CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern senior defensive lineman Anthony Ellis was named to the Athlon Sports 2017 Preseason FCS All-America Team, it was announced Wednesday morning. Ellis is one of 27 players on the list and is the Big South Conference’s only representative on the team.
The Apopka, Fla. native lived up to the preseason billing in 2016 by leading the Big South in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (16.0) in spearheading a dominant defensive unit for the second consecutive season. The Bucs finished seventh overall in the FCS in total defense and third overall in passing defense in the 2016 season and return a strong front seven to the 2017 roster this year.
Ellis was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS and was well-recognized on the postseason awards circuit earning All-American honors from HERO Sports, the Associated Press, and STATS FCS. He was the second player in Big South history to record two seven-sack seasons.
He was the first Charleston Southern player to be voted the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year since Jada Ross in 2005 and was the second consecutive defensive lineman to win the award. He had his best performance of the year in CSU’s biggest game, tallying a sack and 3.5 TFL to earn Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors in a 48-26 road rout of Liberty. Ellis was at the front of a defensive effort that limited the Flames to 75 first-half yards as the Bucs built a 31-6 halftime lead in the must-win game.
Ellis shined in league play as he totaled a league-best 9.5 TFL in five games (1.90 per game), and tied for the top spot with four sacks (one each against Monmouth, Presbyterian, Gardner-Webb, and Liberty). He also had 24 stops against Big South foes, 15 of which were solo.
Ellis’ accolades come a week after the Bucs were selected in the Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 poll. The Bucs were picked 16th in the poll, marking the third straight year CSU has earned a spot in a preseason Top 25 poll published by a national media outlet.
Ellis was previously selected as the Big South Defensive Player to Watch by Athlon Sports in May.