NASH EARNS FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG SKY HONORS, ONE OF 12 RECOGNIZED BY LEAGUE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Junior Zack Nash was named to the Big Sky Conference first team and was one of 12 Sacramento State players to earn all-conference honors, it was announced today. Nash was a unanimous selection at defensive end and highlighted a list of seven players who were named either first or second team.
Nash led the Big Sky in both sacks and tackles-for-loss. The junior tallied 13.0 sacks on the year and 16.5 tackles-for-loss. His sack total also broke the school single-season record. Against Idaho State, Nash was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after recording a conference and school record 5.0 sacks.
Sacramento State placed three players on the second team offense comprised of Chase Deadder, Jeff Fleming and John Taylor. Deadder earned his first all-Big Sky honor at wide receiver. The junior was the team's leading receiver with 37 catches for 788 yards and a career high six touchdowns. Deadder's average of 21.29 yards per reception set the Sacramento State single-season record while his 71.64 yards per game places him third in school history.
Quarterback Jeff Fleming capped his amazing first season with the team by being named the second team quarterback. Fleming set the Sacramento State single-season record with 23 passing touchdowns and ended the year with an efficiency rating of 147.42 which ranks second in Hornet history and placed 10th in the FCS this year. Fleming also had success on the ground and concluded the year with 2,443 yards of total offense which is the fifth most by a Hornet.
Taylor earned his first all-Big Sky award at tackle. The junior, who has started 34 consecutive games, made the move from center to tackle prior to the start of the season and did not miss a beat. The Stockton, Calif., native played a major part in a group which helped the Hornets rush for 170.4 yards per game.
Defensively, defensive tackle Christian Clark, inside linebacker Peter Buck and safety Zach Schrader were each named to the second team. Clark earned his third postseason Big Sky award after recording 36 total tackles, including 5.5 for loss. The senior finished his Hornet career ranked sixth in school history with 31 career tackles-for-loss. He also tied for third with 19.5 career sacks.
Buck led the team with 96 tackles while starting 10 games. During the year, he had at least five tackles in every game and had at least 10 stops in four contests. Buck concluded his career with 274 total tackles to rank fifth in school history.
Schrader was named to the second team for the second consecutive season. The senior, who transferred from Western Washington, leaves Sacramento State ranked 17th in career tackles with 185 stops. As a senior, he started all 11 games at safety and finished second on the team with 185 tackles. This year, he was also a pivotal member on special teams, blocking two punts and converting a first down with a catch on a fake punt.
Five Hornets earned honorable mention accolades. The team was represented on the offensive side of the ball by wide receiver Morris Norrise, running back Bryan Hilliard and tackle Nate Doverspike. Defensively, David Coleman earned his first conference recognition and senior kicker Chris Diniz was honored on special teams.
Norrise ranked second on the team with 35 receptions for 532 yards and team high eight receiving touchdowns during his first season. Hilliard rushed for 883 yards and moved into third place in school history with 2,791 career rushing yards. The junior led Sacramento State with 12 rushing touchdowns and scored at least two TDs in five games. During the year, he had a stretch of six consecutive 100-yard games before a toe injury slowed him for the final four contests. Doverspike started every game at right tackle and earned his first conference honor.
Coleman shifted from linebacker to defensive end in 2010 and responded by setting the school single-season record with five fumble recoveries. He also had 26 total tackles, including six for loss with two sacks. Diniz made 25 of his 28 career field goal attempts to set the Sacramento State career record with a 89.3 conversion rate. His 79 points in 2010 are the eighth most in school history while his 145 career points places him ninth in the Hornet record book despite playing just two seasons.
The Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year was shared between Montana State quarterback Denarius McGhee and Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones. The Defensive Player of the Year went to EWU linebacker J.C. Sherritt while McGhee was also the Newcomer of the Year.