Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Sports News

Evan Frierson named First-Team BSCN All-American

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[June 27, 2012]  NORMAL -- Senior linebacker Evan Frierson was named a 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship First-Team All-American, as announced by the Beyond Sports College Network on Monday. Fellow teammate Tyrone Walker was included as a third-team selection, while Matt Brown, Nate Palmer and Jordan Neukirch received honorable mentions.

As a junior, Frierson emerged as one of ISU's biggest defensive threats. The Washington, D.C., native earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team honors after starting 10 games at outside linebacker. He led ISU with 15 tackles-for-loss and was second on the team with 66 tackles and 6.5 sacks, guiding a Redbirds defense that led the MVFC in total defense with 294.8 yards per game last season.

Walker, a wide receiver, was honored as a third-team selection after leading ISU with 64 catches for 787 yards and eight touchdowns last season. The Indianapolis, Ind., product started all 11 Redbirds contests and averaged 12.3 yards per catch and 71.5 yards per game. Walker ranked first in the Missouri Valley with 5.8 receptions per game and recorded three 100-plus receiving yard performances. The senior has appeared in 33 games at Illinois State.

Brown returns to ISU as starting quarterback, following a 2011 campaign that saw him throw for 2,187 yards with 18 touchdowns. He set an Illinois State single-season completion percentage record, converting 65 percent (208 for 320) of his passes. In addition, Brown rushed for 160 yards with two scores. The Marion native has appeared in 33 games and made 32 starts for the Redbirds, totaling over 2,000 yards completed in each of his first three seasons.

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Palmer excelled in his first season with the Redbirds in 2011. The Illinois transfer was named an All-MVFC Second-Team selection after recording 46 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks with two forced fumbles. The Chicago product started all 11 games at defensive end and was included on the MVFC All-Newcomer Team.

Neukirch appeared in all 11 games as fullback in 2011, serving as the team's primary blocking back. He led a protection unit that allowed only six sacks last season, while helping ISU rush for 183.4 yards per game. He had three carries for five yards, four catches for 40 yards and assisted on special teams, making seven tackles.

The Redbirds open the 2012 season at Hancock Stadium on Sept. 1 against Pioneer Football League opponent Dayton.

[Text from news release received from Ronan O'Shea, Illinois State University]

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