Three Monarchs Land on College Sports Journal Preseason All-America Squads
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 15, 2012
NORFOLK, Va. -- Punter Jonathan Plisco (Newport News, Va.), defensive lineman Chris Burnette (Baltimore, Md.), and linebacker Craig Wilkins (Washington, D.C.) were all named to one of the College Sports Journal Preseason FCS All-American teams released on Tuesday.
Plisco was the lone special teams player from last year's All-America squad to make the preseason team with a First-Team nod, while Burnette and Wilkins were honored with Third Team.
The three Monarchs comprised the 21 student-athletes from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), which led all leagues in selections to the teams.
For Plisco, it was his fourth preseason All-America honor heading into the 2012 campaign having previous earned First Team accolades from Phil Steele, College Sporting News, and The Sports Network. The Monarchs senior punter has also been named among the Top 10 Special Teams Players to Watch this fall. Plisco led the CAA and ranked second in the nation in punting averaging 46.2 yards per punt. Of his 51 punts last year, 20 went the distance of 50 yards or more and 12 were placed inside the opponent 20.
Burnette adds to his Preseason All-America list having been named a Third Team Phil Steele and College Sporting News Preseason All-American
A Third Team All-CAA selection a year ago, Burnette totaled 49 tackles (20 solo, 29 assisted), was among ODU's leaders in sacks, and third on the Monarch squad in tackles for loss. Burnette had a career-high eight stops in the inaugural CAA game in week four with #6/7 Delaware and also made five stops in week one against Campbell and week seven against CAA Champion #17/23 Towson. On special teams, he helped ODU rank number one in the nation in blocks with three and has totaled five blocked kicks in his career.
Wilkins garners his second Preseason All-America award having been named a Third Team er by Phil Steele last week.
A First Team All-CAA and First Team All-State by The Roanoke Times, Wilkins collected 111 tackles (58 solo, 38 assisted), including 14.5 tackles for loss to lead the ODU defense. He became the first Monarch to record over 100 tackles in a season and posted double figure stops in four games including a career-high 17 tackles against Hampton. The senior co-captain also made 13 tackles against Towson and 11 tackles against #10 James Madison and Richmond. He also added 3.5 sacks, a pair of interceptions, three pass break-ups, five defended passes, a fumble recovery, and a forced fumble last season. Averaging 8.5 tackles per game, Wilkins ranked 12th in the league in the category.
To view the entire CSJ All-America Teams, click here.