Dec. 6, 2013
Backus, the two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year and Buck Buchanan Candidate, earns All-American recognition for the second straight season, being a third team selection by The Sports Network last season. Taliaferro, the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, becomes the 17th Chanticleer in 11 seasons of football to be named All-American.
Backus (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) led the Big South in tackles for the second consecutive year and ranked ninth in the FCS in solo tackles (6.0 per game). Backus additionally ranks 26th nationally in total tackles (9.7 per game). He is one of two players in the FCS to have at least 100 tackles (126), 10 tackles for loss (10.0), three interceptions (3) and five pass breakups (6). In fact, of the 63 players with at least 100 tackles in the FCS - only six others can lay claim to meeting three of the four minimums. Also, Backus was the only player only player in the Big South to rank among the top 10 in tackles (first with 126), interceptions (third with 3), tackles for loss (fifth with 10.0) and passes defended (ninth with 9).
He was named Big South Defensive Player of the Week three times this season and a total of eight times over the past two seasons. He also picked up CFPA National Linebacker of the Week twice (Sept. 2 and Oct. 14), College Sporting News Co-National Defensive Player of the Week twice (Sept. 9 and Oct. 14) and USACollegeFootball.org National Defensive Player of the Week once (Oct. 14).
Although still a junior, Backus ranks 13th among active FCS players in career solo tackles (165) - being the only junior among the top 25 active player - and 14th in career total tackles (296) - being one of two juniors among the top 30.
Backus is just two tackles shy from the CCU career record for solo tackles and just 13 tackles shy of breaking his own CCU single-season record for tackles.
Taliaferro (Yorktown, Va,/Lackawanna (Pa.) JC/Bruton HS) is having a record-setting season while helping Coastal's offense set numerous records as well. The Walter Payton Award Candidate and five-time Big South Offensive Player of the Week ranks second in the FCS in scoring (12.0 ppg), third in rushing touchdowns (24), sixth in rushing yards (1,572), 10th in rushing yards per game (120.9 avg.) and 29th in points responsible for (156 and one of two non-quarterbacks among the FCS top 30).
Taliaferro has been able to accomplish these lofty ranking despite playing five teams currently ranked among the FCS top 32 in rushing defense - getting 157 yards versus #3 South Carolina State (allowing 90.0 rushing yards per game this season), 85 yards in three quarters versus #8 Bethune-Cookman (106.3 ypg), 144 yards versus #17 Gardner-Webb (125.5 ypg), 174 yards at #20 Eastern Kentucky (123.3 ypg) and 155 yards at #32 Liberty (135.3 ypg). Overall, Taliaferro had eight games with at least 100 rushing yards, all ranking among the CCU top 20 on the single-game list.
Taliaferro has shattered every CCU single-season record for rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards this season. He has additionally set Big South single-season marks for rushing touchdowns (24), games with three-plus rushing touchdowns (3), most points scored (156) and most total touchdowns scored (26).
Despite being a starter for one year and gaining 357 yards with five TDs last season - his first with the Chanticleers, Taliaferro ranks among the CCU career top 10 in rushing yards (third with 1,929), rushing attempts (fifth with 329), rushing touchdowns (second with 29), rushing yards per game (first with 77.2), total offense (eighth with 1,929) and points scored (fifth with 186).