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CCU’s Josaiah Stewart named to 2021 FWAA Freshman All-America Team

Coastal Carolina freshman defensive end ranked fifth nationally in sacks
Josaiah Stewart.
Josaiah Stewart.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:57 PM EST
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DALLAS, Texas – Coastal Carolina freshman defensive end Josaiah Stewart has been named to the 2021 FWAA Freshman All-America Team presented by Chris Doering Mortgage, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced on Monday.

The freshman All-America honor is just another postseason honor for the first-year Chant, as Stewart was also named to The Athletic’s 2021 College Football Freshman All-American team and the 2021 Pro Football Focus (PFF) College Football All-True Freshman team. He was also named a 2021 Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award semifinalist and was recognized by Pro Football Network (PFN) as a third-team All-American, the Best Interior Defensive Lineman of the Year, the Sun Belt Defensive Lineman of the Year, and the Sun Belt Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Named to the 2021 Ted Hendricks Awards Final watch list, Stewart also picked up 2021 All-Sun Belt first-team honors, as well as 2021 Phil Steele Sun Belt Conference All-Conference and 2021 Pro Football Network (PFN) All-Sun-Belt first-team recognition.

The Massachusetts native made an immediate impact for the Chants’ defense this season, as he shattered the CCU single-season sacks record of 10.5 sacks set by consensus All-American and current Philadelphia Eagle Tarron Jackson in 2019 with 12.5 sacks in his first collegiate season this year.

His 12.5 sacks lead the Sun Belt, ranked fifth nationally, and were the most by a true freshman in all of FBS. His 12.5 sacks were also just one shy of the Sun Belt single-season record of 13.5 sacks.

He finished the regular season with 15.5 tackles-for-loss which was the second-most in a single season in CCU history. The double-digit tackles-for-loss were also the most by a true freshman nationally this year, ranked sixth in the Sun Belt on the season, and was just 0.5 tackles-for-loss shy of the school single-season record of 16.0.

In only his second game as a Chant, Stewart registered 3.5 sacks in a win over Kansas (Sept. 10) to set CCU’s single-game sacks record. He topped that with 4.0 sacks in the road win at Georgia Southern (Nov. 6) and also set a new CCU single-game tackles-for-loss record with 5.0 versus the Eagles.

While splitting time at defensive end this season, Stewart recorded 43 total tackles, including a career-high eight stops twice. He also forced three fumbles, which was tied for second in the conference. In Sun Belt play, his 12.0 tackles-for-loss and 9.0 sacks both led the league.