Northern Iowa trio leads way; defending champ North Dakota State tied for second-most selections
With much of FCS college football set to embark on a most unusual spring season, we're calling an audible with the Athlon Preseason All-America Team, revising it due to the many changes since it was first released last spring.
Incredibly, 12 original FCS All-Americans have transferred to FBS programs, ended their college careers to train for the NFL, or had their programs decide against playing in their conference's spring schedule.
About three-quarters of the 127 FCS teams plan to be in action this spring. The revised All-America team features 28 players from 20 schools and nine conferences. Missouri Valley Football Conference power Northern Iowa had a team-high three selections, while three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State, James Madison, Nicholls, Sam Houston, Villanova, and Weber State garnered two each.
Athlon Sports' 2021 Spring Preseason FCS All-America Team
QB Daniel Smith (6-0, 205, Sr.) Villanova
RB Josh Davis (5-9, 195, Jr.) Weber State
RB* Pierre Strong Jr. (5-11, 210, Jr.) South Dakota State
WR Dai'Jean Dixon (6-4, 200, Sr.) Nicholls
WR Christian Watson (6-4, 200, Jr.) North Dakota State
WR Isaiah Weston (6-4, 210, Jr.) Northern Iowa
TE Trae Barry (6-7, 245, Sr.) Jacksonville State
OL P.J. Burkhalter (6-3, 330, Sr.) Nicholls
OL Liam Fornadel (6-4, 308, Sr.) James Madison
OL Drew Himmelman (6-10, 315, Sr.) Illinois State
OL Cordell Volson (6-7, 310, Sr.) North Dakota State
OL Ty Whitworth (6-4, 300, Sr.) Weber State
DL Jared Brinkman (6-2, 290, Sr.) Northern Iowa
DL Mike Greene (6-3, 285, Sr.) James Madison
DL Malik Hamm (6-3, 260, Jr.) Lafayette
DL Trace Mascorro (6-1, 270, Sr.) Sam Houston
LB Bryson Armstrong (5-11, 212, Sr.) Kennesaw State
LB Willie Eubanks III (6-2, 215, Sr.) The Citadel
LB Forrest Rhyne (6-1, 225, Sr.) Villanova
DB Omar Brown (6-1, 200, So.) Northern Iowa
DB Evan Horn (6-0, 206, Sr.) New Hampshire
DB Kordell Jackson (5-9, 185, Sr.) Austin Peay
DB Ferlando Jordan (6-0, 180, Jr.) Southeastern Louisiana
PK Luis Aguilar (6-3, 200, Sr.) Northern Arizona
P Matt McRobert (6-2, 195, Sr.) Sam Houston
KR Aaron Dykes (5-11, 195, So.) Richmond
PR Montrell Washington (5-10, 170, Sr.) Samford
AP Javon Williams Jr. (6-2, 245, So.) Southern Illinois
*Note: North Carolina A&T's Jah-Maine Martin was the original selection when the revised All-America Team was released prior to the Aggies opting out of playing this spring.
— Compiled by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.
(Omar Brown photo courtesy of UNI Athletics)