Senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt and junior running back Taiwan Jones, who have both been major contributors to the success of Eastern Washington University’s top-ranked football team, were selected on Tuesday to the American Football Coaches Association’s 2010 Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team.
It is the second year in a row that Sherritt, a 5-foot-10, 220-pounder from Pullman and a leading candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award that is given annually to the best FCS defensive player in the nation, has made the team.
Jones, 6-1, 200-pounder from Antioch, Calif., was honored for the first time, and both players will be in action at Roos Field on Saturday when the fifth-seeded Eagles (10-2) entertain unseeded North Dakota State (9-4) in a quarterfinal-round game of the FCS playoffs that kicks off at 12:30 p.m.
Sherritt, who led the FCS in tackles with a school-record 170 last fall, has a team-best 135 this season, and his average of 11.25 per game ranks 10th nationally. He currently ranks No. 2 on EWU’s career tackles list with 391 and needs just nine more to break the school record of 399 held by Greg Belzer (1997-2000).
“It’s a great honor,” Sherritt said of being named to the prestigious coaches team for a second consecutive year. “But I think it’s just a reflection of the 10 guys around me on our defense – especially those front four who protect me so well.
“Tyler Jolley and Renard Williams, they get double- teamed almost every play, and make it a whole lot easier for me to run to the football.”
Jones, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award given each year to the nation’s top offensive player, has rushed for 1,512 yards this year – the fourth-highest single-season total in school history – and is averaging 137.5 yards per game on the ground. He is also ranked No. 2 nationally in all-purpose yards with an average of 196.6 per game.