13 Lumberjacks Make 2023 Phil Steele FCS Awards

NACOGDOCHES, Texas- The Phil Steele FCS All-American and UAC All-Conference lists were announced today. The list features 13 Lumberjacks, two Freshman All-American selections and 12 All-Conference performers.

Aaron Sears received his second post season award as he was named to the Phil Steele FCS 2023 Freshman All-American Team second team at cornerback. The redshirt freshman out of Tyler, Texas had a great year for the Lumberjack defense, totaling 55 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and three pass breakups. Sears was a cornerstone on the defense and helped keep the ‘Jacks close in big games. He had a career-high performance of 15 tackles against UCA. Sears was also named UAC Freshman of the Week twice this season after his 11-tackle performance against Austin Peay and his 15-tackle performance against UCA. He was also named to the Jerry Rice award watchlist which honors the best freshman in the FCS.

Joining Sears on the All-American list is Redshirt Freshman Aaron Austin. Austin had an immediate impact for the Lumberjacks in his first season in Nacogdoches. The Colorado transfer from Fort Worth, Texas played in all 11 games for the ‘Jacks. Austin recorded 48 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and seven quarterback hurries on the year. He also had a career-high 10 tackles and two tackles for loss against Abilene Christian on 10/21/23. Austin was also named to the UAC All-Conference Third Team as a defensive lineman.Chase Ruiz was named to the Phil Steele All-UAC first team as a long snapper. The Redshirt Senior long snapper played in eight games for the ‘Jacks this season before sustaining a season ending injury against Abilene Christian. Ruiz, from Clear Springs, Texas, was a key player for the Lumberjacks special teams. He recorded three tackles on the year and recovered one fumble.

Ed Bobino III was named to the Phil Steele All-UAC second team as a defensive lineman. The redshirt Sophomore from Huntsville, Texas was a force on the defensive line for the ‘Jacks playing in all 11 games. Ed totaled 52 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries on the year. Bobino was also a huge contributor on special teams as he recorded two blocked kicks. He had a season high nine tackles against Abilene Christian on 10/21/23.

Five Lumberjacks were named to the All-UAC third team including Jerrell WimbleyKylon HarrisAaron AustinJermaine Brown, and Charles Demmings.

Jerrell Wimbley a sophomore running back from Houston, Texas was part of a two-man backfield that anchored the Lumberjacks offense all season. Jerrell rushed for 707 yards on 141 carries averaging five yards per carry and 70.7 yards per game. He also rushed for six touchdowns on the year. Wimbley contributed to the ‘Jacks passing attack racking up 21 receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown. He had a season and career high rushing performance against Abilene Christian where he had 20 carries for 165 yards.

Kylon Harris had a breakout season for the ‘Jacks playing in all 11 games and having at least two receptions in every game along with a six-game streak in which he caught at least one touchdown pass. The sophomore wide receiver from Laplace, Louisiana recorded 694 yards on 61 receptions, averaging 11.4 yards per reception and 63 yards per game. Harris had three games over 100 receiving yards and was named UAC offensive Player of the Week after his performance against Texas A&M Commerce in which he recorded 11 receptions for 111 yards and three receiving touchdowns. His three-touchdown night tied the mark set by former Lumberjack and New York Jets rookie star Xavier Gipson. Harris followed up his career-high performance against TAMUC by setting a career-high in receiving yards two weeks later against UCA with five receptions for 120 yards.

Junior Linebacker Jermaine Brown was another huge contributor for the ‘Jack’s defense this season. Brown, from Manvel, Texas recorded a career-high 86 tackles on the season. Brown also recorded 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, six quarterback hurries, and two pass breakups. He had a season and career high 14 tackles against Southern Utah on 11/11/23 and a season and career high two sacks against UCA on 10/14/23.

Charles Demmings rounded out the third team selections for the Lumberjacks. The redshirt sophomore from Dallas, Texas recorded 18 total tackles on the year alongside one tackle for loss, eight pass breakups, and two interceptions. Demmings had three games with four tackles.

Another five Lumberjacks were named to the All-UAC Fourth Team which included Keegan HolmClint LapicBruce HarmonChris Campos, and Max Quick.

Keegan Holm a senior offensive lineman from La Vernia, Texas played in his fifth season for the Lumberjacks. Holm played in 52 games during his time at SFA and was named to the Preseason All-UAC Team.

Clint Lapic played his fourth season for the Lumberjacks this year. The redshirt senior from Hallsville, Texas played in 36 games for the Lumberjacks over four seasons. He played in nine games this year after missing two with an injury.

Bruce Harmon was yet another weapon for the Lumberjacks on defense this year. The redshirt junior from Rockwall, Texas started the year off hot recording six pass breakups in his first two games of the season. Harmon ended the season with 20 total tackles, one interception, nine pass breakups, and one blocked kick. He recorded a season high six tackles in the season opener against Troy on 9/2/23.

Chris Campos the junior kicker from Nacogdoches, Texas was also honored. He was a perfect 36-for-36 on PAT’s this season and 17-for-24 on field goals. Campos had a record-breaking year as he now holds the career record for career points (360), and career field goals made (68). He was named to the Preseason All-UAC Team and was also named UAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Texas A&M Commerce on 9/30/23.
Max Quick rounds out the UAC All-Conference selections for the Lumberjacks. The redshirt senior punter from Lufkin, Texas played in all 11 games this season and it was his sixth season with the team. Max completed one pass for 14 yards to keep a pivotal drive alive against UCA. He had 12 punts inside the 20-yard line and three touchbacks. He totaled 10,049 yards punting in his career.

The Lumberjacks in all had 12 players named to the UAC All-Conference teams, five on defense, four on offense, and three on special teams.