CONWAY – After being one of the most productive linebackers in the nation this past season, Coastal Carolina's Alex Scearce (Huntersville, N.C./Lake Norman Charter HS) was rewarded by being voted first team NCAA FCS All-America by the Associated Press.
Scearce was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the top defensive player in the FCS. The Huntersville, N.C., native finished sixth in the voting overall and was second in the voting among the linebackers nominated.
Scearce joins former Chanticleers Tyler Thigpen, Josh Norman and Quinn Backus among the select group to be named an AP All-America. Overall, Scearce is the 11th Chanticleer to be named AP All-America (note: both Norman and Backus were two-time selections). Scearce is the 24th Chant to be named to at least one All-American team.
Scearce led the team in tackles (84) for a second consecutive year and set a CCU season record with 8.0 sacks. He additionally led the team in tackles for loss (13.5), interceptions (5), forced fumbles (3) and fumble recoveries (2) while ranking second with 7 PBU.
In fact, Scearce was only player in the FCS with at least 70 tackles, 10 TFL, 5 sacks and 5 INTs.
Coastal scored seven defensive TDs this season – second-best total in ALL DIVISION I behind Alabama's 10 – and Scearce was responsible for five (returned 2 picks for TDs, recovered a fumble for TD and forced two fumbles that were recovered for TDs).
Lake View native and S.C State linebacker Darius Leonard joined Scearce on the first team.
The junior lead the MEAC with 124 tackles, his average of 11.3 tackles per game ranked sixth in the FCS. Leonard also had 14 1/2 tackles for loss. 3 1/2 sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and two blocked kicks.