North Dakota State University All-American Marcus Williams has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Kickoff Returner Watch List announced Monday, July 8.
Williams is one of two NDSU players to previously earn CFPA annual honors following the season, picking up the 2011 CFPA FCS Defensive Back Award. He has also been named to the 2013 preseason CFPA Defensive Back Watch List.
Williams, a 5-foot-11, 197-pound senior from Minneapolis, Minn. (Hopkins H.S.), has started all 43 games played and became the program's all-time interception leader with 18 picks including two in the 2013 FCS Championship game against Sam Houston State. He averaged 27.9 yards per kickoff return last season including a 98-yard TD at Illinois State, and he also returned an interception 98-yards for a TD vs. Youngstown State.
He finished with seven interceptions for the second straight season in 2012, and added 39 tackles including 23 solos and 11 pass breakups. A consensus first-team FCS All-American, Williams made his second apperance on The Sports Network, Associated Press and Walter Camp teams. He was the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration.
Ten Bison players have earned spots on the 2013 CFPA Watch Lists, including quarterback Brock Jensen, running back Sam Ojuri, tight end Kevin Vaadeland, defensive ends Kyle Emanuel and Cole Jirik, linebackers Carlton Littlejohn and Grant Olson, placekicker Adam Keller and punter Ben LeCompte.
The full list of 2013 recipients, including the FCS Awards, will be announced Jan. 8, 2014.
North Dakota State opens the 2013 season on Aug. 30 at Kansas State, televised nationally on Fox Sports 1. NDSU won its second straight NCAA Division I FCS championship with a 39-13 win over Sam Houston State in January 2013 and also claimed the program's second Missouri Valley Football Conference title. The Bison were 14-1 overall and 7-1 in MVFC.
2013 College Football Performance Awards FCS Kickoff Returner List
Kevin Chillis, Albany
Chris Nicholls, Cal Poly
Kirby Schoenthaler, Dartmouth
Michael Johnson, Delaware
Ryan Ho, Duquesne
Shaquille Hill, Eastern Washington
Jorrian Washington, Hampton
Rodney Tyson, Howard
Tanner Riley, Indiana State
Gabriel Chambers, Jacksonville State
Kevin Johnson, Lamar
Kevin Fogg, Liberty
Cyrus Strahm, Morehead State
Chris Flowers, Morgan State
Duane Brady, Murray State
Julian Stafford, MVSU
Greg Hardin, North Dakota
Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
Wes Smith, Northern Iowa
Ed Eagan, Northwestern State
Eric Fiore, Pennsylvania
Johnta Hebert, Prairie View A&M
Anthony Gaffney, Princeton
Justin Grant, Richmond
Fabian Truss, Samford
Xavier Roberson, Southeastern Louisiana
Josh Smith, Southern Utah
Dane Domonkos, St. Francis (PA)
Ladarius Vanlier, Tennessee Tech
Derrick Joseph, Towson
Jonathan Perkins, UC Davis
Kevin Barfield, UT-Martin
Otis Wright, Wagner
Cordero Dixon, Weber State