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Eastern Washington - Football

EWU's Nichols, Sherritt rack up All-American honors

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Matt Nichols also finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award (Photo: EWU Athletics) Matt Nichols also finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

The American Football Coaches Association has selected Eastern Washington University senior quarterback Matt Nichols and junior linebacker J.C. Sherritt to its 2009 Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team, which will be officially announced Wednesday (Dec. 16). Nichols is the only quarterback honored on the prestigious 25-person team selected by the nation's head coaches.

This is the first All-America honor won by Nichols, who was the 2007 and 2009 Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Nichols passed for 3,830 yards and 33 touchdowns in leading Eastern to an 8-4 record in 2009, giving him a total of 12,616 yards and 96 touchdowns in his career. His career yardage total ranks sixth in FCS history and his touchdown total is 10th.

Sherritt, who on Monday was selected to the Walter Camp Football Foundation FCS All-America team, finished the 2009 season as the leader in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision statistics with an average of 14.17 tackles per game.

Nichols is a 2005 graduate of West Valley High School in Cottonwood, Calif., and Sherritt graduated in 2006 Pullman (Wash.) High School. Together in 2009, they helped Eastern make its fourth appearance in the FCS Playoffs in the last six seasons.

Nichols, who finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award given by the Sports Network to the top player in FCS, is the third Eastern quarterback to earn FCS All-America honors (first, second or third team). Harry Leons was the first in 1997, followed by Josh Blankenship (2002) and Erik Meyer (2004 and 2005 on his way to winning the Payton Award as a senior in 2005). Rick Worman earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1985.

Nichols replaced Meyer at quarterback back in 2006 and helped the Eagles to 26 victories and a pair of FCS Playoff berths. In all, Nichols broke 14 school records and six Big Sky Conference marks.

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