Kennesaw State quarterback Xavier Shepherd and East Tennessee running back Quay Holmers were named a STATS FCS first team all-Americans after their record-breaking performance this season.

Shepherd was selected at the all-purpose position, which recognizes the best dual-threat athlete on the field. The award comes one week after the quarterback was named a first team all-American by HERO Sports and a third team all-American by the Associated Press.

Holmes, the former McEachern High School standout, was named to the first team by all three organizations.

Shepherd finished the season 77-for-123 (62.6%) with 1,341 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. He tallied a team-high 1,016 rush yards on 240 attempts and added an FCS-best 23 rushing touchdowns. The quarterback also averaged 10.6 points per game which ranked third in the nation.

He surpassed multiple school records during his breakout season and became the first KSU quarterback to win 11 of his first 12 starts. The quarterback threw a KSU-record 15 touchdown passes and became the first player in Owl history to toss four touchdown passes in a single game. The sophomore also set a Big South Conference record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a conference game with 179.

The All-American honor adds to the accolades Shepherd has compiled throughout the course of the season. He was selected as the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, was a four-time Big South Player of the Week and three-time FCS National Performer of the Week Honorable Mention. Shepherd was also one of 25 finalists named for the prestigious Walter Payton Award.

Holmes finished the season with an East Tennessee State-record 1,553 rushing yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. He is one of the top three finalists for the Walter Payton Award and is now the Buccaneers’ all-time leading rusher (4,264), scorer (306 points) and touchdowns leader (51).

The Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year recently announced he has made himself eligible for the 2022 NFL draft. He will also compete in the Hula Bowl, a college all-star game in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 15.


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