Jarrett, Herd & Williams Added to List of All-Americans

Edwards, Mitchell and Powers also receive additional honors as final postseason accolades trickle in

The postseason is complete, and a total of six Eastern Washington University football players ended the 2011 season with All-America recognition from a variety of national sources.

The latest additions are senior kicker Mike Jarrett, senior defensive tackle Renard Williams and junior wide receiver Greg Herd, who joined a trio of previously recognized Eagles on the Beyond Sports College Network NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America team. Jarrett received second team honors and Herd and Williams received honorable mention. Senior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (first team), junior wide receiver Nicholas Edwards (first team) and senior center Chris Powers (third team) were also selected by BSN.

In addition, Edwards was selected to the College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty” All-America team announced Jan. 9, and Mitchell received honorable mention on that squad. Mitchell, who received the most prestigious FCS award when he was given the Payton Award by The Sports Network on Jan. 6, received the Elite Quarterback Award for FCS by College Football Performance Awards.

Mitchell and Edwards were each named to eight All-America teams and Powers to three. That trio helped Eastern lead FCS in passing yards per game (368.5) and rank seventh overall in total offense (447.4), a year after the Eagles finished 13-2 and won the NCAA Division I Championship.

They combined to start 97 games in their Eastern careers, with Edwards still having a year left to play. Edwards enters his senior season with 37 starts, while Powers, also an All-American in 2010, finished his career with 35 and Mitchell with 25. After a 6-5 finish this season, the Eagles were a collective 19-7 in the past two seasons.

 Mitchell led the FCS this past season in four categories, including passing yards (4,009) and touchdown passes (33), while Edwards finished the season ranked first in FCS in TD catches (19), fourth in receptions per game (8.64 with a total of 95) and fourth in receiving yards per game (113.6, total of 1,250).

Mitchell broke four school records in his two-year career at Eastern. This past season, he broke the record for single season passing yards with 4,009, which ranks 17th in FCS history and fifth in Big Sky Conference history.

Edwards broke the school record for season receptions (95) and touchdown receptions (19), with both marks ranking in the top 20 in FCS history and in the top three all-time in the league.

Jarrett finished his career with four school records, including single season field goals (16) and career marks for kick scoring points (236), extra points made (143) and attempted (150). He was an impressive 16-of-18 kicking field goals as a senior.

Herd finished his junior season with 67 catches (ninth-best all-time at Eastern) for 1,022 yards (11th) and seven touchdowns. Williams closed out his career with 4 1/2 sacks in 2011, giving him 22 1/2 in his career to rank sixth in school history. He finished with 139 tackles in his 46-game career, and had six forced fumbles to equal the school record.

 

EWU’S 2011 FCS ALL-AMERICANS

Bo Levi Mitchell
Walter Payton Award from The Sports Network
Elite Quarterback Award from College Football Performance Awards
American Football Coaches Association (first team)
The Sports Network (first team)
Associated Press (first team)
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Phil Steele Publications (first team)
Beyond Sports College Network (first team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (third team)
College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty” (honorable mention)
Also . . . Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team


Nicholas Edwards
American Football Coaches Association (first team)
The Sports Network (first team)
College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty” (first team)
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Phil Steele Publications (first team)
Beyond Sports College Network (first team)
Associated Press (second team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (second team)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team

Chris Powers
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (second team)
Beyond Sports College Network (third team)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team

Mike Jarrett
Beyond Sports College Network (second team)
Also . . . Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Honorable Mention

Renard Williams
Beyond Sports College Network (honorable mention)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

Greg Herd
Beyond Sports College Network (honorable mention)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Second Team


More on Bo Levi Mitchell

Bo Levi Mitchell capped a sensational two-year career for the Eagles by being selected as the winner of the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Fathead.com sponsors the prestigious award, which was presented for the 25th time by The Sports Network at the annual FCS Awards Banquet on Friday evening (Jan. 6) in Frisco, Texas. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Mitchell became the fourth Eastern player in the last seven seasons to win either the Payton Award or the Buck Buchanan Award (top defensive player in FCS). Eastern’s Erik Meyer won the Payton Award in 2005, and Greg Peach (2008) and J.C. Sherritt (2010) have previously won the Buck Buchanan Award presented to the top defensive player in FCS. A total of seven players from the Big Sky Conference have now won the Payton Award.

After playing two seasons at Southern Methodist University, Mitchell transferred to Eastern in January 2010 and led the Eagles to the NCAA Division I title his first season. The native of Katy, Texas, was selected as the Most Outstanding Player in EWU’s 20-19 come-from-behind victory over Delaware in the title game.

In 2011, Mitchell led the FCS in four categories, including passing yards (4,009) and touchdown passes (33) on his way to breaking four school records. He broke EWU’s record for single season passing yards with 4,009, which ranks 17th in FCS history and fifth in Big Sky Conference history.

Mitchell was the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a first team All-BSC selection as a senior. That led to consensus first team All-America accolades, including first team honors from the American Football Coaches Association, The Sports Network, Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Phil Steele Publications and Beyond Sports College Network. He also received third team accolades from Collegesportsmadness.com and honorable mention on the College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty,” and won the Elite Quarterback Award from College Football Performance Awards.

Eastern won six of its last seven games to finish 6-5 in the 2011 season, and Mitchell had a record-breaking season by passing for 4,009 yards and 33 touchdowns. He guided Eastern Washington to a 5-3 conference record despite the team suffering a myriad of key injuries early in the season and having a rushing offense that ranked 112th out of 120 teams in FCS.

The most successful quarterback in Eastern history, he directed the Eagles to a 19-7 mark in his two seasons at EWU (12-4 in the Big Sky). He had more wins in a two-year span than any other Eastern quarterback in school history – even more than Meyer, who won 16 combined in the 2004 and 2005 seasons and had the previous school record for passing with 4,004 yards.

The 19 wins in 2010 and 2011 combined are the most back-to-back in school history, so no quarterback has been as successful as Mitchell. Eastern has had six quarterbacks earn All-America honors – Meyer, Nichols, Josh Blankenship (2002), Harry Leons (1997), Rick Worman (1985) and Bill Diedrick Jr. (1967), and the most back-to-back wins were recorded by Leons (18 in 1996-97) and Diedrick (18 in 1966-67). In their best seasons, Meyer won 16 (2004-05), Worman won 16 (1984-85) and Nichols won 15 (2007-08). Blankenship played only one season after transferring from Tulsa.

As a junior in the 2010 season after transferring from Southern Methodist University in nearby Dallas, Mitchell helped lead Eastern to the NCAA Division I title with a 20-19 come-from-behind victory over Delaware. He was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after throwing three touchdown passes in the final 16:48 and had 302 total passing yards in the game.

 “I don’t think people realize that in two years he’s won 19 football games, which is more than any quarterback in the Big Sky right now and more than anybody in our history,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “He’s not only put up great numbers and can throw the ball well, but he’s proven himself as a winner. Eight different times we were down or tied in the fourth quarter, and he led us back to win. That says a lot.”

Mitchell is just the fourth Big Sky quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in 11 games, and the other three – Montana’s Dave Dickenson in 1995, Weber State’s Jamie Martin in 1991, and Idaho’s John Friesz in 1989 – went on to win the Payton Award. Mitchell’s average of 364.5 yards per game in the 2011 season ranks ninth in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history and fourth all-time in the Big Sky.

Mitchell completed 318 of 503 passes (63.2 percent) for 4,009 yards with 33 touchdowns. Mitchell finished the 2011 regular season as the FCS leader in touchdown passes, total passing yards, passing yards per game, and total offense. Mitchell’s 318 completions in 2011 were a Big Sky single-season record, topping the previous mark of 311 set by Friesz in 1987.

Mitchell broke the single season school record of 4,003 yards that Erik Meyer had in 2005 when he won the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Finishing with 4,009, Mitchell's mark ranks 17th all-time in the FCS and is fifth in Big Sky history. Mitchell also established a new school record by averaging 364.5 passing yards per game, good for ninth in FCS history and third all-time in the Big Sky.

With a quartet of 400-yard passing performances in the 2011 season – and four more of at least 300 – Mitchell’s season average of 364.5 ranked ahead of the previous record set in 2005 by Meyer when he averaged 333.6 yards per game. Mitchell’s career average of 288.7 per outing is also a school record and ranks ahead of the 268.4 average of Matt Nichols (2006-09). Mitchell's career average ranks 19th all-time in the FCS and sixth in the Big Sky.

Despite playing just two seasons at Eastern, Mitchell ranks third in school history for career passing yards (7,505) and third in touchdown passes (70), and he is also third in completions (618), fourth in attempts (1008) and third in passing efficiency rating (141.2). He had 10 300-yard performances in his 26-game EWU career, including four of the 19 400-yard performances in school history.

“Bo had an amazing career here for what he was able to accomplish statistically and from a win-loss standpoint,” said Baldwin. “And throughout it all, he’s been a great leader and helped lead our program to a national championship. To have him even mentioned in the same breath as some of the great Eastern quarterbacks we’ve had here – including Payton Award winner Erik Meyer – would have been an incredible accomplishment in itself. In terms of winning the national title and leading us to 19 victories in two seasons, we’ve never had a quarterback more successful than Bo.”

After transferring from Southern Methodist University, Mitchell was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection in 2010. He transferred to Eastern in January 2010, won the starting job in the spring and started his first game for the Eagles on Sept 2, 2010, versus Nevada. His 26th and final start came on Nov. 19, 2011.

“His development in just two years wasn’t easy and it took some time,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “He got better as the 2010 season went along, and we all expected that. A first-year starter is never going to be perfect at the start of the season, but you want to see serious progress. He worked at it and we saw the growth -- he worked hard to develop his skills and was tireless at studying video in order to better understand and operate our offense. It culminated with his production this season and the way our team ended the year with six wins in our last seven games. I couldn’t be more proud of what he accomplished here.”

 “In a lot of ways, he played much better this year than a year ago,” he added. “It was just that a lot of other parts of our team didn’t necessarily go as well. In terms of his growth of a quarterback, he made huge strides and really worked at it.”

 

More on Nicholas Edwards

Junior wide receiver Nicholas Edwards was selected to eight NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America teams in 2011 after earning first team All-Big Sky honors. His All-America accolades included first team honors from the American Football Coaches Association, The Sports Network, College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty,” Walter Camp Football Foundation, Phil Steele Publications and Beyond Sports College Network, as well as second team honors from Associated Press and Collegesportsmadness.

Edwards broke Eastern’s school record for receptions in a single season, finishing with 12 catches for 106 yards versus ISU. He finished the season with 95 grabs to break the record previously set by Eric Kimble with 87 in 12 games in 2005. His receptions ranks 20th in FCS history and third all-time in the Big Sky, and his average of 8.64 catches per game is fifth in BSC history.

The 19 touchdown receptions Edwards had equaled the school record of 19 set in 2004 by Kimble, who owns the top two receiving yardage marks with 1,453 in 2004 and 1,419 in 2005. Edwards finished the season with 1,250 yards to rank fifth all-time at Eastern. Kimble also holds the touchdowns record with 19 in 2004 and the top two receiving marks with 1,453 in 2004 and 1,419 in 2005.

Edwards finished the season ranked fourth in FCS in receptions per game (8.64) and fourth in receiving yards per game (113.6). In his career, Edwards already has 29 touchdown receptions to rank second in school history, and has caught a total of 178 passes (fourth all-time at EWU) for 2,198 yards (10th).

Edwards, a 2008 graduate of Foss High School in Tacoma, Wash., had performances of 13 catches (second in school history), two of 12 (eighth), 11 (12th) and two of 10 (20th) in the 2011 season, and had nine catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns versus Portland State on Oct. 29. His 13 receptions – second-best in school history behind the record of 17 – came against South Dakota on Sept. 10.

Edwards earned a variety of national NCAA Football Championship Subdivision honors, including The Sports Network/Fathead.com co-National Player of Week, after tying a school record with four touchdown receptions in EWU’s 42-35 come-from-behind overtime victory over Sacramento State on Oct. 22. He also earned National Performer of the Week and National Wide Receiver of the Week from College Football Performance Awards. Edwards was named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week as well, giving EWU a string of three-straight weeks in winning the award. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell won the previous two BSC awards for the Eagles.

Edwards finished with 11 catches for a career-high 192 receiving yards, and had TD catches of 35, 16, 39 and 22 yards from Mitchell. Jamie Buenzli had four touchdown catches versus Nevada on Sept. 12, 1987, and Joe Pierce had four against Central Washington on Sept. 13, 2003.

Three of his TD catches came in the fourth quarter, and he added a 17-yard reception in overtime that set-up a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Talley. The 11 catches for Edwards versus the Hornets equaled the 11th-most in school history and his yards ranks eighth.

 “When you have on your team Jerry Rice, I mean Nick Edwards, it’s hard not to get him the ball,” joked Mitchell after the Sac State win, in which the Eagles rallied from a 28-13 deficit. “He works hard and puts in the effort and time. He deserves everything he gets and deserves the credit for this win. The plays he made were just ridiculous.”

 

More on Chris Powers

In winning All-America honors as a both a senior in 2011 and junior in 2010, center Chris Powers represents the 17th and 18th times an EWU offensive lineman has earned All-America accolades in the last 19 years (1993-2011). He was a first team All-Big Sky selection in both 2010 and 2011, and Powers represents the 19th and 20th times an EWU offensive lineman has been honored as a first team selection on that squad since 1993.

As a senior in 2011, Powers earned first team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, second team honors from Collegesportsmadness.com and third team recognition from Beyond Sports College Network. Senior center Chris Powers finished his career with 35 starts -- the third-most among all Eastern players on offense -- in the 36 games he played as an Eagle.

In 2011 he started all eight games he played, and the Eagles led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision with an average of 368.5 passing yards per game. Eastern was also seventh overall in total offense (447.4) and 27th in scoring (32.4). He was a 15-game starter in 2010 when EWU ranked 22nd in the FCS in total offense (397.1 yards per game), as well as rankings of 26th in passing (241.0), 49th in rushing (156.1) and 18th in scoring (31.5). As a 12-game starter in his sophomore season, he helped Eastern rank in the top 10 in four offensive categories in FCS, including passing (3rd, 321.3), total offense (4th, 462.2) and scoring (8th, 33.7).

 

More on Mike Jarrett

Senior kicker Mike Jarrett was among the 58 players selected to the 14th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team, then received second team All-America honors from Beyond Sports College Network. Jarrett finished his career with four school records, and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2011.

An impressive 16-of-18 kicking field goals in the 2011 season, Jarrett broke the previous school record for field goals of 15. He closed the year ranked ninth in the NCAA Football Subdivision with an average of 1.45 makes per game, and his .889 percentage ranked third in FCS among kickers with at least eight attempts. He made field goals of 28 and 41 yards in EWU’s come-from-behind 42-35 win in overtime over Sacramento State on Oct. 22 to earn Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He made 38-of-39 extra point attempts as a senior.

Jarrett broke Eastern’s career record for kick scoring by tallying nine points in EWU’s season-ending 45-14 win over Idaho State on Nov. 19. He made a 23-yard field goal on the final play of the second half to break the record of 231 held by Troy Griggs (1999-01), and he went on to finish with 236 in his career to rank 16th in Big Sky Conference history. He also finished his career with school records for career extra points made (143) and attempted (150). He broke the previous records of 120 makes and 126 attempts set by Griggs. Jarrett finished his career with 31 field goals (third in school history) on 47 attempts (fourth).

No Big Sky record exists for field goal accuracy, but Jarrett’s mark of .889 in 2011 (16-of-18) exceeds the percentage of all of the top 26 players in league history for single season points per game. Of the top 27 kickers on the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision list for single season field goals, only two performances were better than Jarrett’s .889 mark -- .963 (26-of-27) and .893 (25-of-28).

Jarrett has a 3.45 grade point average as a double major in communications and government with a minor in business administration. He is a 2007 graduate of Puyallup (Wash.) High School. Off the field, Jarrett has assisted the Cheney Parks and Recreation in the ECHO Before and After School Program. He also volunteered at Salnave Elementary School by spending 30-40 hours helping students with their school work and organizing school activities and games. His brother, Bryan, was an All-Big Sky Conference safety for the Eagles in 2005 and 2007 after transferring from Western Washington University.

 

More on Greg Herd

Junior wide receiver Greg Herd ended the 2011 season as a second team All-Big Sky Conference selection, then went on to earn honorable mention All-America honors from Beyond Sports College Network.

Thanks to a 42-yard reception on the EWU’s final scoring drive of the season against Idaho State on Nov. 19, finished with over 1,000 yards for the season. He finished the year with 67 catches (ninth-best all-time at Eastern) for 1,022 yards (11th) and seven touchdowns.

Herd will be one of three Eastern receivers returning in 2011 with a 1,000-yard season to their credit. Nicholas Edwards finished with 1,250 yards (95 catches, 19 touchdowns) in 2011 and Brandon Kaufman had 1,214 yards (76 catches, 15 touchdowns) in 2010. Kaufman played in just four games in 2011 because of a broken metacarpal on his left hand that required surgery, but he will return for the 2012 season as a junior provided his application for an injury redshirt is approved.

A quarterback in high school, Herd attempted and completed the first pass of his Eastern career when the Eagles needed it the most – in the second overtime in EWU’s 53-51 victory over Cal Poly on Nov. 12. After running two reverses earlier in the game, he looked to be running a third time when he pulled up and hit a wide-open Nicholas Edwards for a 25-yard score and send the game into a third overtime. On the next play, he gathered in a go-ahead 25-yard TD pass from Bo Levi Mitchell, and the Eagles went on to the two-point victory.

“We’ve had that play in for a few weeks, but I haven’t had the guts to call it,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin of the wide receiver pass. “Finally, we ran out of everything else and decided to run it. We showed two reverses with Herd earlier, so I thought they might bite on it.”

Herd, who had 13 catches for 128 yards and a pair of scores in the final four games of 2010, had six performances of at least six catches in 2011. Versus Portland State on Oct. 29, Herd had five receptions for 196 yards, which ranks sixth in school history -- just two spots ahead of the 192 yards Edwards had a week earlier versus Sacramento State. Herd’s yardage included a 96-yard pass play from Mitchell, and was sprung by a key block downfield by Edwards. It was the second-longest pass play in school history, ranking behind the record of 99 on a pass from quarterback Todd Bernett to Jason Anderson against Montana on Sept. 17, 1994. Herd also had receptions of 49 and 41 yards versus the Vikings.

Herd finished the season ranked 15th in FCS in receptions per game (6.1) and 14th in receiving yards per game (92.9).

 

Renard Williams

Eastern defensive tackle Renard Williams ended the 2011 season as a second team All-Big Sky Conference selection, then went on to earn honorable mention All-America honors from Beyond Sports College Network.

He had his first sack of the 2011 season against Montana State on Sept. 24 and finished the year with 4 1/2, giving him 22 1/2 in his career to rank sixth in school history. Constantly drawing double teams from opposing teams, Williams has 139 tackles in his 46-game career, including 49 for losses (fourth in school history) totaling 243 yards. He also has six forced fumbles in his career, equaling the school record of six shared by teammate Matt Johnson.

Williams finished with 6 1/2 in the 2010 season to repeat as an All-Big Sky selection and earn All-America honors in the process, as he was selected to the College Sports News “Sweet 63” All-America Team. He had a two-sack effort against North Dakota State on Dec. 11 for the fourth multi-sack performance of his career. He had nine sacks to earn first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2009.

 
 
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