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Eastern Washington - Football

EWU's Jones, Sherritt named AP All-American

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EWU's Taiwan Jones changed from playing defense for the Eagles, to being one of their most prolific running backs (Photo: EWU Athletics) EWU's Taiwan Jones changed from playing defense for the Eagles, to being one of their most prolific running backs (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Sophomore running back Taiwan Jones is Eastern Washington University's latest NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-American in 2009 as Jones, junior linebacker J.C. Sherritt and senior quarterback Matt Nichols were honored by Associated Press.

Jones was selected to the third team as an all-purpose back, while Sherritt was selected on the first team and Nichols also earned a spot on the third team. Previously, Sherritt was selected as a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and Walter Camp Football Foundation, and Nichols was also honored on the AFCA first team.

All three players were first team All-Big Sky Conference selections, with Nichols earning Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors in both 2009 and 2007.

Jones, who is from Antioch, Calif., and graduated from Deer Valley High School in 2007, finished with 1,213 rushing yards in 2009 to rank as the sixth-most in school history. He ranked in the top 10 in FCS in rushing (101.1 per game), scoring (9.50 per game) and all-purpose yards per game (second with 195.4 per game). His 2,345 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, returns) were the second-most in school history, and his 19 touchdowns and 114 total points both rank fourth.

Eastern has now had a 1,000-yard rusher for 10 of the last 15 seasons from 1995-2009, including seven different players. Before this season, the last time it happened came in 2004 when Darius Washington finished with 1,127 yards in 12 games.

Nichols is a 2005 graduate of West Valley High School in Cottonwood, Calif., and Sherritt graduated in 2006 from Pullman (Wash.) High School. Thanks to the play of its three All-Americans, Eastern made its fourth appearance in the FCS Playoffs in the last six seasons and finished 8-4.

Nichols passed for 3,830 yards and 33 touchdowns, 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 finished the 2009 season as the leader in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision statistics with an average of 14.17 tackles per game. His 170 total tackles were an EWU and Big Sky Conference record.

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