BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State University freshman defensive back Clifton Duck (Matthews, N.C./Butler) continues to rack up the postseason awards, as he was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American Team.
Leading up to the honor, Duck was named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year and was named to USA Today’s Freshman All-American Team in December. The true freshman is the lone student-athlete from the Sun Belt to be honored, while the list features players from schools such as Ohio State, USC, Penn State, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan and other Power Five programs.
Duck made a splash in his first season in a Mountaineer uniform, starting in all 12 games as a true freshman and leading the Apps with five interceptions, eight breakups and 13 deflections. Duck was tied for second in the Sun Belt in picks and first amongst all freshman. In addition, the lockdown cornerback led the league in passes defended and helped an App State squad rank third in the nation in interceptions with 20 while holding Sun Belt opponents to the fewest points allowed in the league with 94.
Appalachian’s pass defense ranked 29th in the country in passing yards allowed at 200.3 per game and third in the conference.
Duck’s numbers were on par with some of the top defensive backs in the nation as he was tied for ninth in the nation in interceptions and was tied with freshman Jessie Bates (Wake Forest) for the most amongst freshmen.
Duck also showed his aggressiveness by recording 54 tackles, which was fourth on the team. Duck’s career-high 13 tackles against Akron (9/24) was a team best this season, while 41 of his tackles were solo stops and notched 2.5 tackles for a loss.
His best stretch of the season came against Idaho and Georgia Southern, where he tallied three interceptions. His two-interception performance against Idaho also included his first career touchdown that came on a pick six.
Duck will return for his sophomore season and help the Apps defend their Sun Belt Championship, go for a third-straight 10-win season and a 3-0 start in bowl games.
Photo Courtesy: Clifton Duck, App State Athletics