Blunt named AFCA 1st Team All-American, his fifth AA award of the postseason and 4th first team accolade
LAKE CHARLES – McNeese linebacker B.J. Blunt made it a clean sweep for All-American honors from the five major organizations when on Friday, he was named to the AFCA – American Football Coaches Association – All-America squad as a first team linebacker.
Blunt, a New Orleans native, has earned first team All-American honor from four organizations this postseason – AFCA, Walter Camp, STATS and AP – and earned second team honors from Hero Sports.
He becomes just the fourth player in school history to receive first team honors from those four outlets, joining offensive lineman Reggie Nelson (1998), defensive lineman Kavika Pittman (1995) and offensive lineman Ronald Cherry (1994); and the 10th in history to be named to four All-American first teams. The last was Bryan Smith in 2007 when he garnered first team honors from the AP, AFCA, Walter Camp and College Sporting News.
Blunt makes the 12th McNeese selection to earn first team AFCA All-American honors. Others to receive the award include: James Files (1974), Ronald Cherry (1994), Kavika Pittman (1995), Zach Bronson (1996), Reggie Nelson (1997 and 1998), Charlie Ayro (1998), Hadley Prince (2002), Roderick Royal (2003), Bryan Smith (2007) and Wallace Scott (2015).
The SLC Defensive Player of the Year, Blunt placed seventh in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award that goes to the top defensive player in the FCS, and accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Classic.
Blunt had a remarkable senior year that saw him record 102 total tackles, 11 sacks, and 20 tackles for a loss, all in 10 games played.
His tackles for a loss total ranked him third in the FCS while his sack total ranked him sixth in the nation.
He recorded 10 or more tackles in a game four times on the season and had a high of 20 tackles in a win over Abilene Christian, making him the first Cowboy player to record 20 stops in a game since the 1997 season.
He earned Southland Conference player of the week honors twice on the year, first when he recorded nine tackles with three sacks, four tackles for a loss and recovered a fumble in a win over league champion Nicholls. He also garnered STATS and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week honors for that game.
Two weeks later he was voted as the league player of the week in a win over Stephen F. Austin when he finished with 12 tackles, two sacks, 5 ½ tackles for a loss and recovered a fumble.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
2018 AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America
First Team Offense
QB – Devlin Hodges, Samford
RB – James Holland Jr., Colgate; AJ Hines, Duquesne
WR – Kelvin McKnight, Samford; Keelan Doss, UC Davis
TE – Donald Parham, Stetson
OL – Daniel Cooney, San Diego; BJ Autry, Jacksonville State; Matt Pyke, ETSU; Tanner Volson, ND State; CJ Collins, Kennesaw State
First Team Defense
DL, Derick Roberson, SHSU; Nick Wheeler, Colgate; Isaiah Mack, Chattanooga; Greg Menard, ND State
LB – BJ Blunt, McNeese; T.J. Holl, Colgate; Dante Olson, Montana
DB – Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State; Jimmy Moreland, James Madison; Isiah Swann, Dartmouth; Jordan Brown, South Dakota State
First Team Specialists
P – Chris Faddoul, Florida A&M
PK – Roldan Alcobendas, Eastern Washington
AP – Shane Simpson, Towson
Second Team Offense
QB – Easton Stick, ND State
RB – James Robinson, Illinois State; Darnell Holland, Kennesaw State
WR – Michael Bandy, San Diego; Reggie White Jr., Monmouth
TE – Charles Scarff, Delaware
OL – Garrett Bowery, Lamar; CJ Toogood, Elon; Iosua Opeta, Weber State; Matt Kaskey, Dartmouth; Ryan Wetzel, Monmouth
Second Team Defense
DL – Nasir Player, ETSU; Darryl Johnson Jr., NC A&T; Sterling Shippy, Alcorn State; Rocco Di Leo, Dartmouth
LB – Zach Hall, SEMO; Troy Reeder, Delaware; Jabril Cox, NDSU
DB – Davon Jernigan, Lamar; Mac McCain III, NC A&T; Nasir Adderley, Delaware; Ju’Anthony Parker, Prairie View
Second Team Specialists
P – Alex Pechin, Bucknel
PK – Aidan O’Neill, Towson
AP – Juwan Petit-Frere, Southeastern La.
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