Backus, Hamilton named to AP All-American squad

ccufoot-30atfamuCoastal Carolina seniors Quinn Backus (Greenwood) and Chad Hamilton (Charleston) were named to the 2014 Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-America team. Backus was tabbed first team and Hamilton was voted to the second team.

This is the second consecutive year Coastal has landed two players on the AP FCS All-America team as Backus and Jamey Cheatwood (third team) were honored last season. Backus, a second team pick last season, joins current Carolina Panther Josh Norman as Coastal Carolina’s only two-time AP All-America honorees. (Ironically, both Backus and Norman are Greenwood natives. Norman earned third team honors in 2009 and first team honors in 2011).

Backus was the Big South Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive season and he became the first player to lead the league in tackles three times. Backus ranked fourth in the FCS with six forced fumbles, which additionally set league and school records. Of his 127 tackles, 10.0 were for losses including a career-best 5.5 sacks. He added two interceptions, seven pass breakups, six quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. Five of his turnovers created led to Coastal Carolina touchdowns. Backus was the only player in the Big South to rank among the top 10 in tackles (first), forced fumbles (first), sacks (sixth), tackles for losses (seventh) and passes defended (seventh).

Backus has not only been a dominant force in the Big South, but he has left his mark nationally as well. He finished his career with 441 tackles, 14th on the NCAA FCS all-time list, and 243 solo tackles, 10th on the FCS career list. His 441 tackles is second on the Big South all-time list – first in school history – and he is the CCU and league’s all-time leader with 243 solo tackles.

Backus additionally finished fifth in league history and first in school history in assisted tackles (198); 10th in league history and third in CCU history with 30.0 tackles for losses; fourth in school history with 9.5 sacks; sixth in school history with eight interceptions; second in CCU and sixth in league history with 154 interception return yards; fifth in CCU and 11th in league history with 17 PBU; first in CCU and Big South history with nine forced fumbles and second in school history with four fumble recoveries.

Hamilton, named to the 25-man AFCA All-American team earlier this week, is a three-time All-Big South selection, earning first team honors in 2013 and ’14, and was named Capital One Academic All-District this season. Hamilton led the team with 66 knockdown blocks and was CCU’s top-graded offensive lineman (solo or tied) in 10 of CCU’s 14 games. He was only whistled for three penalties and, over CCU’s 433 pass attempts, only allowed two sacks this season.

Hamilton led an offensive line that helped Alex Ross become the 2014 Big South Offensive Player of the Year and finish seventh in the Walter Payton Award voting. Also, he helped De’Angelo Henderson rush for 1,534 yards (10th-best in the FCS), 20 rushing touchdowns (sixth-best in the FCS) and 6.56 yards per carry (seventh-best in the FCS).

As a unit, Coastal Carolina led the Big South in both fewest tackles for losses (4.07 avg.) and fewest sacks (1.14 avg.), while ranking 10th and 16th, respectively. Also, Coastal ranked first nationally in fourth down conversions (80 percent), second in first downs (339), ninth in third down conversions (47.9 percent), 18th in total offense (463.4 ypg) and 20th in rushing offense (215.5 ypg).

Hamilton, a spring 2014 Coastal Carolina graduate, is a three-year starter and played in 52 of Coastal’s 53 games over the past four years, missing one contest due to injury.

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