FOOTBALL MONARCH ALL-AMERICANS
#14 Taylor Heinicke
Quarterback * Atlanta, Ga.
2012 - Walter Payton Award Winner
Taylor Heinicke led the FCS with his 5,076 passing yards, 390.5 passing yards per game, 44 touchdown passes, 55 total touchdowns, 26.00 points responsible for and 426.6 yards of total offense per game. He also had 126 carries for 470 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Heinicke's record-setting season included breaking Steve McNair's (Alcorn State, 1994) FCS single-season passing yards record with 5,076 yards and also surpassing the single-season record for completions with 398, breaking Brett Gordon's record of 386 for Villanova in 2002. Heinicke tied the FCS record by throwing for 200 yards in 13 games while passing for 300 yards nine times and going for 400 yards five times. He tossed three TD passes nine times and four or more scores on six occasions, including a season-best seven in the win over Campbell.
The ODU quarterback burst onto the national scene on Sept. 22 when he set the Division I record with 730 passing yards and 791 yards of total offense in ODU's 64-61 win over No. 18 New Hampshire. In the Monarchs' second round FCS playoff win over Coastal Carolina, Heinicke set a single-game playoff record with 542 yards of total offense, throwing for 497 and running for another 45 yards. He also tied the single-game record with six TD passes.
He won the highest honor for an FCS player this season, earning the Walter Payton Award given to the best player in the FCS. The sophomore quarterback also was named the Dudley Award Winner to the top division I player in the state of Virginia. The CAA Offensive Player of the Year received seven First-Team All-America honors and was named Player of the Year by two of those publications.
#7 Nick Mayers
Wide Receiver * Virginia Beach, Va.
2012 - Second Team All-American - College Sports Madness
Nick Mayers led the CAA in receiving yards and touchdown passes and finished in the top-15 in the nation in touchdown catches (T-2nd), receiving yards (7th) and receptions (T-14th). He led ODU with 79 catches for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading all CAA position players in scoring with 98 points.
The Virginia Beach native graduates as ODU's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards and touchdown receptions. Mayer earned second-team All-America honors from College Sports Madness, fourth-team honors from Phil Steele, and Honorable Mention accolades from Beyond Sports Network and College Sports journal.
#73 Jack Lowney
Left Tackle * Narberth, Pa.
2012 - Second Team All-American - College Sports Madness
Left tackle Jack Lowney protected Walter Payton Award winner Taylor Heinicke's blind side and helped the offense to eye-popping numbers, as ODU led the nation in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense. Lowney started all 13 games in 2013 and helped ODU to an 11-2 record, first place CAA finish and final national ranking of No. 6. He earned All-America honors from College Sports Madness.
#90 Chris Burnette
Defensive Tackle * Baltimore, Md.
2012 - Third Team All-American - The Sports Network
Burnette played in all 48 games in ODU history and is second in career tackles behind Wilkins. Burnette recorded career highs in 2012 with tackles at 73, sacks with four and also recorded his first career interception at Towson. He earned All-America honors from The Sports Network and Beyond Sports Network.
#12 Craig Wilkins
Linebacker * Washington, D.C.
2012 - Third Team All-American - Phil Steele
In his senior season, Wilkins led ODU with 90 tackles, 6.5 sacks and tied for the team-lead with 13.5 tackles for loss. His 6.5 sacks tied for the most in a single-season in school history. He also recorded a team-best three interceptions. The Washington, D.C. native was a two-time All-CAA honoree and earned All-America honors his final campaign from Phil Steele and the College Sports Journal.
A four-year captain for the Monarchs playing in all 48 games in the program's four-year history. He graduates as the school leader in practically every defensive career statistic, including tackles (340), tackles for loss (40), sacks (13.5), forced fumbles (5), fumbles recovered (9) and is tied for the school record with nine interceptions.
#31 Jonathan Plisco
Punter * Newport News, Va.
2009 - First Team All-American - Associated Press
Punter Jonathan Plisco became the first Old Dominion Football Monarch to earn All-American honors after leading the FCS in punting in ODU's historic inaugural season. Plisco, who would earn three All-America distinctions in ODU's first season of football in 69 years, finished the 2009 season averaging a nation-leading 44.84 yards per punt and consistantly ranked among the top punters nationally in the FCS throughout the year. He made 57 punts with 18 going 50 yards more, 26 inside the opponent 20, and seven for a touchback. The left footer averaged over 50 yards per punt in games with Chowan and Savannah State and posted a career-high 76-yard punt in the victory over Campbell.
Plisco earned All-American accolades again as a junior as he was a part of the Monarchs' inaugural forray into the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2011. Plisco earned Second Team All-America by College Sports Madness after he led the CAA and ranked second in the nation averaging 46.2 yards per punt. Of his 51 punts on the year, 20 went the distance of 50 yards or more and 12 were placed inside the opponent 20. Additionally, the left footed punter was one of 11 Monarchs named to an all-conference team and one of four Monarchs who were bestowed First Team All-CAA honors.
ODU's first three-time All-American, Jonathan Plisco finished fifth in the nation in punting average at 45.0 yards per punt in 2012. He set the FCS career punting average record with a 45.1 yard average. He completed the year with eight punts inside the 20 and eight punts over 50 yards. He earned first-team All-CAA honors and three All-America accolades, including first-team honors from Phil Steele and College Sports Journal. He finished his four-year career with 12 All-America distinctions.
#49 Rick Lovato
Long Snapper * Middletown, N.J.
2012 - First Team All-American - College Sporting News Fabulous 50
Long snapper Rick Lovato was among the 50 student-athletes named to the 2012 edition of the Fabulous 50 Team for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision earning All-American honors from The College Sporting News. He completed a second flawless year at long snapper on all punts and extra points/field goals. He played in every game for the second-straight year, recording two tackles. He helped kicker Jarod Brown set the FCS record for most extra points in a season without a miss while helping punter Jonathan Plisco set the FCS career punting average record.
#96 Ronnie Cameron
Defensive Tackle * Westbury, N.Y.
2011 - First Team All-American - AFCA
Cameron, who joined the Monarchs after Hofstra disbanded its program, was the mainstay of the ODU defense in 2010 and 2011 and helped his team to an 18-6 mark in his two seasons with the program. In 2011 Cameron was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year and was one of 11 Monarchs to earn All-CAA honors and one of four to be named First Team All-CAA. As a senior co-captain, he guided the team to a 10-3 overall record, a second-place 6-2 mark in the CAA after being picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll, a second round playoff berth, and not only ODU's first appearance in the national polls, but a top-10 ranking.
Cameron was second on the Monarch squad in 2011 with 73 tackles (28 solo, 45 assisted) along with a team-leading 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He averaged 5.6 tackles per game, which was fourth among defensive lineman in the CAA and finished second in the league in tackles for loss averaging 1.31 per contest. He captured a career-high 11 tackles along with a season-high 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against CAA Champion Towson and also made 10 stops with three for loss against James Madison in ODU's first top-10 victory. His performance on the defensive line helped the Monarchs rank second in the league at the close of the regular season in rushing defense allowing 122.55 yards per contest.
#50 Dustin Phillips
Long Snapper * Woodland, Calif.
2009 - First Team All-American - College Sporting News
Long snapper Dustin Phillips was among the 50 student-athletes named to the 2009 edition of the Fabulous Fifty Team for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision earning All-American honors from The College Sporting News. Phillips became the second Monarch in its first season of FCS play to earn All-American status. As a redshirt junior, he helped teammate, punter Jonathan Plisco, become the nation's top punter in the FCS and also helped snapped the ball to Monarch kicker Drew Hareza, who in turn scored 71 points for the Monarchs in 2009 going 7-of-13 on field goals and 50-of-51 on PATs.