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Kats earn 25 selections on all-WAC teams

The Kats had all 11 starters on offense and nine starters on defense land on either the first or second teams.
Credit: KAGS-TV

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The WAC office released the football all-WAC teams on Tuesday morning with the Sam Houston Bearkats leading the way with a total of 25 selections.
 
In addition to K.C. Keeler being named WAC Coach of the Year and Kamren Washington the WAC Freshman of the Year, the Kats had all 11 starters on offense and nine starters on defense land on either the first or second teams.
 
Stephen F. Austin wide receiver Xavier Gipson was named the league's offensive player of the year after leading the FCS in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards per game. Meanwhile, Tarleton defensive back Devon Hafford was named the defensive player of the year after leading the league and ranking fourth in the FCS with six interceptions.
 
BEARKAT ALL-WAC SELECTIONS
K.C. Keeler – Coach of the Year
The 2016 Eddie Robinson Award winner and Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Keeler led the Kats to the FCS national title in May and has the Kats entering the FCS playoffs next week as the No. 1 overall seed and the only remaining undefeated team in the nation.
 
Kamren Washington – Freshman of the Year
One of the prizes of the Kats' most recent recruiting class, Washington made an immediate impact on the Sam Houston defensive line as a true freshman, adding to the depth of the elite unit. He has played in all 10 games this year with 13.0 tackles, 2.0 TFL an a sack, while helping Sam Houston hold eight of 10 opponents below 100 yards rushing.
 
Eric Schmid (QB) – First Team
A Walter Payton Award finalist and the preseason WAC Offensive Player of the Year, Schmid has been a 3-time WAC Offensive Player of the Week selection, including each for the final two weeks of the year. The Kats rank third in the FCS in scoring and have averaged 44.7 points per game in the nine games he has played in. Schmid has thrown for 2,254 yards and 26 touchdowns this year, while rushing for another 291 and three scores.
 
Ramon Jefferson (RB) – First Team
The WAC's leading rusher with 972 yards and 11 scores, he has 250 more yards and seven scores more than anyone else in the league. He has five 100-yard games and ranks in the top 20 in all of FCS in total rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per game and yards per carry despite not even ranking in the top 50 in the nation in total rushing attempts.
 
Jequez Ezzard (WR, KR) – First Team
One of the most electric players in the nation, Ezzard earned first team nods as both a receiver and a return specialist this season. He finished the regular season fifth in the WAC with 478 receiving yards and third in yards per catch, accounting for 14.9 yards per grab. Ezzard closed the regular season strong with 100-yard games against both Eastern Kentucky and Abilene Christian.
 
Isaac Schley (TE) – First Team
A preseason all-WAC choice after earning all-Southland honors last year, Schley started all 10 games for the Kats this season at tight end. He finished with 13 catches for 138 yards and snagged his first touchdown against Dixie State.
 
Reece Jordan (OL) – First Team
The Kats wanted to add to its offensive line for this season and rounded out its unit with Jordan, a graduate transfer from Texas State. After playing 45 games over his 4-year career in San Marcos, Jordan started all 10 games this season at right tackle, and won as many games in one season at Sam Houston than from 2017-2020 playing at his previous institution.
 
Prince Pines (OL) – First Team
The Bearkats started the same five offensive linemen in all 10 games this season, and that included Pines at left guard each time. He's not started all 20 career games he's played in as a Bearkat at that spot and has helped Sam Houston rank in the top five in the FCS in both total and scoring offense this year.
 
Colby Thomas (OL) – First Team
Thomas was named preseason all-WAC, along with multiple preseason all-America honors and backed it up as one of the anchors of the line as a senior. The only senior on the Bearkat senior on the line, Thomas started all 10 games at right guard and enters the playoffs having played in 45 games as a Kat.
 
Jahari Kay (DL) – First Team
The preseason WAC Defensive Player of the Year, Kay was named a Buck Buchanan Award finalist for the second consecutive season on Monday. He ranks third in the WAC in both sacks (5.0) and TFLs (10.5). He has at least one TFL in nine of the Kats' 10 games and ranks sixth on the team with 30 total tackles.
 
Trace Mascorro (DL) – First Team
The 2019 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, Mascorro was another of many preseason all-WAC selections for the Kats this year. He finished the regular season with 18.0 total tackles, along with 5.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks after starting nine of 10 games at defensive tackle.
 
Joseph Wallace (DL) – First Team
Another of the Kats' three preseason all-Americans on the defensive line, Wallace has spent plenty of time in opponents' backfields this season. He started all 10 games at defensive tackle and officially totaled 4.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks while helping the Kats rank in the top 20 in the FCS in both scoring and total defense.
 
Markel Perry (LB) – First Team
Perry has been an impact player for the Kats all season, starting nine of 10 games at jack linebacker. He leads the WAC with 15.0 total TFLs, ranking in the top 10 in all of FCS in TFLs per game (1.7). He has at least 1.0 TFL in eight of his nine games, including a stretch of three consecutive games – against Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin and Lamar – with 3.0 TFLs each.
 
Trevor Williams (LB) – First Team
The leading tackler for the Kats, Williams has started all 10 games at linebacker. He was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week following Sam Houston's season-opening win at Northern Arizona when he picked off a pass and returned it 75 yards for a game-changing touchdown in the third quarter. He ranks ninth in the WAC with 56 total tackles.
 
Zyon McCollum (DB) – First Team
Lockdown corners are few and far between, but the Kats have one in McCollum. A preseason all-WAC and Buck Buchanan watch list choice, McCollum has filled up the stat line this year, despite rarely being tested. He ranks fifth on the team with 35 tackles and has three interceptions and a blocked kick. His 13 career interceptions are one shy of an SHSU school record.
 
Noah Smith (RB) – Second Team
The second piece of the Kats' backfield attack, Smith's do-it-all prowess has been key to Sam Houston's offensive success. He has totaled 438 yards on the ground and 152 receiving yards on 16 catches, picking up nine touchdowns along the way. He ranks fifth in the league in rushing and in the top 10 in all-purpose yards, and also was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 119 yards and a score in a win over Lamar.
 
Ife Adeyi (WR) – Second Team
Adeyi followed up an all-Southland performance in the spring with another all-league regular season this fall. He has hauled in 41 passes for 528 yards, ranking sixth in the WAC in receiving yards per game, and second with eight touchdown grabs, including six in his final five games to end the season.
 
Cody Chrest (WR) – Second Team
A season after being one of the top threats in the Bearkat offensive attack, Chrest has blossomed in his second year with the Kats. He leads the team and ranks fourth in the WAC with 602 receiving yards on 40 catches to go with five touchdowns. He has at least three catches in seven of 10 games this season, and a pair of 100-yard receiving games against Northern Arizona and Tarleton.
 
Eleasah Anderson (OL) – Second Team
Anderson has been a big piece to the Bearkat offensive line each of the last three seasons and was a preseason all-WAC choice entering this season. He has anchored the Bearkat offensive line at left tackle each of the past two seasons and has started every game there this year.
 
Ethan Hagler (OL) – Second Team
Hagler was a second team all-Southland choice last season after joining the team from Blinn College and has been a mainstay at center since his arrival. This is the second straight season for him to earn all-league honors after starting each game at center this season, serving as the midpoint for an offensive line that started the same lineup in each game.
 
Jevon Leon (DL) – Second Team
Leon is another piece of arguably the top defensive line unit in the FCS and is the fourth Bearkat defensive lineman to land on the all-WAC team. He has previously earned all-league honors from the Southland and was even a preseason all-America third team choice this year by HERO Sports. He backed that up with 26 tackles in the regular season, including 5.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
 
Tim Hart (LB) – Second Team
Hart joined the Bearkats prior to the national title run in the spring and has been a key piece to this fall's defensive unit. He has started all 10 games after transferring in from Memphis and ranks third on the team with 38 tackles to go with 2.0 TFLs. He put up a season-high seven stops in the win over Stephen F. Austin in October.
 
Tristin McCollum (DB) – Second Team
McCollum snagged his second career all-league honors this year, starting all 10 games at safety for the Kats. He ranks second on the team with 47 total tackles to go with 1.5 TFLs, four pass breakups and a blocked field goal against Southeast Missouri.
 
Matt McRobert (P) – Second Team
McRobert has earned multiple honors in his time as a Bearkat and landed on the all-WAC second team, despite being needed just 31 times this year. He enters the playoffs averaging 46.1 yards per kick, a career high and a mark that ranks second in the WAC. A third of his kicks have been of 50 yards or more, including a season-long boot of 73 yards against Jacksonville State.