BSC running back Shawn Morris earns First-Team All-American honors

Shawn Morris
Shawn Morris

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern's record-setting tailback Shawn Morris has been selected as a First-Team All-American for 2011. The announcement was made Friday night, Dec. 16, during halftime of the NCAA Division III national championship football game in Salem, Va.

Morris is the second NCAA Division III All-American for Birmingham-Southern (Drew Leachman earned Baseball All-America honors last season), and the only player from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference named to the first or second teams this year.

He was also named to the Associated Press' Little All-America Second Team on Friday, composed of players from NCAA Division II, Division III, and NAIA.

The All-America Team, one of only two recognized by the NCAA, honors just 11 on offense and 11 on defense per team, plus three special-teamers, with four teams named, one of them honorable mention.

"Shawn Morris is very deserving of this recognition and all of us at BSC are extremely proud for him," said Birmingham-Southern Head Football Coach Eddie Garfinkle. "It's a tremendous honor and a tribute to his unwavering work ethic and his character. Shawn not only is an elite athlete, but he's a winner in the classroom as well, and his attitude both on and off the field benefits our entire team."

The All-American honor capped a prolific season for Morris. In just nine games, the 5-8, 192- pound junior from Pensacola, Fla., rushed for 1,449 yards and 17 touchdowns in leading the Panthers to a 7-2 record, the most wins for the program since reinstating football in 2007. His season rushing total was the third most in the 50-year history of the SCAC. Morris also led the Panthers with 17 receptions for 131 yards.

In the season's final game at home against Millsaps, Morris rushed for a BSC and SCAC-record 332 yards in a 35-21 win. His performance against Millsaps was just the third 300-plus yard rushing game in league history. Morris owns the BSC's top-three rushing games, all coming this season.

Morris' record-setting season earned him many honors, including SCAC Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-SCAC, All-South Region, and two-time selection to the Team of the Week.