Watauga County native Eric Breitenstein was named a first-team All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine.
Breitenstein, who led the nation in scoring and was one the top rushing leaders in the country, led Wofford College to the national quarterfinals before the Terriers were eliminated by Southern Conference foe, Georgia Southern. Breitenstein, a red-shirt sophomore, started and played in 13 games. He rambled for 1,639 yards and he scored 22 touchdowns.
Those numbers allowed the Terriers (10-3 overall and SoCon co-champions with Appalachian State) to produce their first winning campaign in two years. Breitenstein was also named a second-team All-American by both The Sports Network and the Associated Press.
Breitenstein, a first-team All-SoCon performer this past fall, was a two-time All-State performer at Watauga High School. During his junior and senior years, he backboned WHS to 23 wins and a pair of Final Four appearances. He was also a Shrine Bowl selection in 2007. In just two years, Breitenstein was, without question, the best player to play for WHS in 30 years. Danny Triplett, who played at Clemson, had that distinction in the late 70's. The only different, Triplett led the Pioneers to a state title (in Class 3A) in 1978.
Breitenstein was also named to the Walter Payton Award watch list back in October. ASU quarterback DeAndre Presley is among three finalists for the award. The Walter Payton winner will be announced, Thursday, January 6 in Frisco, TX, home of the national championship game this season; the contest will be played Friday night, January 7 between Delaware (of the Colonial Athletic Association; national champions in 2003; lost to ASU in the national finals in 2007) and Eastern Washington (of the Big Sky Conference). The CAA and the SoCon have won seven consecutive titles since 2003.
ASU had six players named to the Phl Steele All-American team. Defensive back Mark LeGree was named first-team defense, defensive end Jabari Fletcher and linebacker D.J. Smith were named second team. Presley and wide receiver Brian Quick were named second-team offense; offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore was named to the third team.