Coastal’s Backus captures Big South top athlete honor

ccufoot-backuscelebrateCoastal Carolina football player Quinn Backus (Greenwood, S.C.) and Longwood softball player Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) have been voted the Big South Conference Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year for the 2014-15 season by the league’s Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators and Sports Information Directors, it was announced today by the Conference office.

Backus earned 79 points and 12 first-place votes in capturing the Howard Bagwell Male Student-Athlete of the Year award, becoming the third consecutive football player to receive the honor.  Backus finished ahead of teammate Alex Ross and Charleston Southern men’s basketball All-American Saah Nimley, each of whom received 63 points in the voting.  Campbell track & field All-American Lawrence Kipkoech was fourth in the voting with 44 points, followed by Winthrop All-American golfer Zach Seabolt (38 points).

Backus was fourth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS, was a consensus All-American and the Big South’s Defensive Player of the Year — the league’s first-ever three-time winner.  Backus was also named the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Top Collegiate Linebacker as well as being named to its 11-man, 2014 FCS ADA All-American team.  He helped the Chanticleers to a 12-2 record, No. 1 national ranking for two weeks in November and a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship, equaling the best football playoff finish by any Big South member.

Backus led the Big South with 127 tackles in 2014, becoming the first player to lead the league in tackles three times.  He ranked fourth in 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 caused turnovers 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).  He finished his career as the Big South’s all-time leader with 243 solo tackles and nine forced fumbles, and second with 441 stops.  The Medal of Honor Bowl American Team MVP, Backus was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in May.

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