CONWAY, S.C. Coastal Carolina senior quarterback Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central) was named as an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), announced today by the organization. The lone quarterback on the list, Thigpen is the first player from Coastal and second from the Big South Conference ever to be honored by as an AFCA All-American, as defensive lineman Harold Wells of Gardner-Webb earned the honor in 2004.
Thigpen, the Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Year, is currently ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 329.3 ypg of total offense, while being fourth nationally with 274.7 passing yards per game after leading Coastal to its third consecutive Big South title and first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships. The first-ever Big South player to be nominated for the Walter Payton Award and finishing seventh in the balloting, he set nine Conference season records in 2006 in total offense (3,952), total offense per game (329.3), passing yards (3,296), touchdown passes (29), passing yards per game (274.7), passing efficiency (167.42), 300-yard passing games (5), 300-total yard games (9) and rushing yards by a quarterback (656). He was named Player of the Week four times this season and became the first Big South quarterback to rush for more than 600 yards in a season, with his 656 ranking fourth overall in league rushing, while adding five touchdowns. His 3,296 passing yards also made him the first quarterback ever to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a single season. He also ranks second all-time in the Big South in total offense with 8,236 yards, while also helping CCU to a 34-11 (30-8 as a starter) during his four years with the Chanticleers.
Coastal wrapped up the 2006 season with a 9-3 mark, including the Big South's first-ever postseason appearance.