Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina landed two players on the Associated Press (AP) NCAA FCS All-America team unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. Redshirt junior punter Ian Berryman collected second team honors while senior tailback Detrez Newsome was a third team selection as the AP unveiled three squads chosen by a panel of 10 media members who cover NCAA FCS Football.
It is the first-time since 1998 that Western Carolina put two-or-more players on the Associated Press FCS All-America team as both Ken Hinsley (P) and Eric Johnson (DB) representing the most recent duo. This year is also just the eighth-time in program history that WCU earned multiple selections from the AP. Newsome is WCU's first repeat AP All-America selection since Kerry Hayes in 1992 and 1993 -- and he is just the sixth Catamount to earn multiple selections all-time, fifth in the NCAA Division I era.
Both Berryman and Newsome collected first team All-Southern Conference selections from both the head coaches and media on the respective post-season teams released back in late November.
Berryman finished 2017 ranked second in the SoCon with a 44.45 yards per punt average on 58 total punts, the third-best, single-season average in WCU history. His average ranked him fifth nationally, finishing inside the national top five for a second-straight season. Berryman boomed 17 kicks of over 50 yards including a season-long of 62 yards twice -- in the home win against ETSU and amidst adverse weather conditions at home against Furman. Berryman managed to down a career-best 26 punts inside an opponents' 20-yard line with just six touchbacks.
Last fall in the season-opener at Hawai'i, the third-year punter collected his first career points in nailing a 30-yard field goal and connecting on a point-after touchdown as he finished with four points on the year. He also kicked off 25 times with an average boot of 54.7 yards per kick.
The Marietta, Ga., native enters his senior season eighth in school history with 168 career punts including 50 of 50-plus yards over his first three seasons, while his career average of 44.33 yards per punt is the highest in program history.
Newsome became the first Catamount running back in program history to produce three, 1,000-yard rushing seasons, finishing 2017 with 1,100 yards on the ground in just nine games -- missing three due to injury. His 1,100 total seasonal rushing yards -- the fourth-best single-season in program history -- also ranked 10th nationally at the end of the regular season despite appearing in fewer games than those ahead of him. The Raeford, N.C., product led the Southern Conference with a rushing average of 122.2 yards per game, scoring nine touchdowns on the ground
After appearing on the season's initial Walter Payton Award Watch List -- an honor bestowed upon the top offensive player at the FCS level -- Newsome finished 24th in the post-season vote for the prestigious award.
Newsome finished his WCU career ranked second in school history with 3,728 career rushing yards. He finished second in program history with 16 career, 100-yard rushing games -- five of which came this year including a school-record 288 yards in the home-opening win against Davidson, the sixth-best single-game in SoCon history. He concluded his career with 107 against NCAA FBS-foe, North Carolina. He also finished his career for the Purple & Gold as Western Carolina's record holder for career rushing touchdowns (37) and total touchdowns scored (46).
In addition to his prowess as a running back, Newsome again proved his lethality as an all-purpose back, leading the SoCon and the NCAA FCS for a second-straight season with an average of 170.67 all-purpose yards per game. All told, Newsome surpassed 100 all-purpose yards in 22 of final 23 career games. His WCU-record of 6,969 career all-purpose yards ranks second in SoCon history.
Defending national champion and top-ranked James Madison placed three players on the AP FCS All-America first team, more than any other school.
Including WCU's two selections, the Southern Conference had six players honored including two from Samford and one apiece from both Wofford and Furman. Berryman was flanked on the second team by Furman OL Matthew Schmidt and Samford DL Ahmad Gooden from the league, while Newsome was joined on the third team by Wofford OL Ross Demmel and Samford P Austin Barnard.
Click here for the complete 2017 AP FCS All-America Teams.
Western Carolina's Associated Press All-America Selections:
1949 -- Art Byrd, OL
1971 -- Steve Williams, DT
1972 -- Steve Yates, LB (2nd)
1974 -- Jerry Gaines, WR; Steve Yates, LB (1st)
1976 -- Darrell Lipford, RB
1983 -- Tiger Greene, DB (2nd); Eric Rasheed, WR (2nd)
1984 -- Louis Cooper, DE (1st); Tiger Greene, DB (1st); Steve Kornegay, P (1st); Kirk Roach, PK (1st); Mark Buffamoyer, DL (2nd)
1985 -- Alonzo Carmichael, TE (1st); Clyde Simmons, DE (1st)
1986 -- Kirk Roach, PK (1st); Alonzo Carmichael, TE (2nd)
1987 -- Kirk Roach, PK (1st)
1992 -- Todd Harkins, OL (3rd); Kerry Hayes, KR (3rd)
1993 -- Kerry Hayes, KR (1st)
1998 -- Eric Johnson, DB (1st); Ken Hinsley, P (3rd)
1999 -- Josh Jones, PK (3rd)
2007 -- Eddie Cohen, WR (2nd)
2016 -- Detrez Newsome, AP (1st)
2017 -- Ian Berryman, P (2nd); Detrez Newsome, RB (3rd)