Backus and Hamilton on Sports Network Preseason All-American Team
July 1, 2014
Backus, a two-time All-American and two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the first team and Hamilton, a two-time All-Big South selection, was named to the second team.
Backus (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood HS) will start the 2014 season as the NCAA FCS active leader in both career total tackles (314) and career solo tackles (172) while entering 2014 fifth among active FCS players with 142 career assisted tackles. Through three seasons, Backus has additionally amassed 20 tackles for loss, 10 pass break ups, six interceptions, four sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Last season, Backus was a finalist for the 2013 Buck Buchanan Award - given annually to the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year - and was named to four All-American teams. He is a two-time tackles leader in the Big South, breaking his own single-season record with 144 total tackles (ranked 29th in the FCS with 9.6 avg.), while setting the CCU single-season record with 85 solo tackles (ranked 16th in the FCS with avg. of 5.7). Backus scored two touchdowns in 2013, returning a blocked field goal a CCU-record 56 yards for a score at South Carolina State and returning an interception a CCU-record 73 yards for a score versus Gardner-Webb. Backus additionally set a CCU record with 127 interception return yards, which ranks second on the Big South single-season record.
Backus finished four interceptions last season - second-best total in the Big South - and six pass breakups, while tallying 10.5 tackles for losses. In fact, he was one of just two players in the FCS with at least 100 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four interceptions and five pass break ups. Additionally, Backus was the only player in the Big South to rank among the league's top 10 in tackles (first, 9.6 avg.), tackles for losses (fourth, 0.7 avg.), interceptions (fourth, 0.27 avg.) and passes defended (10th, 0.67 avg.).
Hamilton (Charleston, S.C. / James Island HS) was named firs team All-Big South last season and second team as a sophomore in 2012. Hamilton was a key cog in the Chanticleer offensive machine this past season as Coastal set 24 school and 17 Big South single-season offensive records. Also, he was part of an offensive line that was named Big South Offensive Player of the Week after the Chants' win at Elon, helped CCU lead the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.33) and paved the way for All-American running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. Coastal's offense additionally ranked second in the NCAA FCS in third-down conversions and fourth down conversions, while ranking third in red zone offense, fifth in first downs and fifth in scoring.