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APSU Football No. 25, Jaison Williams, Gunnar Scholato garner HERO Sports Preseason All-America honors

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU FootballSeattle, WA – Jaison Williams and Gunnar Scholato are expected to anchor Austin Peay State University’s defense come fall as the football Govs hope to maintain not only consensus top-25 status but secure a berth in the FCS Playoffs for the first time in program history.

Tuesday, the duo were named HERO Sports FCS preseason All-Americans, with Williams earning second-team honors and Scholato a third-team honoree. In addition, the Governors were picked No. 25 in the HERO Sports FCS preseason poll.

APSU Football - Jaison Williams and Gunnar Scholato

Williams, who last week was tabbed a preseason FCS All-American choice by both Street & Smith and Lindy’s publications, returns for his junior season with a third (and likely not final) preseason All-American honor to his name.

The Trussville, Alabama native was a one-man wrecking crew for the Govs during the 2017 season, finishing the year with a team-high 9.5 sacks – good for second in the Ohio Valley Conference – and 11.5 tackles for loss. Williams started all 12 games for a much-improved Governors defense, forcing a club-high four fumbles. He concluded the 2017 season with 44 tackles and 13 quarterback hurries.

A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award – given to the nation’s top defensive player – Williams was selected as a First-Team All-OVC defensive lineman in November and second-team AP FCS All-American in December.

No single Gov did more damage than Williams during the campaign.

Among his highlights were:

  • A two-sack game against FBS foe Miami University
  • 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble against UT Martin
  • Ten tackles (1.5 TFL), two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery against nationally-ranked Jacksonville State
  • A two-sack game against Tennessee State, wherein he opened and closed the day with sacks to force a three-and-out on TSU’s first drive and again on the last play of the game
  • Four hurries, a pass break up and a sack against Southeast Missouri

Scholato led the OVC in total tackles for the second year in a row with 99 stops (35 solo) en route to his second-straight selection as an All-OVC choice. The Hendersonville, TN native was a first-team honoree thanks to a team-leading 12.0 tackles for loss, while also picking up a pair of fumble recoveries and an interception along the way.

While Scholato didn’t have to carry the same load defensively that he shouldered during his 124-tackle campaign as a sophomore, he remained a midfield enforcer for Austin Peay, recording at least one tackle for loss in seven of 12 games, including five in a row.

 

His highlights include:

  • A 10-tackle performance, complete with fumble recovery, pass breakup and 1.5 TFL against FBS Miami University
  • Assisted on 12 tackles, including a half-sack, against nationally-ranked UT Martin
  • Eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, to topple Tennessee State
  • Seven tackles, a hurry and a tackle for loss against FBS unbeaten UCF
  • Seven tackles (2.5 TFL) to secure the Sgt. York Trophy in a win against Tennessee Tech.
  • Ten tackles, a sack and a pass-breakup in the Govs comeback win against Eastern Kentucky.

Austin Peay’s preseason Top 25 ranking is the fourth it has received this month. Last week, the Governors received preseason recognition from a trio of publications. Lindy’s FCS Preseason Top 25 picked APSU 15th with both Athlon Sports National College Football Annual and Street and Smith’s Preseason Top 25 picking it 22nd.

The Govs will find out their official OVC predictions at 2018 OVC Media Day, Monday, July 23rd in Nashville. Austin Peay opens the 2018 season at 2017 FBS National runner-up Georgia, Saturday, September 1st in Athens.

Season ticket information for the Governors 2018 home schedule, which opens with a September 8th contest against Presbyterian, is now available. Reserved seating is available today and may be purchased by contacting the APSU Athletics Ticket office by phone at 931.221.PEAY (7329). Fans interested in joining the waiting list for club seating should visit LetsGoPeay.com/Tickets


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