Fresno State's Thomas and Nevada's Jefferson Named Walter Camp All-Americans
Dec. 7, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two Mountain West football student-athletes were named to the 2012 Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America Teams this week. Fresno State senior defensive back Phillip Thomas garnered first-team accolades, while Nevada junior running back Stefphon Jefferson was a second-team selection.
The Mountain West is one of six leagues (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) with multiple student-athletes on the Walter Camp All-America teams. The MW has had multiple players named All-Americans by the Walter Camp Foundation in four of the last five years, and the league has touted a Walter Camp All-American in each of the last nine seasons and in 12 of its 14 years overall (since 1999).
Thomas, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., became the first Bulldog ever to be named to the Walter Camp Foundation's All-America first team. The 2012 MW Defensive Player of the Year finished the regular season as the national leader in interceptions with eight, which was the most by a Bulldog in 27 years and set a new Mountain West single-season record. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns and his nine total take-aways (eight picks, one fumble recovery) are both tied for the FBS lead. Thomas' three pick-sixes have set a new school record, tied the Mountain West single-season record and is one off the NCAA record. Additionally, his four forced fumbles are tied for the seventh-most in the nation. Thomas led the Bulldogs this year with 82 tackles and his 12.0 tackles for a loss were the second-most in the MW. Thomas, a finalist for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, has also earned first-team All-American plaudits from the AFCA, CBSSports.com and the Sporting News.
Jefferson, a product of Visalia, Calif., ranks second on the NCAA's rushing chart this year with 141.9 yards per game. He has compiled 1,703 yards on the ground this season and needs just nine yards to establish a new Conference record for most rushing yards in a single-season. The junior, who ranks second in MW history with 341 rushing attempts and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2012, was the first nationally to reach the 1000-yard mark, accomplishing the feat in Week 7 to become the Wolf Pack's fastest back to reach the 1,000-yard mark and surpassing the previous school record of eight games, set by Vai Taua in 2010. This is the second All-America accolade for Jefferson this season, after he was selected to the CBSSports.com third team earlier this week.