Gubrud earns Preseason All-America honors from STATS - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gubrud earns Preseason All-America honors from STATS

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By EWU Athletics

As far as preseason All-America honors go, quarterback Gage Gubrud is carrying the Eagle flag into battle.
The senior from McMinnville, Ore., was among 15 players from the Big Sky Conference honored Tuesday (July 31) on the STATS NCAA Football Championship Preseason All-America squad. The 2016 FCS All-American was a third team choice among the group of 98 players honored nationally representing 56 teams and 13 conferences.
Eastern head coach Aaron Best already knows he has one of the best field generals in FCS, but he also likes the supporting cast Gubrud has this season.
"I think having nine starters back on offense really helps," said Best, whose team lost just a starter at wide receiver and another at offensive tackle from last year's team. "I tell our team that just because you have guys back doesn't mean you're going to be better. One would assume that's the case, but just because you're older doesn't mean your better. That's what I challenge Gage with."
A two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award given to the top offensive player in FCS, Gubrud followed a record-breaking 2016 season with a solid junior campaign. He was named 2016 FCS Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, but a 7-4 record last season has the entire Eagle team hungry to get back to the playoffs after advancing to the semifinals in 2016 for the fifth time in school history.
Earlier in July, Eastern was picked by both the media and the coaches to win the Big Sky Conference championship. Eastern was third with a 6-2 mark last year, but has won championships nine times – including five of the last eight (2010-12-13-14-16).
"I think there is a level of being humbled from last year's 7-4 campaign," Best said. "The benchmark is the playoffs, and if seven wins doesn't get you in like last year, the bar is high. We annually have this target on our back from the coaches and media poll by having success in the last 15 years, and we have created the pressure for ourselves to be better and better every year. I'm excited for this situation and I believe this is what competitors do to thrive in tough situations. Everyone is going to give you their best shot, and they have over the last couple years."
Earlier this summer Gubrud was selected by Athlon Sports as the lone quarterback on its 27-player preseason All-America team. He was also a third team preseason All-America selection by Hero Sports, and joined teammates Jay-Tee Tiuli and running back Antoine Custer Jr. as preseason All-Big Sky selections. Gubrud is also one of four Eagle seniors serving as co-captain for the 2018 season, joining safety Mitch Fettig, linebacker Ketner Kupp and center Spencer Blackburn.
Gubrud is 17-6 in 23 games as a starter, and in 27 total games as an Eagle he has 9,441 yards of total offense and 8,568 passing yards. A duplication of last year's totals (3,578 total offense and 3,342 passing in 10 games played) and he'll challenge Big Sky records owned by former Eagle Matt Nichols (13,308 total offense and 12,616 passing).

2018 STATS FCS Preseason All-America Selections from the Big Sky Conference

WR – Keelan Doss, senior, 6-3, 210, UC Davis
TE – Charlie Taumoepeau, junior, 6-3, 240, Portland State
OL – Zach Larsen, junior, 6-1, 300, Southern Utah
OL – Iosua Opeta, senior, 6-4, 295, Weber State

LB – Josh Buss, senior, 6-2, 220, Montana
FB – Joe Protheroe, senior, 6-0, 230, Cal Poly
OL – Noah Johnson, junior, 6-4, 300, Idaho

PK – Trey Tuttle, sophomore, 5-9, 190, Weber State
QB – Gage Gubrud, senior, 6-2, 205, Eastern Washington
WR – Emmanuel Butler, senior, 6-4, 220, Northern Arizona
TE – Wes Preece, junior, 6-5, 240, UC Davis

THIRD TEAM DEFENSE                                      
LB – Kaden Elliss, senior, 6-3, 222, Idaho
LB – LeGrand Toia, senior, 6-2, 215, Weber State
DB – Mister Harriel, senior, 6-1, 200, Sacramento State

KR – Rashid Shaheed, sophomore, 6-0, 170, Weber State

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