Dec. 18, 2013
CONWAY - After a record-breaking season and reaching the NCAA Division I Championship quarterfinals, three members of the Coastal Carolina football team - Quinn Backus, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Jamey Cheatwood - were named to 2013 The Sports Network FCS All-American team as well as the 2013 Associated Press FCS All-America squad. Also announced Wednesday, Backus was named to the 2013 Walter Camp FCS All-American team - a squad of just 25 players (11 offense, 11 defense and three specialist) which has been selecting a team since 1889.
In addition to being on the Walter Camp All-American team, Backus was selected second team by both The Sports Network and AP. Likewise, Taliaferro was a second team pick by both The Sports Network and AP, while Cheatwood was chosen third team by both The Sports Network and AP.
Backus, who was a third team selection by The Sports Network last season, becomes the fourth Chanticleer to be an All-American in multiple seasons along with NFL veterans Josh Norman (2009 and `11), Jerome Simpson (2006 and '07) and Quinton Teal (2005 and '06). Taliaferro and Cheatwood become the 17th and 18th All-Americans in CCU's 11-year history of the program.
Quinn Backus (Greenwood, S.C.) is the two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year (2012 and '13) - leading the league in tackles both times - and broke 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.
He added four interceptions - 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 TFLs, 4 INTs and 5 PBU. 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.).
Backus was a three-time Big South Player of the Week, earning the honor eight times over the last two seasons, while being recognized as a National Player of the Week on three occasions as well. Despite being just a junior, Backus ranks 11th with 172 career solo tackles - being the only junior among the top 25 - on the FCS active leaders list, while ranking 12th with 314 total tackles - being one of two juniors among the top 30 - on the FCS active leaders list.
Lorenzo Taliaferro (Yorktown, Va.) was named the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, setting numerous Coastal Carolina and Big South records this season. Namely, he was the Big South Offensive Player of the Week a record five times, while ranking among the NCAA FCS top 3 in rushing yards and scoring. In the FCS and Big South statistics, he ranks:
2nd - 1st in scoring (11.6 ppg)
3rd - 1st in rushing TDs (27)
3rd - 1st in rushing yards (1,729)
12th - 1st in rushing yards per game (115.3)
22nd - 2nd in pts responsible for (174) - 1 of only 3 non-QBs among top 35
36th - 1st in all-purpose (125.47 ypg) - with ZERO return yds and just 153 receiving yds
To his credit, Taliaferro accomplished these feats despite facing some of the best rushing defensive teams in the nation as he gained:
157 yards versus now #3 South Carolina State (season average of 90.9 ypg)
85 yards (PLAYING JUST 3 QUARTERS) versus now #8 Bethune-Cookman (season average of 106.3 ypg)
144 yards versus now #17 Gardner-Webb (season average of 122.5 ypg)
174 yards versus now #20 Eastern Kentucky (season average of 123.3 ypg)
151 yards versus now #31 Liberty (season average of 135.3 ypg)
104 yards versus now #40 Montana (season avg of 143.3 ypg)
Taliaferro owns eight of Coastal's top 20 single-game rushing performances. All told, he set 12 CCU season records and five Big South season records, including:
TALIAFERRO Stat CCU Rank CCU Record BSC Rank BSC Record Rushing Yards 1,729 1st old: 1,107 2nd 1,964 (Miguel Maysonet `12) Rushing Attempts 276 1st old: 179 2nd 267 (Maysonet `12) Rushing TDs 27 1st old: 14 1st old: 21 (Maysonet `12) Yards Per Game 115.3 1st old: 100.6 8th 151.1 (Maysonet `12) All-Purpose Yards 1,882 1st old: 1635 5th 2,441 (Maysonet `12) 100 yard Rush Gms 9 1st old: 6 2nd 10 (Jennings `08) Multi-Rushing TDs 8 1st old: 5 1st-t 8 (Maysonet `12) 3+ Rushing TDs 5 1st old: 2 1st old: 3 4+ Rushing TDs 1 1st-t w/A. Perkins 2nd 2 (Maysonet `11) Most Points Scored 174 1st old: 86 1st old: 138 (Maysonet `12) Most Total TDs Scored 29 1st old: 16 1st old: 23 (Maysonet `12) Multi TD Games 9 1st old: 5 1st-t 9 (Maysonet `12)
Even though Taliaferro played just two seasons at Coastal and was a feature back for just one season, he stills ranks third on the CCU career rushing list (2,086 yards) and third in touchdowns scored (34).
Jamey Cheatwood (Boiling Springs, S.C.) was a three-time All-Big South selection in his career, missing out on a fourth opportunity as he missed the final six games of last season, and played in 44 games with 43 starts. Cheatwood did not allow a sack in 2013, graded out (89 percent or better) in 12 of 15 games, had 71 knock down blocks and played a key role in Coastal Carolina's offensive success. The stat the unit took the most pride in was leading the nation in fewest tackles for losses allowed (3.33 avg.).
Cheatwood was part of a unit that helped CCU set 25 school records for offense and 17 Big South marks. For ists record setting season, Coastal's offense consistently was among the NCAA FCS leaders and below is where the unit currently ranks in the FCS and Big South:
1st - 1st in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.33 per game)
2nd - 1st in third down conversions (.513, 99-of-193)
2nd - 1st in fourth down conversions (.800, 8-of-10)
3rd - 1st in red zone offense (.901 -- 73-of-81)
3rd - 1st in first downs (357 total)
5th - 1st in scoring offense (41.0 ppg)
7th - 2nd in fewest fumbles lost (5 total)
8th - 1st in rushing (252.1 ypg)
8th - 1st in passing efficiency (155.14 rating)
11th - 1st in total offense (477.5 ypg)
18th - 1st in passing yards per completion (13.36)
22nd - 2nd in completion percentage (.637, 253-397)
25th - 4th in fewest sacks allowed (1.33, 20 total)
Earlier this month, Backus was named first team All-American by CollegeSportsMadness.com and beyondthesidelines.com while both publications tabbed Taliaferro second team. Cheatwood added second team honors on beyondthesidelines.com, while Alex Ross (third team), Matt Hazel (third team), Alex Catron (third team) and Chad Hamilton (honorable mention) were recognized on the beyondthesidelines.com All-American team.
Coastal Carolina was 12-3 (with losses at then #16 Charleston Southern, then #11 FBS South Carolina and current #1 North Dakota State) and reached a program-best quarterfinal appearance to the NCAA Division I Championship.