Tyler Junius, A.J. Newman, and Daniel Riddle honored
14 Catamounts additionally named All-SoCon by same publication
WCU has four players collect unanimous first team recognition
Newman's second career selection gives WCU honoree for fourth-straight year
2017 (Senior): Started all 12 of the team’s games at linebacker … Led the Catamount defense with a single-season career-high 101 total tackles, averaging 8.4 stops per game to rank tied for sixth in the Southern Conference … Tallied four, double-digit tackle games including 10 stops against Davidson (Sept. 9), 11 at Wofford (Oct. 7), 12 in a road win at VMI (Oct. 21), and a season-best 13 in the road victory over The Citadel (Nov. 4) … Finished with six tackles for loss including two sacks … Forced a fumble and also recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the road victory over Chattanooga (Sept. 30) … For a second-consecutive season, named CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 … Named second team All-Southern Conference by the league’s voting media … Selected to the 2017 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference team … Named to the National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society ... Selected to the preseason third-team All-Southern Conference by College Sports Madness.
2016 (Junior): Saw action in all 11 of the team's games making nine starts at linebacker ... Ranked fifth on the team with 66 total tackles including 30 solo stops with 1.5 tackles for loss ... Ranked tied for 26th in the SoCon with a 6.0 tackle per game average ... Had four-or-more tackles in nine of the 11 games ... Twice posted a season-high nine tackles in both the home wins over Gardner-Webb (Sept. 10) and VMI (Nov. 5) ... Recorded a quarterback sack at ETSU (Sept. 17) ... Forced a pair of fumbles against both Gardner-Webb and at ETSU (Sept. 17) at the Bristol Motor Speedway ... Tallied three quarterback hurries ... Received the 2017 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Recognition from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) ... Named CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 ... Selected to the 2016 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference team and Named to the 2016-17 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll. ... Credited with three tackles including a sack in WCU's annual Spring Game.
2015 (Sophmore): Started all 11 games in which he saw action in the defensive secondary ... Finished tied for fourth on the team with 68 tackles including 32 solo stops ... Ranked tied for 22nd in the SoCon with a 6.2 tackle per game average ... Charted four-or-more tackles in every outing with six-or-more in six of the 11 games ... Recorded nine stops at home against Mercer (Oct. 10) and tallied a career-high with 11 tackles in the road win at VMI (Nov. 21) ... Named 2015 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference.
2014 (Freshman): Played in 10 of the team's 11 games with a pair of starts ... Saw time in the defensive secondary, as well as on special teams ... Made his collegiate debut in the home-opener against Brevard (Sept. 6), recording his first career tackle and ultimately compiling a career-best five tackles including two solo stops ... Finished with 20 tackles on the year including eight solo stops ... Named to the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll. ... Made his first career start and recorded his first career tackle for loss at home against Catawba (Sept. 13) ... Playing for the Purple squad, credited with six tackles and a pass break-up in WCU's annual Spring Game.
Prior to Western Carolina: Was named All-State and All-Region in his final year ... Finished with 93 career tackles including 53 hits as a senior ... Tallied five career interceptions, four in his senior campaign ... On offense, caught 13 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown ... Also ran track as a prep ... High school coach was Jermaine Smith.
Personal: Full name is Alphaeus Newman, Jr., but goes by "A.J." .... Is the son of Alphaeus Sr., and Tamiska Newman ... Has an elder sibling, Jazmin ... Was a high school teammate of current Catamount, Tyson Dickson.