Campbell nearly led upset of UNC
Lang Campbell played like an All-American even against major college competition.
The William & Mary quarterback started the season with two touchdown passes and two TD runs against North Carolina, nearly leading his I-AA team to an upset of the Tar Heels from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Campbell went on to throw for 3,998 yards and 30 touchdowns, and earned a spot on The Associated Press I-AA All-America team announced Wednesday.
The senior said that first game set up the Tribe for success.
"It helped a lot," Campbell said Wednesday. "We had confidence in the preseason that offensively we could be successful and put up some numbers. Having that kind of success against a Division I-A team, it kind of solidified our confidence."
Led by Campbell, the Tribe (11-3) shared the Atlantic 10 Conference crown and set a school record for victories.
"If we didn't have him in there, we're not in the playoffs," Tribe coach Jimmye Laycock said.
He was one of four A-10 players selected first-team All-American, along with offensive lineman Matt Magerko of James Madison, defensive back Shannon James of Massachusetts and linebacker Liam Ezekiel of Northeastern.
Ezekiel, the A-10 defensive player of the year, was one of five players to repeat as a first-team All-American.
The others were Tennessee State tailback Charles Anthony, the nation's leading rusher (158.1 yards per game), offensive linemen Buster Ashley of Western Kentucky and Eric Deutsch of Wofford, and linebacker Boomer Grigsby of Illinois State.
Wofford and Cal Poly were the only schools with multiple players on the first team, each getting two.
Deutsch was joined by defensive lineman Lee Basinger while Cal Poly was represented by defensive back Kenny Chicoine and defensive lineman Chris Gocong.
The All-American receivers were two of the best players in I-AA.
Appalachian State's Davon Fowlkes led the nation in catches (103), yards receiving (1,618) and all-purpose yards (2,313).
Northern Colorado's Vincent Jackson is considered a possible first-round NFL draft choice. He caught 80 passes for 1,382 yards.
"In summation, he's as good as we've ever had," Northern Colorado coach Kay Dalton said. "He's the kind of guy you build a game plan around."
Dustin Long of Sam Houston State, a transfer from Texas A&M, was the second-team quarterback.
Campbell, Fowlkes and Long were the finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the best player in I-AA and will be handed out Thursday night in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"I'd love to get it," Campbell said. "Any national recognition like this, they are team awards because not everyone can see every player play."
James Madison and Montana, who will play in the Division I-AA championship game on Saturday in Chattanooga, each had two players on the three AP All-America teams.
Besides Magerko, James Madison had freshman defensive back Tony LeZotte on the second team.
LeZotte and Drake running back Scott Phaydavong, a third-teamer, were the only freshmen on the teams.
Montana was represented by offensive lineman Cory Procter and defensive lineman Mike Murphy on the second team.
Harvard running back Clifton Dawson, Lehigh tight end Adam Bergen and offensive linemen Ben Bainbridge of Furman and Elmer McDaniel of Southern Illinois completed the first-team offense.
Jerome Mathis of Hampton, who returned an NCAA record five kickoffs for touchdowns was picked as an all-purpose player. Jon Scifres of Missouri State is the All-American kicker and Paul Ernster of Northern Arizona is the punter.
Tad Kornegay of Fordham and Southern's Ahmad Treaudo, who leads the nation with nine interceptions, round out the first-team secondary. Linemen Brady Forsmark of Weber State and Harold Wells of Gardner-Webb complete the first-team defense.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press