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Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina football put two players on the HERO Sports 2018 FCS All-America team announced on Wednesday, concluding three days of honors doled out by the online publication. Senior DB Marvin Tillman collected second-team defense honors while redshirt junior QB Tyrie Adams was placed on the third-team as an all-purpose back.

Over the first two years of his career, Adams was dubbed a sophomore All-America and was selected to the FCS Freshman All-America by HERO Sports, earning accolades from HERO Sports for a third-straight season. On Tuesday, Adams was honored with a second-team nod on the STATS FCS All-America squad. The honor is the first for Tillman this postseason, though he was a second-team All-America honoree from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) following the 2017 season.

It's the second-straight season that WCU has landed two players on the HERO Sports All-America tabulations. Last fall, tailback Detrez Newsome was a first-team honoree while Ian Berryman collected third-team honors.

2018 HERO Sports FCS All-America Teams

Tillman closed his senior season by finishing second on the Catamount squad in total tackles with 94 and was third in tackles per game at 8.5 – an average that ranked him tied for fifth in the SoCon. The Durham, N.C., product was a first-team All-Southern Conference selection by the voting media while collecting second-team plaudits from the league’s head coaches. He also graced the Buck Buchanan Watch List, an award given to the nation’s top defender at the FCS level, though he did not advance to the final 25 for the national vote.

Tillman finished his collegiate career with 297 tackles including 169 solo stops and 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 coming in his senior season. All told, Tillman successfully defended 18 passes and tallied eight interceptions – five as a junior and a pair in 2018 – with two fumbles forced and two recovered.

Adams tallied his second All-America postseason honor on Wednesday, coupled with the recognition from STATS FCS. A second-team All-Southern Conference selection at quarterback by both the league’s head coaches and voting media, Adams finished with 2,417 yards passing and 1,006 yards rushing to become just the 10th quarterback in NCAA FCS history to record 2,000 yards passing / 1,000 yards rushing in the same season. All told, he averaged 219.7 passing yards per game to rank fourth in the SoCon and led the league with a 91.5 yard per game rushing average. Adams spread the ball around as five Catamounts had 250-or-more receiving yards with two – Jordan Mathis and Nate Mullen – both finishing with 600+ yards.

Adams accounted for 26 total touchdowns in 2018, rushing for a career-high 10 – third-most in the SoCon – while throwing 16 TD passes. The St. Petersburg, Fla., native finished the season ranked second in the SoCon in total offense with a 311.2 yard per game average, a mark that was eighth nationally. Along the way, Adams set a career-high with 545 yards of total offense at Mercer, the third-most offensive production in a single-game in SoCon history.

Second in the WCU record books for both total offense and career passing yards, Adams enters his final year with 9,389 yards of total offense - already sixth in conference history. He is just eight yards shy of the school benchmark for total offense and is just 75 yards shy of the passing record. Adams has posted 20 career games with 250-or-more yards of total offense, fifth in the SoCon record books. He also ranks ninth in SoCon history with a WCU school-record 53 career touchdown passes.

A total of 10 players from the Southern Conference were honored on the HERO Sports All-America team including five, first-team selections, one on the second-team, and four collectively on the third-team. Samford and ETSU both had three honorees apiece with a trio of Bulldogs all earning first-team plaudits while the Buccaneers saw one first-team and two, third-team selections. WCU was second with the pair of Catamounts between the second and third teams, while Chattanooga and Furman both had one selection between the first and third team, respectively.

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