Dec. 20, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - The accolades continue to roll in for Patriot League players as six were named to The Sports Network/Fathead.com Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team on Monday.
The list includes at least three first-team selections, as Lehigh junior wide receiver Ryan Spadola, Georgetown senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke and Bucknell senior defensive back Bryce Robertson made the top list.
Lehigh senior quarterback Chris Lum will be either the first or second-team quarterback. He will find out when the winner of the Walter Payton Award is announced by The Sports Network on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. Lum is one of three finalists, along with Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and Indiana State running back Shakir Bell. The higher finisher in the Walter Payton Award voting out of Lum and Mitchell will also be named the first-team quarterback.
Two more Patriot Leaguers were named to the third-team, with Lehigh senior center Jim Liebler and Fordham junior punter Patrick Murray earning the distinction.
Spadola and Schaetzke keep alive their opportunity to earn consensus All-America status, as each player was also recognized by the America Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Associated Press (AP) last week. Spadola has been named to the first team by all three organizations.
Spadola finished with 96 receptions for a Patriot League record 1,614 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Spadola earned his second consecutive first-team All-Patriot League nod, and has been named an All-America for the second year in a row. Spadola's 1,614 yards were the eighth-highest single-season total in FCS history. He finished his junior season ranked second in the FCS in receiving yards per game and sixth nationally in receptions per game.
Lum put dents in the Patriot League and Lehigh record book in a season that might net him the most prestigious trophy in the FCS. He won Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors and finished the season by completing 358-of-453 passes for 4,378 yards and 32 touchdowns. He established Patriot League and Lehigh single-season records for completions and passing yards and set the school single-season touchdown pass record as well.
A three-year starter in the middle of Lehigh's offensive line, Liebler started 12 of the Mountain Hawks' 13 games this season, and was a leader on a line that paved the way for Lehigh's offense that averaged close to 470 yards and 32.5 points per game. Liebler joined Spadola and Lum as three of Lehigh's 11 first team All-Patriot League selections.
Lehigh had three Sports Network/Fathead.com All-America selections for the second straight season.
Schaetzke becomes Georgetown's first Sports Network All-American since joining the Patriot League in 2001. He was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year as well as a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top player in the FCS for a stellar senior season. Schaetzke recorded 69 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks on the season, along with an interception and three forced fumbles. He led the Patriot League and stands in the top 10 nationally in both sacks and tackles for loss, with the 13 sacks ranking sixth in the Patriot League single-season record book. Schaetzke finishes his career in third place in Patriot League history with 30.5 sacks, which also put him third among all active FCS players.
Robertson had an outstanding year as a ballhawk for a Bucknell team that led the nation in turnover margin. He set a Patriot League record and finished just one off the FCS record with 13 interceptions. The mark shattered the previous Patriot League record of nine that had been set in 1987. He also led the nation in passes defended and earned first-team All-Patriot League honors. Robertson is Bucknell's first Sports Network All-American since Sean Conover made the second team in 2004, and first-ever Bison player named to the organization's first team.
Murray finished third in the nation with a 44.1 punting average for the Rams, who led the FCS in net punting. He booted 49 punts for 2,160 yards. Murray is Fordham's eighth Sports Network All-American in the past 10 seasons, and first since 2009.
Lum, Robertson and Murray also appeared on the Associated Press FCS All-America Team with Spadola and Schaetzke. On that list, Spadola made the first team while Lum, Robertson and Schaetzke were all on the second team and Murray was a third-team selection.
Liebler earned his first All-America honor and became the seventh Patriot Leaguer to earn distinction this fall. His teammate on the offensive line, Troy McKenna, was named to the AP squad last week.
The six selections and three, or four, first-team picks are the most since seven overall players made the list in 2003 with four on the first team. The Patriot League also had its highest total of AP All-Americans since the 2003 season.
The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America teams were selected by a national panel of sports information directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. The awards are based entirely on regular season performance.
For the full Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America Team, click here