Backus, Taliaferro make another All-American list

ccufoot-backusrunCoastal Carolina senior running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and junior linebacker Quinn Backus added another honor to their impressive resumes as College Sporting News placed the two on its annual “Fabulous Fifty” All-American team.

Chanticleer senior offensive lineman Jamey Cheatwood earned honorable mention.

The CSN All-American team selects one, 50-man team as opposed to a first, second and/or third team. Taliaferro was one of four running backs to make the squad while Backus was one of six linebackers.

Taliaferro, previously named second team All-American by The Sports Network and Associated Press, was the 2013 Big South Offensive Player of the Year as he set 12 school and seven Big South single-season records. Most notably, Taliaferro set season records at CCU and the Big South in rushing touchdowns (27), games with at least two rushing TDs (8), points scored (174) and most total TDs scored (29). He additionally shattered the school marks for rushing yards (1,729) – breaking the previous record with four regular-season games left to be played – and all-purpose yards (1,882). In the NCAA FCS final statistics, he ranked second in scoring (11.6 points per game), third in rushing TDS (27), third in rushing yards (1,729) and 12th in rushing yards per game (115.3 avg.).

Backus, previously named to three other All-American teams, is a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year and led the Big South in tackles in 2012 and 2013. This past season he 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.  Backus 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.). Despite being just a junior, Backus ranks 11th among active FCS players with 172 career solo tackles – being the only junior among the top 25, while ranking 12th with 314 total tackles – being one of two juniors among the top 30 on the FCS active leaders list.

Cheatwood, a third team All-American by The Sports Network and Associated Press, was a three-time All-Big South selection in his career, missing out on a fourth opportunity as he was injured the final six games of his junior 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 setting 25 school records for offense and 17 Big South marks.

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