Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses helped transform a program that went 0-11 in his freshman year into a conference champion and capped his record-breaking career with an All-American season.
The senior, who leads the nation in yards passing (3,998) and touchdown passes (34), was selected to The Associated Press FCS All-American team released Wednesday, along with running backs Nate Eachus of Colgate and Taiwan Jones of Eastern Washington.
Moses, from Baytown, Texas, broke his leg in the first game of his senior high school season and didn't return until the playoffs. What little interest there was from major college teams was gone by that point and he was a day away from going to Blinn College, the junior college in east Texas made famous by Auburn's Cam Newton, when he got a call from coach J.C. Harper, who had just taken the job at SFA.
Moses accepted the offer, the campus sight unseen.
He worked his way from fourth-string to starter by the middle of that winless first season.
"It really makes you look at yourself in the mirror and re-evaluate," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday night.
The next season Harper scrapped the pro-style offense he had been running, installed a spread similar to what Mike Leach used to run at Texas Tech, and Moses has flourished ever since with the quick-decision attack.
"That's been my biggest strength, being able to get the ball out of my hands quickly," he said.
Moses led the Lumberjacks to a Southland Conference title and a spot in the FCS playoffs this season, setting conference records for career yards passing and total offense along the way. He's a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player in what used to be known as Division I-AA.
His teammate, receiver Gralyn Crawford, made the All-America team as an all-purpose player.
"We want SFA to be in contention for a conference championship every year," Moses said. "Nothing would make me happier than to see SFA keep winning when I'm gone."
Moses and SFA were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by defending FCS champion Villanova, which plays Jones and Eastern Washington in a semifinal game Friday.
Jones, second in the nation in rushing, was joined on the first-team by teammate J.C. Sherritt, a linebacker.
Offensive tackle Ben Ijalana, a 320-pound NFL prospect, was Villanova's lone All-American.
Appalachian State, with defensive end Jabari Fletcher and safety Mark Legree, and Montana State, with offensive tackle Mike Person and kicker Jason Cunningham, also placed two players on the All-America team.
Appalachian State quarterback Deandre Presley, also a finalist for the Payton Award, was selected to the second team.
The third-team quarterback was Pat Devlin of Delaware. The Penn State transfer has led the Blue Hens to the semifinals, where they'll face Georgia Southern on Saturday.
Georgia Southern placed defensive tackle Brent Russell on the first team.
Eachus led the nation in rushing at 170 yards per game — including 147 yards on 35 carries against Syracuse — and scored 21 touchdowns.
The receivers were Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Raymond Webber, who leads the country in yards receiving with 1,429, and Southern Utah's Tysson Poots. Shadrae King of Robert Morris was the tight end.
Joining Ijalana and Person on the offensive line were Curt Porter of Jacksonville State, David Arkin of Missouri State and Will Rackley of Lehigh.
The other defensive linemen were Kenrick Ellis of Hampton and Martin Parker of Richmond, both finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the best defensive player in the FCS.
Western Illinois' Kyle Glazier, the Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the year, and Tyler Holmes of Massachusetts, the co-defensive player of the year in the Colonial Athletic Association, were first-team linebackers along with Sherritt.
Trumaine Johnson of Montana, Korey Lindsey of Southern Illinois and Eugene Clifford of Tennessee State round out secondary.
David Harrington of Idaho State was the punter.
Quarterback — Jeremy Moses, senior, 6-0, 195, Stephen F. Austin.
Running backs — Taiwan Jones, junior, 6-1, 200, Eastern Washington; Nate Eachus, junior, 5-10, 216, Colgate.
Linemen — Ben Ijalana, senior, 6-4, 320, Villanova; Curt Porter, senior, 6-7, 290, Jacksonville State; David Arkin, senior, 6-5, 302, Missouri State; Mike Person, senior, 6-5, 295, Montana State; Will Rackley, senior, 6-4, 310, Lehigh.
Tight end — Shadrae King, junior, 6-3, 225, Robert Morris.
Receivers — Raymond Webber, senior, 6-3, 220, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Tysson Poots, senior, 6-3, 205, Southern Utah.
All-purpose player — Gralyn Crawford, sophomore, 5-10, 175, Stephen F. Austin.
Kicker — Jason Cunningham, junior, 6-1, 175, Montana State.
Linemen — Kenrick Ellis, senior, 6-3, 280, Hampton; Jabari Fletcher, senior, 6-3, 265, Appalachian State; Martin Parker, senior, 6-3, 283, Richmond; Brent Russell, sophomore, 6-2, 287, Georgia Southern.
Linebackers — J.C. Sherritt, senior, 5-10, 220, Eastern Washington; Kyle Glazier, senior, 6-1, 220, Western Illinois; Tyler Holmes, junior, 6-0, 220, Massachusetts.
Defensive backs — Mark Legree, senior, 6-0, 220, Appalachian State; Trumaine Johnson, junior, 6-3, 197, Montana; Korey Lindsey, senior, 6-0, 190, Southern Illinois; Eugene Clifford, senior, 6-2, 205, Tennessee State.
Punter — David Harrington, junior, 6-3, 185, Idaho State.
Quarterback — Deandre Presley, junior, Appalachian State.
Running backs — Henry Harris, senior, Southeast Missouri State; Eric Breitenstein, junior, Wofford.
Linemen — Johnny Culbreath, senior, South Carolina State; Ryan McKnight, senior, South Dakota State; Corey Konycki, senior, Robert Morris; Pat Illig, senior, Wofford; Michael Booker, senior, Northwestern State.
Tight end — Andrew Kennedy, senior, Columbia.
Receivers — Marcus Harris, senior, Murray State; Aaron Mellette, sophomore, Elon.
All-purpose player — Tavoy Moore, junior, Idaho State.
Kicker — Matt Bevins, junior, Liberty.
Linemen — Mario Kurn, junior, San Diego; Ameet Pall, junior, Wofford; Dain Taylor, senior, Drake; Zack Nash, junior, Sacramento State.
Linebackers — Bryce Smith, senior, Samford; Matt Evans, sophomore, New Hampshire; Eric McBride, senior, Richmond.
Defensive backs — James Vercammen, senior, Dayton; Dino Vasso, senior, New Hampshire; Moses Ellis, senior, Prairie View A&M; Charles James, sophomore, Charleston Southern.
Punter — David Miller, senior, William & Mary.
Quarterback — Pat Devlin, senior, Delaware.
Running backs — Kyle Minett, senior, South Dakota State; Frank Warren, senior, Grambling State.
Linemen — Brett Moore, junior, Georgia Southern; Natiel Curry, junior, Bethune-Cookman; Austin Zlab, senior, Northern Iowa; D.J. Hall, junior, Texas State; Sean Middleton, senior, Southeast Missouri State.
Tight ends — Dean Rogers, senior, UC Davis.
Receivers — Joel Bradford, junior, Chattanooga; Chris Summers, junior, Liberty.
All-purpose player — Mark Rodgers, junior, Cal Poly.
Kicker — Adrian Mora, junior, Georgia Southern.
Linemen — Devon Langhorst, senior, Dayton; Kenneth Charles, senior, Stephen F. Austin; Andrew Soucy, senior, Eastern Kentucky; Josue Ortiz, senior, Harvard.
Linebackers — Jabara Williams, senior, Stephen F. Austin; Dejuan Fulghum, senior, Texas Southern; D.J. Smith, senior, Appalachian State.
Defensive backs — Justin Rogers, senior, Richmond; Anthony Bratton, senior, Delaware; Laron Scott, junior, Georgia Southern; Anthony Walters, senior, Delaware.