CHICAGO, Ill. (SDSU) – Four South Dakota State University football players, led by first-team offensive lineman Garret Greenfield, were named Monday to the 2020-21 Stats Perform FCS All-America Team.
A sophomore right tackle from Rock Valley, Iowa, Greenfield earned a spot on the first team as a key part of a Jackrabbit offensive unit averaging 30.1 points and 407.7 yards of total offense per game en route to advancing to this weekend’s Football Championship Subdivision national title game. Greenfield was a first-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree who earned MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week recognition twice during the spring season.
Also honored from the Jackrabbit offense was running back Pierre Strong, Jr., who was a second-team selection. A junior from Little Rock, Arkansas, Strong leads the team with 650 rushing yards in eight games (81.2 ypg) and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry with three touchdowns. He also ranks as the squad’s third-leading receiver with 18 catches for 167 yards and a score.
Two members of the SDSU defense, linebacker Logan Backhaus and cornerback Don Gardner, also were second-team honorees. A senior from Spirit Lake, Iowa, has registered a team-leading 69 tackles, including a team-best 9.5 tackles for loss with two sacks and an interception. He has tallied 10 or more tackles three times, including in playoff victories over Southern Illinois (career-high 14 tackles) and Delaware (12 tackles).
Gardner, a senior from Chicago, stands fifth on the squad with 39 tackles, including three for loss, and shares the team lead with four pass breakups to go along with one interception. As a unit, the Jackrabbit defense is allowing 14.1 points per game and has held two playoff opponents without a touchdown.
Top-seeded South Dakota State, 8-1 overall, will face No. 2 Sam Houston in the FCS title game Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Central at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, with television coverage on ABC.