WILLIAMSBURG — After recently being selected as the favorite to repeat as CAA Champions, excitement continues to build around the William & Mary football team’s upcoming campaign with the selection of five standouts to the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America Team presented by FedEx Ground.
Linebacker John Pius earned first-team accolades, while defensive lineman Nate Lynn and running back Bronson Yoder were named to the second team. Yoder garnered distinction as an all-purpose performer.
Cornerback Ryan Poole and long snapper Nick Levy earned third-team recognition.
W&M’s five honorees tied for the third-most selections by any team in the nation.
Pius, who was honored as an All-American by seven organizations last year, will help lead W&M’s talented defense after being voted as the runner up for the 2022 Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year in the FCS. Additionally, he was selected as the 2022 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and the Virginia Defensive Player of the Year by VaSID. En route to garnering the accolades, Pius ranked fourth nationally in sacks (11.5) and fifth in TFL (19).
One of the country’s top defensive ends throughout his career, Lynn earned postseason All-America honors following each of the last two seasons and finished ninth in the final voting for the 2021 Buck Buchanan Award. Few, if any, players have matched Lynn’s productivity during the last two seasons, totaling 20 sacks, 26.5 TFL and 10 forced fumbles.
An All-CAA selection each of the last two seasons, Yoder garnered first-team all-conference accolades last fall after ranking 12th nationally with 1,255 rushing yards, a figure that ranks eighth on W&M’s single-season list. Additionally, he ranked 14th nationally in rushing touchdowns (13), 16th in rushing yards per game (104.6), 19th in yards per carry (6.18) and 25th in all-purpose yards per game (158.6).
A two-time All-CAA selection and a first-team honoree last fall, Ryan Poole returns after ranking third in the conference in passes defended her game (1.1) in 2022. During the last two seasons, he has totaled 32 passes defended, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Levy emerged as one of the nation’s top long snappers as a freshman last season and garnered Freshman All-America honors by Stats Perform and Phil Steele Magazine.
Ranked among the top 10 nationally in multiple preseason polls, W&M is coming off a historic 2022 campaign in which it equaled a school record with 11 victories, advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals and won a share of the CAA title.
Led by 2022 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Finalist Mike London, the Tribe returns a host of talent on both sides of the ball this fall as it looks to defend its CAA title and make a return to the NCAA Playoffs. Tickets are on sale and available at TribeAthletics.com.
The Tribe will open its 2023 slate at Campbell on Thursday, Aug. 31, while its home opener at Zable Stadium against Wofford will be the following weekend (Sept. 9).