LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell football senior linebacker Evan Byers (Raleigh, N.C./Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)/Trinity Pawling (N.Y.)) was named to The Sports Network Preseason All-America Team on Tuesday. The two-time team MVP was a member of the third-team defense and was one of eight Patriot League players recognized.
A First Team All-Patriot League selection a year ago, Byers was named to the College Football Performance Awards Preseason Linebacker Watch List earlier this offseason. He is the first Bison in nearly two decades to record back-to-back 100 tackle campaigns and his 263 career stops are the most by a Bucknell player since 2006.
Named the team’s Strength and Conditioning MVP during 2014 spring practice, Byers led the Patriot League with 129 tackles last season and ranked fourth in the country in tackles per game (11.7). He was also among the Patriot League leaders in sacks (3.5) and tackles for loss (10.5).
Byers capped his outstanding junior campaign with a 19-tackle performance at VMI, marking the most stops by a Bison player since at least 2001.
Byers was also an All-Patriot League selection as a sophomore in 2012, earning second-team honors. That year he totaled 100 tackles, becoming the first Bucknell player to reach the century mark since 2009. Byers was second on the team in tackles for loss (13.5), third in sacks (5.5) and second in interceptions (3).
A two-year starter who has played in all 33 games since he arrived on campus, Byers earned the Stuart M. Smith Award as the team’s top newcomer as a freshman in 2011.
This is the second All-America honor for a Bison since the end of last season. Tracey Smith earned Third Team All-America honors from The Sports Network following last year.
Byers and his Bucknell teammates will begin preseason practice in a few weeks as they prepare for their Aug. 30 season opener against VMI at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.