RICHMOND, Va. – To reach the FCS Quarterfinals for a second straight year and post double-digit victories for a second straight season, outstanding efforts by many individuals are required.
That’s exactly what the University of Richmond football team had this past fall and some of those individuals were honored on Thursday when five Spiders earned All-State accolades.
Seniors Brian Brown, Thomas Evans, Winston Craig, along with redshirt sophomore Griffin Trau all earned First-Team accolades, while redshirt freshman Deontez Thompson was named the State Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Brown, a Richmond native, earned four different All-American accolades this past year after leading the CAA in catches (81), receving yards (1,485) and TDs (11). He ranked in the top-five in the country in all three of those categories for the second consecutive season.
Craig, who also earned All-American accolades, had a monster year for the Richmond defensive unit. His eight sacks ranked second in the CAA and top-10 nationally, while also being the eighth-highest single-season mark in program history.
He piled up 59 tackles on the year, including a team-high 11.5 for loss. He anchored a defensive line that battle injuries all year, but Craig played nearly every snap all season long.
Trau may have been the story of the year for the Spiders. A non-scholarship student-athlete, the Culver, Ind. native stepped into the starting role as the team’s kicker and never looked back.
He finished the year with a school record and CAA-tying record 23 field goals, while setting a new school record with points by a kicker with 111 on the year. He led all of FCS with his 23 field goals and ranked in the top-10 in the country in field goal percentage, knocking home 88.5-percent of his kicks.
Evans was the emotional leader for the Spiders and has started nearly 40 consecutive games for Richmond. He was an anchor to an offensive line that led the Spiders to the top passing offense in the CAA and one of the top offenses in the country. He and his linemates blocked for three different 100-yard rushers this year when injuries riddled the Spiders’ backfield.
Earlier this year, he was recognized as the State’s Top Offensive Lineman by the TD Club of Richmond.
On the year, Thompson finished with 1,250 total yards and 11 total touchdowns. He became the first freshman in program history to rush for over 1,000 yards and just the 13th player ever to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
His nine rushing touchdowns are the 12th-most in a single season in program history.