JSU's Hough, Jenkins and Pope Named AP All-Americans
Three Jacksonville State players were recognized on the Associated Press FCS All-America Team on Wednesday, led by first team selection Jermaine Hough. Hough is joined by second team quarterback Eli Jenkins and third team running back Troymaine Pope on the teams. All three players were on the STATS FCS All-America Team that was releasedTuesday. Hough, a 5-foot-10 senior from Lovejoy, Ga., grabs his first First Team All-America mention after leading the secondary of a Gamecock defense that has ranked among the best in FCS this season. Hough is an All-American for the second-straight season, joining Max Holcombe as JSU's only back-to-back All-Americans since joining the OVC in 2003. A senior from Lovejoy, Ga., Hough forced opposing offenses to the other side of the field several times in 2015. He bounced back from a knee injury that shortened his 2014 campaign to earn First Team All-OVC honors this season. Also an Academic All-District selection, Hough recorded 30 tackles for the Gamecocks in 2015, including two stops for a loss and one sack. He intercepted one pass to run his career total to nine. He has broken up 25 passes in his JSU career, while also forcing a fumble. Jenkins, the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American by STATS earlier in the week, has had a record-breaking season leading a record-breaking offense. With 2,484 passing yards and 1,030 rushing, the Birmingham native is the only FCS quarterback with 2,400 passing and 1,000 rushing yards this season. He and Houston signal caller Greg Ward are the only two quarterbacks in all of Division I to reach those marks. Jenkins has run for 13 touchdowns and thrown for 19 and has climbed several career lists for JSU this season. Just a junior, his school-record 3,514 yards of total offense is 560 more than any other player in school history, while his 7,922 career yards of total offense also broke the school record last week in a win over Charleston Southern. He has run for 195 yards in each of JSU's two playoff wins over Chattanooga and Charleston Southern and is 26-0 in his career as a starter against FCS foes in the regular season. Pope, a senior from Anniston, Ala., also made his first appearance on an All-American squad as a third team selection by STATS after a record-breaking season as the Gamecocks premier back. In his first season as the starter after backing up All-American DaMarcus James for three years, Pope has been one of the most electric runners in the country, leading the nation with an average of 8.4 yards per carry to earn First Team All-OVC honors. He has erupted in the Playoffs for JSU, running for a combined 484 yards in two games. He had 234 in the second round win over Chattanooga before running for 250 in the quarterfinals against Charleston Southern, a team that hadn't allowed a team to run for 200 yards all season. Pope has run for a school-record 1,576 yards, 99 more than James' previous record set in 2013, on just 188 carries. He also has 17 rushing touchdowns, third-most in a season in school history. His 3,164 career rushing yards are third-most in school history, while his 32 career rushing touchdowns are fourth all-time. The No. 1 Gamecocks (12-1) are gearing up for their FCS Semifinal matchup with Sam Houston State on Saturday at Burgess-Snow Field. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPNU.
Courtesy: JSU Sports Information (www.jsugamecocksports.com)