GREENVILLE, S.C. — Furman placekicker Grayson Atkins and bandit Adrian Hope have been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America second team, it was announced today.
Both players earned consensus All-Southern Conference honors last month in balloting by head coaches and media and played key roles in Furman winning six of its last seven games en route to claiming a share of the 2018 SoCon championship — the program’s 14th league crown.
A three-time SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week pick this fall, Atkins, an Inman, S.C., sophomore, converted 11-of-13 field goals, making his final 11 attempts, including four from 50+ yards. He was named STATS national special teams player of the week after kicking four field goals, including efforts from 27, 50, 51, and 53 yards, versus Samford on Oct. 20. The three makes from 50+ yards were the first by a Division I player in a game since 2006 (Sam Swank of Wake Forest) and marked the first time an FCS player had registered the feat since Jesse Garcia from Louisiana-Monroe vs. McNeese in 1983.
The SoCon’s top multi-purpose specialist, Atkins also served as punter, averaging 42.8 yards per punt, and easily paced the league with 29 touchbacks on 55 kickoffs during the campaign.
Hope, who earlier today finished as the top defender (fourth overall) in balloting for the 2018 STATS Jerry Rice Award, given annually to the top freshman in FCS, recorded 32 tackles, 16.5 tackles for-loss, and an FCS leading15.0 sacks for losses of 65 yards this year. His five forced fumbles also paced the SoCon and ranked fifth nationally.
His sack tally is the most ever recorded by a Paladin freshman, in addition to being the third highest season tally in program history.
The Ocala, Fla., native is the first freshman in Furman football history to garner All-America recognition.
Furman has produced 65 football All-Americans in its history.
Quarterback — Easton Stick, senior, North Dakota State
Running backs — Joe Protheroe, senior, Cal Poly; Ryan Fulse, senior, Wagner
Linemen — Tanner Volson, senior, North Dakota State; Matt Pyke, senior, East Tennessee State; Micah Shaw, senior, North Carolina A&T; B.J. Autry, senior, Jacksonville State; Garrett Bowery, senior, Lamar
Tight end — Donald Parham, senior, Stetson
Wide receivers — Josh Pearson, junior, Jacksonville State; Michael Bandy, junior, San Diego
All-purpose player — Shane Simpson, junior, Towson
Kicker — Roldan Alcobendas, senior, Eastern Washington
Linemen — Isaiah Mack, senior, Chattanooga; Derick Roberson, senior, Sam Houston State; Ahmad Gooden, senior, Samford; Darryl Johnson, junior, North Carolina A&T
Linebackers — Zach Hall, junior, Southeast Missouri State; Dante Olson, junior, Montana; B.J. Blunt, senior, McNeese State
Backs — Isaiah Swann, junior, Dartmouth; Robbie Grimsley, senior, North Dakota State; Jimmy Moreland, senior, James Madison; Will Warner, junior, Drake
Punter — Chris Faddoul, sophomore, Florida A&M
Quarterback — Devlin Hodges, senior, Samford
Running backs — A.J. Hines, junior, Duquesne; Marquis Terry, senior, Southeast Missouri State
Linemen — Iosua Operta, senior, Weber State; Spencer Blackburn, senior, Eastern Washington; Drew Forbes, senior, Southeast Missouri State; C.J. Collins, senior, Kennesaw State; Dan Cooney, senior, San Diego
Tight end — Matthew Gonzalez, junior, Robert Morris
Wide receivers — Kelvin McKnight, senior, Samford; Keelan Doss, senior, UC Davis
All-purpose player — D’Angelo Amos, sophomore, James Madison
Kicker — Grayson Atkins, sophomore, Furman
Linemen — Khalen Saunders, senior, Western Illinois; Greg Menard, senior, North Dakota State; Jay-Tee Tiuli, senior, Eastern Washington; Nick Wheeler, junior, Colgate
Linebackers — Jabril Cox, sophomore, North Dakota State; Sterling Sheffield, senior, Maine; Adrian Hope, freshman, Furman
Backs — James Allen, senior, Charleston Southern; Tyree Robinson, sophomore, East Tennessee State; Nassir Adderly, senior, Delaware; Marlon Bridges, senior, Jacksonville State
Punter — Alex Pechin, senior, Bucknell
Quarterback — Chandler Burks, senior, Kennesaw State
Running backs — James Holland, senior, Colgate; James Robinson, junior, Illinois State.
Linemen — Matt Kaskey, senior, Dartmouth; Justus Basinger, junior, Wofford; C.J. Toogood, senior, Elon; Zack Johnson, junior, North Dakota State; Tiano Pupungatoa, senior, South Dakota State.
Tight end — Owen Cosenke, sophomore, Western Carolina
Wide receivers — Reggie White Jr., senior, Monmouth; Jazz Ferguson, junior, Northwestern State
All-purpose player — Kentel Williams, junior, Austin Peay
Kicker — Aidian O’Neill, junior, Towson
Linemen — Nathan Clayberg, senior, Drake; Maurice Jackson, junior, Richmond; Filipe Satake, senior, Weber State; Solomon Brown, senior, Charleston Southern.
Linebackers — Pete Swenson, senior, Western Illinois; De’Arius Christmas, senior, Grambling State; Cameron Gill, junior, Wagner.
Backs — Abu Daramy-Swaray, junior, Colgate; Dominic Frasch, senior, Cal Poly; Davon Jernigan, senior, Lamar; Jordan Brown, senior, South Dakota State
Punter — Garret Wegner, sophomore, North Dakota State