Coastal Football duo of Jackson, Likely pick up All-America recognition

Both were named to the All-Sun Belt first team

Coastal Football duo of Jackson, Likely pick up All-America recognition
CCU defensive end Tarron Jackson and tight end Isaiah Likely (Source: Coastal Carolina Athletics)

CONWAY, S.C. – The 2020 Sun Belt Conference Champions had two players earn postseason All-America recognition on Tuesday, as redshirt senior defensive end Tarron Jackson was named to the ESPN’s 2020 College Football All-America team while junior tight end Isaiah Likely earned a spot on the 2020 PFF’s (Pro Football Focus) All-America second team.

Earlier this week, Jackson was tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Sun Belt first team honors for the second-straight season.

He has been stellar again this season despite seeing double-teams on over 60 percent of the snaps he has played this year. A finalist and semifinalist for several national defensive player awards this season, he leads the team and is second in the Sun Belt in sacks with 8.5 on the year. He also leads the Chants and is third in the league in tackles-for-loss with 13.5. Jackson is the only player in the top three in the conference in both sacks and tackles-for-loss this season.

He is also tied for second in the Sun Belt with three forced fumbles on the year while also adding 49 total tackles, 18 quarterback hurries, and one fumble recovery to his resume for 2020.

A three-time SBC Defensive Player of the Week selection this season, Jackson has also been named a 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist, a Bednarik Award semifinalist, a William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist, a 2020-21 Senior CLASS Award candidate, and earned a spot on the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award watch lists. He was also invited to the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Likely, who also earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors this season, totaled 25 catches for 517 yards and four touchdowns this season for the Chants. His 517 receiving yards were 11th in the Sun Belt overall but first among all Sun Belt tight ends, while his average yards per catch of 20.7 yards per reception was third in the Sun Belt.

Despite missing one game and playing with a lower-body injury that will require surgery at the end of the season, Likely caught at least one pass in nine of the 10 games in which he played and recorded a career-high 118 receiving yards in the win over Appalachian State. He had catches of 75, 72, and 57 yards on the season, all three of which were the longest pass plays on the season for CCU’s offense.

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