Burkhalter, Laiche garner AP FCS All-America First Team honors

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THIBODAUX, La. – Nicholls State University linemen P.J. Burkhalter and Sully Laiche received their second All-America honor in as many days as the duo was named to the 2019 Associated Press FCS All-America First Team, the organization announced Tuesday.

The team, presented by Regions Bank, was selected by a panel of 11 members of the media who cover the Football Championship Subdivision.

Burkhalter split time at center and guard on the offensive line en route to being named Southland Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. The Colonels ranked 25th in the nation in rushing yards with a Southland-best 197.1 yard per game. Burkhalter helped clear the way for sophomore running back Julien Gums, who set single-season program rushing records with 1,232 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Laiche added another first-team honor to his resume after closing out his storied career with 12.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss in his senior campaign. Laiche received First-Team All-Southland for the third time and was named Southland Player of the Year. He wrapped up his career as the active leader in sacks with 37.5, which places him tied for fifth all-time in the FCS.

Laiche was one of three finalists for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented to the FCS’ most outstanding defensive player. The winner will be named on Friday, Jan. 10, at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas.

For the complete AP All-America Team, please see below.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback — Case Cookus, senior, Northern Arizona.
Running backs — Pete Guerriero, junior, Monmouth; James Robinson, senior, Illinois State.
Offensive linemen — Drew Himmelman, junior, Illinois State; Dillon Radunz, junior, North Dakota State; Blake Jeresaty, junior, Wofford; Spencer Blackburn, senior, Eastern Washington; PJ Burkhalter, junior, Nicholls.
Tight end — Adam Trautman, senior, Dayton.
Wide receivers — Juwan Green, senior, Albany; Cade Johnson, junior, South Dakota State.
All-purpose player — Chris Rowland, senior, Tennessee State.
Kicker — Luis Aguilar, junior, Northern Arizona.

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
Linemen — Derrek Tuszka, senior, North Dakota State; Ron’Dell Carter, senior, James Madison; Sully Laiche, senior, Nicholls; Aaron Patrick, senior, Eastern Kentucky.
Linebackers — Dante Olson, senior, Montana; Willie Eubanks III, junior, The Citadel; Zach Hall, senior, Southeast Missouri State.
Secondary — Kordell Jackson, junior, Austin Peay; Brandon Easterling, junior, Dayton; Greg Liggs Jr., senior, Elon; Anthony Adams, sophomore, Portland State.
Punter — Alex Pechin, senior, Bucknell.

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback — Trey Lance, redshirt freshman, North Dakota State.
Running backs — Alex Ramsey, junior, VMI; Jah-Maine Martin, junior, North Carolina A&T.
Offensive linemen — Liam Fornadel, junior, James Madison; Marcus Pettiford, senior, North Carolina A&T; Kyle Murphy, senior, Rhode Island; Kyle Anderton, senior, Austin Peay; Zack Johnson, senior, North Dakota State.
Tight end — Charlie Taumoepeau, ,senior Portland State.
Wide receivers — Aaron Parker, senior, Rhode Island; DeAngelo Wilson, junior, Austin Peay.
All-purpose player — Earnest Edwards, senior, Maine.
Kicker — Grayson Atkins, junior, Furman.

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
Linemen — John Daka, senior, James Madison; Bryce Sterk, senior, Montana State; Elerson Smith, junior, Northern Iowa; Eli Mencer, ,senior Albany.
Linebackers — Bryson Armstrong, junior, Kennesaw State; Christian Rozeboom, senior, South Dakota State; Dimitri Holloway, senior, James Madison.
Secondary — Artevius Smith, senior, East Tennessee State; Jeremy Chinn, senior, Southern Illinois; Joseph McWilliams, senior, Grambling State; Isiah Swann, senior, Dartmouth.
Punter — Matt McRobert, junior, Sam Houston State.

THIRD-TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback — Kevin Thomson, junior, Sacramento State.
Running backs — Julius Chestnut, sophomore, Sacred Heart; Pierre Strong, sophomore, South Dakota State.
Offensive linemen — Zach Larsen, senior, Southern Utah; Alex Taylor, senior, South Carolina State; AJ Farris, senior, Monmouth; Deiter Eislen, senior, Yale; Mitch Brott, senior, Montana State.
Tight end — Dalton Kincaid, sophomore, San Diego.
Wide receivers — Samori Toure, junior, Montana; Jeff Cotton, senior, Idaho.
All-purpose player — Troy Andersen, junior, Montana State.
Kicker — Ethan Ratke, junior, James Madison.

THIRD-TEAM DEFENSE
Linemen — George Obinna, senior, Sacramento State; Mason Bennett, senior, North Dakota; Nick Salley, senior, Charleston Southern; Nick Wheeler, senior, Colgate.
Linebackers — Keith Woetzel, senior, Lehigh; Jabril Cox, junior, North Dakota State; Cam Gill, senior, Wagner.
Secondary — Adam Smith, senior, James Madison; Omar Brown, freshman, Northern Iowa; Luther Kirk, senior, Illinois State; Fernando Jordan, sophomore, Southeastern Louisiana.
Punter — Chris Faddoul, junior, Florida A&M.

STAYING SOCIAL
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