(AP) – Charleston Southern offensive lineman Erik Austell and defensive lineman Anthony Ellis were named second-team Associated Press FCS All-Americans on Thursday. The duo was a driving force in CSU's second consecutive run to the Big South Conference championship and the FCS Playoffs.
Austell earned third-team honors from the AP in 2015, and bounced back from injury to turn in a dominant senior season at left tackle. He started ten games and graded out at 91.4 percent while recording 84 knockdown blocks.
Austell was voted a team captain and led an offensive line that was saddled with injuries throughout the year. The Warner, Robbins, Ga., native earned a place on the All-Big South first-team after powering the nation's sixth best rushing attack. CSU scored 30+ points six times and tallied 500+ yards of offense four times. Austell, who arrived at CSU as 230-pound defensive lineman, finished his career with 39 starts and was an integral part of the winningest senior class in program history.
Ellis earned Big South Defensive Player of the Year accolades after leading the league in sacks (7.0) and tackles-for-loss (16.0). The junior is the second player in conference history to post two seven-sack seasons. The Apopka, Fla., native is also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS.
Ellis shined in league play as he totaled a league-best 9.5 TFL in five games (1.90 per game), and tied for the top spot with four sacks (one each against Monmouth, Presbyterian, Gardner-Webb and Liberty). He also had 24 of his 45 stops against Big South foes, 15 of which were solo.