Three members of the 2018 Jacksonville State football team were named to the Associated Press FCS All-America on Tuesday.
Junior wide receiver Josh Pearson and senior lineman BJ Autry was named to the offense's first team, and junior safety Marlon Bridges was named to the back's second team.
Pearson led all Division I players with 17 touchdown receptions during the regular season. The Decatur, Ala., native caught six more touchdown passes in a season than any other player in school history, while his 67 catches and 1,123 yards were each second-most in a season in JSU history. The First Team AP All-America honor comes following the junior's naming as an All-Ohio Valley Conference performer and after he was named one of 25 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the Offensive Player of the Year in FCS.
Autry's naming to the AP's first team brings him his second career All-America nod, paring his with 2018 STATS First Team Preseason All-America honor. Autry, a senior from Eight Mile, Ala., is a two-time All-OVC performer, named to the first team following the regular season. The offensive lineman paved the way for a JSU offense that rushed for more than 2,600 yards during the season. Three Gamecock running backs each rushed for more than 400 yards, including Jaelen Green who netted a team-high 723 yards on the ground. He also provided a pocket for All-OVC quarterback Zerrick Cooper who threw for nearly 3,500 yards with 32 touchdown passes and six rushing touchdowns.
Bridges adds to his trophy case with his second AP All-America award, named to the second team in 2017, and fifth All-America nod of the season, following being named a preseason All-American by STATS, HERO Sports, Athlon and Lindy's. The safety was named a first team All-OVC defender for a third consecutive year following the 2018 campaign. Despite fighting through an early season injury that held him off the field in parts of games at the beginning of the Gamecocks' slate, the junior from Lanett, Ala., had 52 stops, 1.5 for a loss, an interception and a forced fumble in the regular season. He totaled eight tackles against Maine and nine against ETSU during the FCS playoffs, including pick-six for 32 yards against the Bucs in the first round. He is a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS.
(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information: www.jsugamecocksports.com)