After setting EWU’s career tackles record, Buck Buchanan Candidate is selected to his second A-A team in 2010
Eastern Washington University senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt is a repeat selection on the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2010 Football Championship Subdivision All-America team. The team was selected by the head coaches and sports information directors of the Football Championship Subdivision schools and certified by the accounting and auditing firm, Marcum LLP.
Sherritt is one of 10 players on the team who are candidates for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented annually to the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Sherritt, a 2006 graduate of Pullman, Wash., High School, was second in the voting a year ago for that award, which will be announced on Jan. 6 on the eve of the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas.
Sherritt and his Eastern teammates take on Villanova Friday night at 5:05 p.m. Pacific time on ESPN2 in the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs. Villanova lineman Ben Ijalana was also a repeat selection to the Walter Camp squad.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting All-America teams for the Football Bowl and Championship subdivisions.
With 15 tackles against North Dakota State, Sherritt shattered the school record for career tackles and now has 406 in his career. The senior strong-side inside linebacker broke the previous 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 12 passes broken up, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and a trio of sacks, with a total of 35 tackles for loss totaling 79 yards in losses.
Sherritt is EWU’s leading tackler thus far with 150 for the season (third in school history, one away from second), an average of 11.54 per game that ranks 10th in FCS. Last season, Sherritt led FCS with an average of just over 14 per game.
Besides his 15 tackles versus NDSU, Sherritt had a pass broken up, a half-sack and forced a fumble on the final play of the game in overtime that was recovered by the Eagles at the EWU 1-yard line.
Sherritt led the charge with 10 tackles, including a key fourth-down stop in the second half, in EWU’s 37-17 playoff victory over Southeast Missouri on Dec. 4. Eastern held the Redhawks to just 26 yards of total offense in the second half and out-scored SEMO 20-0 following a 17-all tie at halftime.
A year after finishing second in the voting, Sherritt was selected to the 20-player watch list for the 2010 Buck Buchanan Award awarded by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Sherritt averaged 14.17 tackles per game (170 total) as a junior in 2009 to lead FCS and catapult him into contention for the Buchanan Award. Arthur Moats from James Madison won the award last year, and in 2008 the winner was Eastern’s Greg Peach (now playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League).
Since 2000 when the Big Sky and FCS began keeping statistics as a record, Sherritt’s total was a league record and the seventh-most in FCS, and his average of 14.17 was also a league record and 13th in FCS history. Besides his 170 tackles, Sherritt had 14 tackles for loss, four passes broken up, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and an interception he returned for a touchdown.
Sponsored by Fathead.com, the Buchanan Award is in its 16th season and will be presented on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas -- the night before the championship game of the FCS Playoffs. The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton and Eddie Robinson awards, which are also sponsored by Fathead. The Payton Award honors the FCS player of the year and the Robinson Award honors the FCS coach of the year. Those two awards, like the Buchanan, will be presented at the national awards banquet.