Cal Poly senior running back Deonte Williams and senior linebacker Kennith Jackson were both named to the Big Sky Conference all-conference football first team Tuesday in voting done by the conference’s coaches.
They are the only two first team all-conference players for the Mustangs (9-2, 7-1), who tied Montana State and Eastern Washington for the conference crown in their first season in the Big Sky.
Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh and Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin were named Coaches of the Year.
Williams led the Big Sky with 1,458 rushing yards and has set a Cal Poly school record with 10 game of 100 or more rushing yards this season. James Noble had the previous school record of eight set in 2005. Williams is also closing in on Noble’s single-season school rushing record of 1,578 yards.
Williams was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2008 while he was at Northern Arizona.
The Mustangs open the FCS playoffs Dec. 1 at Sam Houston State. It will be Cal Poly’s first playoff appearance since losing to Weber State in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs.
Jackson is Cal Poly’s second-leading tackler this season with 95 and is tied for fifth in school history in career tackles with 300. He also had two interceptions in a 70-14 win over Idaho State earlier this season.
Montana State junior quarterback DeNarius McGhee is the Offensive Player of the Year, Montana State senior linebacker Jody Owens is the Defensive Player of the Year and Southern Utah freshman linebacker Zak Browning is the Newcomer of the Year.
Montana State has six first team all-conference selections, followed by Eastern Washington with five and Northern Arizona and Montana with four each.
Cal Poly junior defensive tackler Sullivan Grosz and junior linebacker Johnny Millard were both named to the second team all-conference defensive team. The Mustangs don’t have any players on the second team offensive team.
Cal Poly players named honorable mention all-conference on offense are sophomore wide receiver Willie Tucker, junior slotback Cole Stanford (selected as a wide receiver), senior quarterback Andre Broadous, senior center Geoff Hyde, junior tackle Giovanni Sani and junior guard Lefi Letuligasenoa.
Cal Poly players named honorable mention all-conference on defense are sophomore linebacker Nick Dzubnar, senior cornerback Nico Molino and junior cornerback Vante Smith-Johnson.
On special teams, junior Chris Judge and punter Bobby Zalud earned honorable mention recognition.