Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina senior tailback Detrez Newsome collected another postseason honor on Tuesday as he was dubbed first team All-America by STATS FCS. Newsome, who led the Southern Conference in rushing average and paced both the league and nation in all-purpose yards per game, was selected as an all-purpose back.
Newsome was a second team All-America selection at the same position by the same publication a season ago. The ninth different player to be recognized by STATS FCS – and its predecessor, The Sports Network – Newsome is just the second Catamount to earn multiple selections, joining former WCU defensive back and Hall of Famer, Eric Johnson (1997, 1998).
The STATS FCS selection marks the fourth different publication to recognize Newsome following the 2017 season. The Raeford, N.C., native was a third team selection at running back by the Associated Press (AP), while also collecting second team plaudits from College Sports Madness (collegesportsmadness.com) and twice honored by Phil Steele on the second team as a running back and a specialist as an all-purpose back.
Newsome led both 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 his final 23 career games. His WCU-record of 6,969 career all-purpose yards ranks second in SoCon history.
On offense, 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. He led the Southern Conference with a rushing average of 122.2 yards per game, scoring nine touchdowns on the ground.
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).
All told, Newsome was one of just seven players from the Southern Conference to earn All-America accolades – and the only player from the league selected to the first team. Wofford RB Andre Stoddard, Furman OL Matthew Schmidt, and Samford DL Ahmad Gooden were second team selections, while Samford had two players – WR Kelvin McKnight and LB Shaheed Salmon – as well as Wofford DL Miles Brown selected to the third team.
The STATS FCS All-America team featured players from 54 schools and all 13 conferences. It also included 18 players who were named offensive or defensive player of the year in their respective conference.
STATS FCS All-America Selections (previously The Sports Network):
1988 – Geno Segers, DL (1st team)
1992 – Todd Harkins, OL (2nd team)
1993 – Kerry Hayes, WR (1st team)
1997 – Eric Johnson, DB (3rd team)
1998 – Eric Johnson, DB (1st team)
1998 – Ken Hinsley, P (3rd team)
2007 – Eddie Cohen, WR (2nd team)
2009 – Adrian McLeod, LB (2nd team)
2014 – Christon Gill, LB (3rd team)
2016 – Detrez Newsome, AP (2nd team)
2017 – Detrez Newsome, AP (1st team)