Five Big South football players have been named Associated Press All-Americans, as the organization has honored Coastal Carolina cornerback Josh Norman on the First-Team, Stony Brook teammates Brock Jackolski and Joe Faiella and Presbyterian College's Justin Bethel on the Second-Team, and Liberty offensive lineman Malcolm Boyd on the Third-Team. It is the most Big South selections to the AP All-America team since 2006.
Norman was previously named to the 25-man American Football Coaches Association All-America squad this season. He is a three-time, first team All-Big South selection and was a 2009 third team All-American after shattering a Big South single-season record and ranking second in the NCAA with eight interceptions.
This past season, Norman led the Chanticleers in tackles and led the Big South in both passes defended (1.27) and pass breakups (12). Nationally, his 12 PBU ranks sixth-best, while his 1.27 passes defended ranks 10th-best. The 12 PBU was additionally a CCU single-season record and Norman's 49 solo tackles this past season ranks fifth on the CCU seasonal chart. He was a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week, helping Coastal Carolina defeat VMI and Presbyterian in the process.
Jackolski, who made the Second-Team as an all-purpose runner, garnered his second All-America honor of the year, having been named to the AFCA FCS Coaches' All-America Team last week. Jackolski's 2011 season will be remembered as one of the best in school and Big South history. He rushed for 1,418 yards, had 114 receiving yards, 55 punt return yards and 854 kick return yards, totaling 20 touchdowns. The 2,441 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns are Big South single-season records.
He recorded six games with more than 100 rushing yards and tallied more than 150 all-purpose yards in 11 of 13 games. Jackolski set a Conference record with five touchdowns in a 76-28 win over Gardner-Webb. He's one of five players in Big South history with more than 4,000 all-purpose yards, accomplishing the feat in just two years. Including two seasons at Hofstra, Jackolski totaled 6,394 all-purpose yards, which ranks 16th in FCS history.
After starting all 11 games at left tackle in 2010, Faiella moved inside to left guard, and didn't miss a beat. He started all 13 games, blocking for two 1,000-yard rushers for a second straight season. Faiella, who joined Jackolski on the Second-Team, earned first team All-Big South honors. The Seawolves' ground game rushed for 200 yards or more in nine games this season, including a season-high 446 yards against Coastal Carolina.
Stony Brook set a Conference record with seven-straight games of at least 40 points scored. Stony Brook's scoring offense (38.0 ppg) and rushing offense (267.3 ypg) ranked second and fourth in the nation, respectively.
Bethel continues to rack up honors in 2011 after being named to the Associate Press FCS All-American team. Bethel was recently named to the College Sports Madness 2011 FCS All-American Team recently as well as earning CSN Big South All-Conference honors.
Bethel earned the third All-Conference nod of his career and his and PC's first Defensive Player of the Year award for his performance on the field this past season. Bethel was just the second defensive back to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year and the first since 2003. The Two-time Big South Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week is a Buck Buchanan Award finalist and a FCS College Football Performance Award Defensive Back, National DB and National Defensive Performance Award winner.
He became the Big South's all-time leader in blocked kicks this season as well as the all-time leader in career solo blocks. Bethel led the team in tackles with 87, 3.5 of which were for a loss. He had a sack to his credit and recorded four interceptions, one of which he ran back for a touchdown against California, where he also had a blocked punt that he ran back for a score for the team's only points of the game.
Bethel was fourth in the league in tackles, third in passes defended and second in interceptions. He recorded double-digit tackles in four games, including a career-high 15 at Furman this season. Bethel is the PC career leader in tackles, as well as interceptions.
Boyd started 10 games for Liberty at left guard, missing the VMI game due to an injury. The Big South First-Team All-Conference honoree graded out at 86 percent, while recording 60 knockdowns and individually allowing only one sack. He was a key component of Liberty's offensive line that finished the year ranked No. 9 in the country in scoring offense (35.91 points per game), No. 19 in passing offense (270.27) and No. 20 total offense (426.25). Boyd is the 10th offensive lineman in program history to earn All-America honors and the second to earn first, second or third team honors at the Division I level.