COMMERCE, Texas Three members of the Colorado State University-Pueblo football team earned D2CCA All-Super Region 4 honors Friday, as juniors Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) and Darius Williams (CB, Gilbert, Ariz.) garnered first team recognition. Sophomore Emery Taylor (CB, Aurora, Colo.) was named to the second team.
All three are gathering all-region recognition for the first time and the first members of the ThunderWolves to earn the all-region listing from the publication since 2015.
The Pack finished the season with a 9-3 overall record, while their 9-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference mark was good for a share of the league title. CSU-Pueblo advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs as a seven seed. The ThunderWolves fell 16-13 in overtime to No. 1 overall and No. 2 seed Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The defense closed the regular season top 20 nationally in nine categories, red zone defense (3rd, 57.7%), interceptions (4th, 21), team passing efficiency defense (4th, 88.95), defensive touchdowns (7th, 5), scoring defense (10th, 14.3), total defense (10th, 273.5), turnovers gained (11th, 27), turnover margin (17th, 1.0) and passing yards allowed (18th, 164.6).
D2CCA All-Region First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... Started all 12 games at inside linebacker and finished the season with 110 tackles with 71 solo ... Was 2nd in the RMAC in both tackles and solo tackles ... Ranks 22nd nationally in solo tackles ... The 71 solo tackles is a new modern era program record ... Led the RMAC with 14.0 tackles for loss (-50 yards) and added 4.5 sacks to tie for 5th ... Forced three fumbles (T-3rd in RMAC, T-60th nationally) with one recovery ... Compiled six games with double-digit tackle totals with a season high 14 at West Texas A&M (Sept. 9) ... The ThunderWolves defense finished the regular season 10th nationally in both total defense (273.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and 11th in turnovers gained (27) ... Academic All-District and Academic All-RMAC First Team.
D2CCA All-Region First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... Williams finished the regular season T-2nd in NCAA Division II for interceptions with eight, which is also a CSU-Pueblo program record ... Returned those eight interceptions for 176 yards (5th in Division II) and three touchdowns (T-1st in Division II) ... Added nine pass break-ups to finish 2nd in the RMAC in passes defended (17), which also ranks T-23rd nationally ... Compiled 46 tackles (34 solo) with 4.5 tackles for loss (-13 yards) and a sack (-6 yards) ... Forced a fumble in the playoff game at Minnesota State (Nov. 18) ... Named RMAC Player of the Week once in 2017 ... CSU-Pueblo finished the regular season 4th nationally in both interceptions (21) and team passing efficiency defense (88.95) and were 10th in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and total defense (273.5 ypg).
D2CCA All-Region Second Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... Finished the regular season as the RMAC leader in passes defended with 18 to rank T-14th in NCAA Division II ... Brought down six interceptions (113 return yards) to rank second in the RMAC and T-9th nationally ... Scored twice on the six interceptions ... THe 12 break-ups was T-6th in the RMAC and T-25th nationally ... Added 3.5 tackles for loss (-13 yards) with 45 tackles (28 solo) ... CSU-Pueblo finished the regular season 4th nationally in both interceptions (21) and team passing efficiency defense (88.95) and were 10th in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and total defense (273.5 ypg).