VIDEO: Phillip McDowell Interview
BROOKFIELD, Ill. - Carson-Newman running back Antonio Wimbush (Kingsland, Ga.) and offensive guard Phillip McDowell (Boiling Springs, S.C.) have picked up All-America honors from Don Hansen's Football Gazette, the organization announced Tuesday afternoon.
Wimbush and McDowell become the program's 123rd and 124th All-Americans all-time. The Carson-Newman football program has produced at least one All-American in 40 if the last 41 years.
McDowell's honor represents the eighth for a Carson-Newman offensive lineman in the last 11 years. Meanwhile, Wimbush becomes the first Eagle running back recognized since Harlon Hill Trophy Finalists Damian Baker was a consensus All-American in 2015. Wimbush is the 14th Eagle running back to earn All-America honors. McDowell is the 30th offensive lineman to be recognized.
Wimbush turned in another stellar season to earn All-SAC first team honors for the second time in his career. He also appears on the Don Hansen all-region team for a second time. He finished the season with 1,206 rushing yards to lead the South Atlantic Conference. The season-ending total represents the 18th best single-year on the ground for an Eagle rusher. He found the end zone seven times on the ground and once more through the air.
Wimbush had a string of four straight 100-yard games at the mid-point of the season and finished the year with 100-yard rushing efforts in five of Carson-Newman's final six games. He moved up to 11th on both Carson-Newman's career rushing yards and rushing touchdown charts.
Wimbush earned South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week honors following his performance at Virginia Union when he had 21 carries for 184 yards and three scores. That rushing tally marked a career high for Wimbush. He also went for more than 150 yards rushing against both Limestone and Virginia-Lynchburg.
His 8.0 yards per carry are the eighth highest single-season total in Carson-Newman football history and the second highest total in NCAA Division II this year.
Wimbush was named the Mayo Clinic Comeback player of the year for his efforts on the gridiron.
McDowell rewrote Carson-Newman's knockdown record book in his junior year. McDowell took over the Eagles' all-time record in career knockdowns in week six against Limestone. McDowell bypassed Robby Ignagni (44) and now has 57 for his career.
While that alone is impressive, McDowell did it in grand fashion by besting his own single-game record with a whopping 10 knockdowns. McDowell played 54 snaps against the Saints. He had a knockdown every 5.4 plays.
He helped Carson-Newman to lead the South Atlantic Conference in rushing yards with 347.6 yards per game on the ground. The Eagles led the nation in rushing yards per game for the first time since 2012.