Cullowhee, N.C. - Two Western Carolina football players continue to receive postseason accolades this week, coming in the form of selection to two additional All-America teams. Senior running back Detrez Newsome and redshirt junior punter Ian Berryman were both tagged on the NCAA FCS All-America teams by both Phil Steele and College Sports Madness, the publications announced.
Both Newsome and Berryman were second team All-America selections from Phil Steele, who is highly regarded for their football preseason publication. Newsome was tabbed twice – at second team offense at running back and second team specialist as an all-purpose back after again leading the NCAA FCS in all-purpose yards per game (170.67). Berryman joined Newsome on the second team specialist unit as the punter.
In addition, the two Catamounts were both selected to the second team at their respective positions by College Sports Madness on the website’s “Madness 2017 FCS Football All-American Teams.” (collegesportsmadness.com)
Newsome, who finished his career ranked second in the WCU offensive record books, capped his career with a third, 1,000-yard rushing season in 2017 – the first Catamount running back to have ever accomplished the feat. The Raeford, N.C., product ran for 1,100 yards in 2017 – including a WCU single-game record 288 yards in the win over Davidson – to close his career with 3,728 rushing yards and matched a school-record with 37 rushing touchdowns. His 46 career TDs that included seven touchdown receptions and two scores on kickoff returns is a WCU individual record. Newsome led the SoCon in rushing average at 122.2 yards per game.
All-America plaudits are nothing new for Newsome as he collected similar honors from three groups a season ago as a junior including first team honors from the Associated Press (AP) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), with a second team nod from STATS FCS. Newsome was selected All-Southern Conference in each of his four seasons – earning recognition as a running back three times and twice selected as a return specialist.
Honored by multiple publications in the preseason, Berryman collected his first official postseason All-America tag this year in earning second team AP honors despite earning Sophomore All-America plaudits a season ago from HERO Sports. The first team All-SoCon punter added to his ledger with two more second team nods from both Phil Steel and College Sports Madness.
A native of Marietta, Ga., Berryman finished 2017 ranked second in the Southern Conference with a 44.45 yards per punt average coming on 58 total punts – the third-best, single-season average in WCU history. His average gave him a top five finishing spot nationally for a second-consecutive season. Lethal with his field-flipping punts, Berryman was also very precise in 2017, downing a career-best 26 punts inside the opposition’s 20-yard line with just six touchbacks on the year.
A three-year starter on special teams, Berryman enters his senior season eighth in school history with 168 career punts including 50 of 50-plus yards over his first three seasons. His career average of 44.33 yards per punt is the best in program history.