2006 graduate of Pullman, Wash., High School led FCS with an average of just over 14 per game.
Sherritt, a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in FCS, was a repeat selection on the squad. He is currently second in school history in career tackles with a total of 391, and the senior strong-side inside linebacker needs just nine more to break the school record of 399 held by Greg Belzer (1997-2000). Sherritt ranks second in Big Sky history behind the 471 tackles of Montana State's Kane Ioane (2000-03), with records dating back to 2000 when the NCAA began to recognize tackles as an official statistic.
Sherritt already holds school and league records with 170 tackles in the 2009 season and 24 tackles against Weber State on Oct. 10, 2009. He also has six career interceptions to go along with 11 passes broken up, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and a pair of sacks, with a total of 33 1/2 tackles for loss totaling 72 yards in losses.
"When he needs to step up and make tackles he does it, and time after time he's tough to block," said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. "All the way back to last year he has been playing like a Buck Buchanan Award candidate. I think that sometimes when you are a little bit better as a whole on defense certain individual stats might go down a little bit. But that takes nothing away from how he is playing -- he's doing other things that sometimes don't get noticed even that much better."
A candidate for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in FCS, Jones has 1,512 yards this season to rank as the fourth-best performance in school history, ahead of the 1,216 he had last year. He has recorded the 15th 1,000-yard rushing performance in school history this season, including 11 in the last 16 seasons (1995-2010).
He now has an average of 137.5 yards per game that ranks fourth in the NCAA Championship Subdivision. After leading the nation in all-purpose yards per game for several weeks early in the year, Jones is currently second with an average of 196.6 yards (rushing, receiving, returns) per game. He is also 10th in scoring (8.73 per game with 16 total touchdowns).
Jones has a string of six-straight 100-yard rushing performances, with a total of 946 yards (157.7 per game), a 7.9 average per rush and 10 touchdowns in those six games. He now has 14 100-yard rushing performances in 23 career games as a running back, and eight this season.
With an average of 7.5 yards per carry in his career, Jones is only the 12th Eagle to rush for over 2,000 yards as an Eagle, and is currently sixth with 2,725. He also has a career average of 158.7 all-purpose yards per game to currently rank as the school record, 36 total touchdowns to rank third, his total of 4,762 all-purpose yards are second, his 1,105 kickoff return yards are sixth and he ranks fourth in points scored with 216.
He now has five plays in his career of at least 80 yards, 10 of 70 or more, 14 of at least 60, 19 of at least 50 and 34 of at least 32 yards. He had a school-record 96-yard touchdown run versus Idaho State in 2009. Eleven times in his career he has eclipsed the 200-yard mark in all-purpose yards and has 14 rushing performances of at least 100 yards.
"He's just one of those players that can break it at any time, and that makes it tough on a defense," said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. "He's a playmaker and you better know where he is on every single snap. And even then, he's hard to stop."