KANSAS CITY (January 11, 2017) - Four members of the Colorado State University-Pueblo football team have been recognized as 2017 D2Football.com All-Americans. Senior Ty McCulley (OL, Pueblo, Colo.) and junior Darius Williams (CB, Gilbert, Ariz.) gathered first team honors, while senior Corbin Feenstra (OL, Superior, Colo.) and junior Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) were named to the second team.
For Williams, this is the third All-American award this postseason (American Football Coaches Association and D2CCA), while Payer earned a spot on the AFCA team. For McCulley and Feenstra, the top award is the first of their careers. CSU-Pueblo has totaled 18 student-athletes on the D2Football.com All-American list since 2008.
As has been the case since its inception, the D2Football.com All-America team highlights the best 100 players to play in 2017. The team represents the top .5% of Division II athletes.
D2Football.com All-America First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... All-NFFCC First Team ... Started all 12 games at left tackle and started on the line in all 51 games he played in, missing just one game in his career during his redshirt-freshman season ... At the end of the regular season, the ThunderWolves scoring offense was second in the RMAC and 24th nationally ... The Pack had the 4th best rushing attack in the conference with 191.5 yards per game and led the league in completion percentage (60.9%) ... Guided a 1,000 yard rusher ... CSU-Pueblo ranked 3rd in the RMAC and 33rd nationally in sacks allowed (1.27 spg) and were 5th in the conference in tackles for loss allowed (5.73 tflpg).
D2CCA All-America First Team ... AFCA All-America Second Team ... D2Football.com All-America First Team ... D2CCA All-Region First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... All-NFFCC First Team ... Cliff Harris Award Finalist ... Williams finished the regular season T-2nd in NCAA Division II for interceptions with eight, which is also a CSU-Pueblo program record ... Returned those eight interceptions for 176 yards (5th in Division II) and three touchdowns (T-1st in Division II) ... Added nine pass break-ups to finish 2nd in the RMAC in passes defended (17), which also ranks T-23rd nationally ... Compiled 46 tackles (34 solo) with 4.5 tackles for loss (-13 yards) and a sack (-6 yards) ... Forced a fumble in the playoff game at Minnesota State (Nov. 18) ... Named RMAC Player of the Week once in 2017 ... CSU-Pueblo finished the regular season 4th nationally in both interceptions (21) and team passing efficiency defense (88.95) and were 10th in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and total defense (273.5 ypg).
D2Football.com All-America Second Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... All-NFFCC First Team ... Started all 12 games at center ... His his career, started 34 games at center (34 of his last 35 games) and played in 46 games on the offensive line ... The ThunderWolves scoring offense was second in the RMAC and 24th nationally at the end of the regular season ... The Pack had the 4th best rushing attack in the conference with 191.5 yards per game and led the league in completion percentage (60.9%) ... Helped guide a 1,000 yard rusher ... CSU-Pueblo ranked 3rd in the RMAC and 33rd nationally in sacks allowed (1.27 spg) and were 5th in the conference in tackles for loss allowed (5.73 tflpg) ... Three-time Academic All-America ... Three-time Academic All-District ... 2017 Academic All-RMAC First Team.
AFCA All-America First Team ... D2Football.com All-America Second Team ... D2CCA All-Region First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... All-NFFCC First Team ... Cliff Harris Award Finalist ... Started all 12 games at inside linebacker and finished the season with 110 tackles with 71 solo ... Was 2nd in the RMAC in both tackles and solo tackles ... Ranks 22nd nationally in solo tackles ... The 71 solo tackles is a new modern era program record ... Led the RMAC with 14.0 tackles for loss (-50 yards) and added 4.5 sacks to tie for 5th ... Forced three fumbles (T-3rd in RMAC, T-58th nationally) with one recovery ... Compiled six games with double-digit tackle totals with a season high 14 at West Texas A&M (Sept. 9) ... The ThunderWolves defense finished the regular season 10th nationally in both total defense (273.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and 11th in turnovers gained (27) ... Academic All-District and Academic All-RMAC First Team.
THE THUNDERWOLVES IN 2017
The Pack finished the season with a 9-3 overall record, while their 9-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference mark was good for a share of the league title. CSU-Pueblo advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs as a seven seed. The ThunderWolves fell 16-13 in overtime to No. 1 overall and No. 2 seed Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Pack were No. 20 nationally following the end of the regular season and moved up to No. 17 in the final poll.
The defense closed the regular season top 20 nationally in eight categories, red zone defense (3rd, 57.7%), interceptions (4th, 21), team passing efficiency defense (4th, 88.95), defensive touchdowns (7th, 5), scoring defense (10th, 14.3), total defense (10th, 273.5), turnovers gained (11th, 27) and passing yards allowed (18th, 164.6).
The Pack also finished the regular season top 25 in Division II in turnover margin (17th, 1,0), net punting (20th, 36.8), kick returns (23rd, 23.0), red zone offense (23rd, 88%) and scoring offense (24th, 37.6).
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.