Presbyterian College has a football All-American for the first time in nine years.
Preseason, of course.
Senior linebacker Colby Campbell was named to the Phil Steele fourth team in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision. Justin Bethel earned similar honors in three different publications (Sports Network, College Sports Journal and Phil Steele FCS Magazine) in 2011.
Campbell rewrote the Blue Hose career record book (since PC joined Division I in 2007) as he played and started in all 12 games while totaling a Big South single-season tackle record with 150 tackles. He also totaled a team-high 16.5 tackles for loss and a D1 program-record nine sacks. He added four pass breakups, an interception and forced fumble during the 2019 campaign.
Campbell recorded 10 games with at least 10 tackles, including a record 20 against Kennesaw State. He paced the Big South with 12.5 tackles per game, and led the league with 12.8 tackles per game in league contests. He ranked third in all of FCS with 12.5 tackles per game.
Wide receiver Keith Pearson, offensive lineman Ethan Williams, defensive lineman Tyler Wilhelm, defensive backs Rod Haygood and Jeffrey Smyth and punt returner Mack Simmons were all named to the first team all-independent team.
The Blue Hose are playing this fall as independents after leaving the Big South Conference (for football). In 2021, Presbyterian will join the Pioneer Football League.
Campbell was also named preseason defensive player of the year among FCS independents by the Steele publication.
Pearson led the Blue Hose in receiving yards with 777, which sits second in the D1 single-season record book. He had 71 catches for 777 yards and three touchdowns on the year. He set the single-season record, again, in D1, for catches with 71 receptions. Pearson finished tied for first in the Big South in receptions, tied for first in receptions per game, fifth in receiving yards and sixth in yards per game.
In 2019, Haygood played in 10 games while starting nine in the PC secondary. He totaled 39 tackles to go along with a team-high three interceptions and was tied for the team lead with four pass breakups. Williams played in 11 games during the 2019 season while making 10 starts, seven at left tackle and one at right guard.
Wilhelm played in all 12 games last season, while making eight starts on the Presbyterian defensive line. Wilhelm totaled 53 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and four sacks, while adding a forced fumble, quarterback hurry, pass breakup and blocked kick.
Smyth played in all 12 games during his freshman year, while making six starts. Smyth totaled 63 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one interception and three pass breakups. He finished second among freshman defensive backs in the Big South with his 63 stops in 2019.
During his freshman campaign, Simmons played and started in all 12 games as he recorded 36 catches for 304 yards, while also picking up six kick returns for 79 yards and a team-high eight punt returns for 56 yards. Simmons had a season-high five catches against Eastern Kentucky and recorded a season-high 56 yards receiving in a 24-14 victory against Gardner-Webb. He recorded at least one catch in all 12 games during the 2019 season. He recorded a season-high six punt return in the Blue Hose season finale against St. Andrews.