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October 30, 2014

JSU football Gamecocks land three on preseason FCS all-America list

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 5:35 pm | Updated: 5:37 pm, Tue Jul 1, 2014.

Three Jacksonville State players landed on the Sports Network's preseason FCS all-America team, which was released today.

JSU center Max Holcombe landed on the first team, while running back DaMarcus James is second team. Defensive end LaMichael Fanning was placed on the third team.

Jacksonville State is ranked Nos. 4 and 6 in two preseason Top 25 polls after advancing to the NCAA FBS quarterfinals last season, finishing with an 11-4 record.

"We are proud that Max, DaMarcus and LaMichael have all been named preseason All-Americans," first-year JSU head coach John Grass said. "They are all three very talented football players and are very deserving of this honor."

Holcombe, a senior, has started 37 straight games at center for the Gamecocks and is the anchor on the offensive line.

The Tuscaloosa native played 1,138 snaps and posted the highest grade on the JSU offensive line at just over 87 percent for the 2013 season. The Gamecocks led the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing with an average of 239.1 yards a game, which ranked 12th nationally. The Gamecocks also scored a school record 48 rushing touchdowns.

James was first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference last year and made All-American after rushing for 1,477 yards on 292 carries, setting the school's single-season rushing record.

James, a junior, also set the OVC record with 29 rushing touchdowns. That figure ranked second nationally.

The Demopolis native has 35 career rushing touchdowns, which is the third in school history, and his 13 career 100-yard rushing games is also the second most in school history.

Fanning was a four-star prospect from Hamilton, Ga., and played his senior year of high school football at Auburn High School before signing with Alabama in 2011. He redshirted his first season and saw reserve action on defense for the Crimson Tide in 2012 and 2013, before enrolling at Jacksonville State in January.

Jacksonville State opens the 2014 season at Michigan State on Aug. 29, and the Gamecocks will open preseason practice on Aug. 1.

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