National accolades are beginning to pile up for Eastern Washington and Idaho’s top players.
The two Big Sky Conference programs each landed three on Phil Steele Magazine’s annual preseason FCS All-American team, which was released Friday.
Idaho offensive guard Noah Johnson and EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud were first-and second-team selections, respectively.
Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound junior, has anchored Idaho’s line the last two years, and was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection twice.
Gubrud, one of the top quarterbacks in the country, is a two-time Walter Payton Award finalst who racked up nearly 10,000 yards of total offense the last two seasons.
Third-teams selections were Idaho linebacker Kaden Ellis and punter Cade Coffey, along with EWU center Spencer Blackburn.
EWU defensive lineman Jay-Tee Tiuli, who used a medical redshirt last season, was a fourth-team pick.
Idaho, which returns to the Big Sky Conference after 22 years at the FBS level, opens its season Sept. 1 at Fresno State. EWU entertains Central Washington on the same day in its season opener.
Several other Eagles and Vandals joined the six All-Americans on the publication’s All-Big Sky teams.
Eastern Washington running back Antoine Custer Jr., offensive lineman Tristen Taylor, safety Mitch Fettig, returner Dre’ Sonte Dorton and long snapper Curtis Billen earned second-team honors. Wide receiver Nsimba Webster and cornerback Josh Lewis were named to the third team.
Idaho added second-team linebacker Ed Hall and third-team defensive lineman D.J. Henderson.
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