Friday, January 27, 2023

13 W&M Football Standouts Earn 15 All-CAA Honors

(Tribe Athletics)

RICHMOND — After leading the William & Mary football team to the most regular season wins in school history, a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title and a No. 5 seed in the upcoming NCAA Playoffs, 13 Tribe standouts combined to earn 15 all-conference honors based on voting by the league’s 13 head coaches.

W&M’s impressive group of honorees featured a school-record tying seven first-team all-league selections and was highlighted by linebacker John Pius, who was chosen as the defensive player of the year, and cornerback Jalen Jones, who was named the defensive rookie of the year.

Pius was joined on the All-CAA First Team by running back Bronson Yoder, left tackle Charles Grant, right tackle Colby Sorsdal, defensive end Nate Lynn, cornerback Ryan Poole and specialist Caylin Newton.

Accompanying Jones on the second team were running back Donavyn Lester, tight end Lachlan Pitts, defensive end Carl Fowler, linebacker Isaiah Jones and kicker Ethan Chang.

W&M’s 13 all-conference selections and 15 total honors both rank as the second-highest totals in school history, eclipsed only by the 2015 Tribe squad (16 players/20 honors).

Defensive Player of the Year / All-CAA First Team 

John Pius, LB – Buck Buchanan Award finalist for national defensive player of the year … Ranks third nationally and first in the CAA in sacks (11.5) … Needs just a half sack to equal the single-season school record … Ranks fifth nationally and first in the CAA in TFL (19) … Leads the team in tackles (69) and quarterback hurries (12) … Two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Defensive Rookie of the Year / All-CAA First Team 

Jalen Jones, CB – Finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top freshman … Ranks first in the CAA and 13th nationally in interceptions (4) … Ranks third in the CAA in passes defended per game (1.1) and in interception return yards (61) … Honored as the national and conference defensive player of the week after recording three interceptions, including a pick-six, in the win against Campbell.

All-CAA First Team 

Bronson Yoder, RB – Ranks third in the CAA and 16th nationally in rushing yards per game (106.1) … Ranks second in the conference and 14th nationally in yards per carry (6.6) … Ranks fourth in the CAA in all-purpose yards per game (127.7), fifth in rushing touchdowns (10) and 10th in scoring (6.0) … Leads the team with 1,061 rushing yards … Rushed for more than 100 yards in six games this season … Honored as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 114 yards with a touchdown in the win against No. 6 Delaware.

Colby Sorsdal, OL – Leads the team with 44 career starts … Started all 11 games at right tackle this season … Helped W&M rank first nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.64) and third in rushing yards per game (274.0) … W&M also ranks sixth nationally and first in the CAA in passing efficiency (169.2) … The Tribe ranks second in the CAA in scoring (34.0) and total offense (457.3).

Charles Grant, OL – Started all 11 games at left tackle … Helped W&M rank first nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.64) and third in rushing yards per game (274.0) … W&M also ranks sixth nationally and first in the CAA in passing efficiency (169.2) … The Tribe ranks second in the CAA in scoring (34.0) and total offense (457.3).

Nate Lynn, DL – Buck Buchanan Award Watch List selection for national defensive player of the year … Ranks second in the CAA in eighth nationally in forced fumbles (3) … Ranks sixth in the CAA in sacks (6) and 11th in TFL (10.0) … Also totaled 51 tackles and ranked second on the team in quarterback hurries (10).

Ryan Poole, CB – Ranks ninth in the CAA in passes defended per game (0.88) … Totaled 30 tackles, seven PBU, a TFL, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery … Recorded four PBU in the final three contests, including two in the win at No. 11 Richmond.

Caylin Newton, SPEC – Ranks fifth in the CAA and 22nd nationally in punt return average (7.6) … Totaled 10 tackles and a forced fumble on punt coverage … Leads the team in receptions (31) and ranks second in receiving yards (487) and receiving touchdowns (3) … Averaging 15.7 yards per catch.

All-CAA Second Team 

Donavyn Lester, RB – Rushed for 446 yards with seven touchdowns in eight games … Averaging 55.7 yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry … Five of his touchdowns came in conference play.

Lachlan Pitts, TE – Ranks sixth nationally in yards per catch (20.6) … Leads the team in receiving yards (516), receiving yards per game (46.9) and receiving touchdowns (5) … Ranks second on the team in receptions (25) … Four of his touchdowns came in conference play, while his other score came in the victory at Charlotte.

Carl Fowler, DL – Three-year team captain who started all 11 games and totaled 27 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, five PBU and four quarterback hurries … Posted one of his best efforts in the win against No. 11 Richmond and recorded a sack and three PBU.

Isaiah Jones, LB – Ranks second on the team in tackles (57) … Also totaled 3.5 TFL, a sack, a forced fumble and a PBU … Posted impressive performances in W&M’s wins against nationally ranked opponents, totaling eight tackles a TFL and a forced fumble in the victory against No. 6 Delaware and six tackles and a TFL in the win at No. 11 Richmond.

Ethan Chang, PK – Leads the CAA and ranks ninth nationally in made field goals per game (1.45) … Ranks third in the CAA and 13th nationally in scoring (8.9) … His 98 points ranks seventh on W&M’s single-season list, while his 16 made field goals ranks eighth.

Following a bye this week, W&M’s quest for a national championship will continue when it hosts the winner of Gardner-Webb/Eastern Kentucky at Zable Stadium on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

Playoff tickets are now on sale and may be purchased online at TribeAthletics.com. For complete ticket and parking information, please click here.

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