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AFCA Tabs Furman's Schmidt FCS All-American

Matthew Schmidt
Matthew Schmidt

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) has recognized Furman center Matthew Schmidt as a 2017 FCS First Team All-American, it was announced today.

The AFCA accord is the latest is a series for Schmidt, who earlier was tabbed to Associated Press, STATS, and Phil Steele All-America squads.  He is the 20th Paladin to land AFCA All-America honors.

Schmidt was a consensus 2017 1st Team All-Southern Conference selection and recipient of the league's prestigious Jacobs Blocking Award this year. A Stokesdale, N.C., product and team co-captain, he started all 13 games and tallied a unit high 839 snaps this fall in helping Furman, the SoCon No. 7 preseason pick by head coaches, overcome an 0-3 start en route to an 8-5 record, league second place regular season finish, and FCS second round playoff appearance.

He headlined an offensive front that helped Furman average 225.8 ypg rushing (4.7 ypc) and produce 36 rushing touchdowns, clearing the way for All-SoCon running backs Antonio Wilcox (814 yds., 14 TDs) and Kealand Dirks (720 yds., 9 TDs).

Schmidt played a central role in Furman's offense that paced the SoCon in scoring (32.6 ppg), ranked second in total offense (423.6 ypg), and surrendered an FCS low seven sacks.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound four-year starter saw action in 40 games in his Paladin tenure, posted 39 starts, and logged 2,472 career plays.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information