Earnest Edwards showed an uncommon versatility for the University of Maine football team, a speedy wide receiver and dangerous kick returner who could also throw a pass or two.

On Tuesday, Edwards was recognized with the best players in the country, being named to the second team Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-America as an all-purpose player.

Edwards ended his career as Maine’s record holder for career kick return yards (2,311), kick return touchdowns (6) and total kick returns (90). In 2019, Edwards led the FCS in kickoff return average, averaging 28.5 yards per return. His two kickoff return touchdowns, both at Colgate, also was best in the nation while 169.36 all-purpose yards were good for third nationally and tops in the CAA.

He had 49 catches for 1,097 yards and 11 TDs. He also completed 5 of 6 passes – four for touchdowns – for 61 yards.

Defending national champion North Dakota State placed two players on the first team and five players overall on the three teams. It was selected by a panel of 11 members of the media who cover the FCS.

The top-ranked Bison, who face Montana State in the playoff semifinals Saturday, were represented on the All-America first team by defensive lineman Derrek Tuszka and offensive lineman Dillon Radunz. No. 2 James Madison, which faces Weber State in the semifinals, led all teams with six players selected to the three All-America squads. Defensive lineman Ron’Dell Carter was the Dukes’ lone first-team All-American.


Northern Arizona’s Case Cookus was the first-team All-America quarterback.

AP COACH OF THE YEAR: Ed Orgeron of LSU is the Associated Press Coach of the Year after leading the top-ranked Tigers to a Southeastern Conference championship and their first College Football Playoff appearance.

Orgeron received 33 of 56 first-place votes from Top 25 poll voters and a total of 130 points for the award presented by Regions Bank and announced Tuesday.

Baylor’s Matt Rhule, who led the Bears to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Big 12 championship game, finished second with 14 first-place votes (86 points). Ohio State’s Ryan Day was third with five-first-place votes (45 points) and Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck was fourth with three first-place votes (40 points).

Orgeron is the third different LSU coach to win the award since it was established in 1998, joining Nick Saban in 2003 and Les Miles in 2011. Saban and Miles both led their teams to the BCS championship game, with Saban winning and Miles losing.

Orgeron and the Tigers will face No. 4 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Dec. 28 at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.


FRESNO STATE: The school hired former offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer on Tuesday as its new head coach. DeBoer spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons on Coach Jeff Tedford’s staff for the Bulldogs before leaving to take the same job at Indiana this season.

Tedford stepped down for medical reasons after this season and DeBoer was quickly identified as the leading contender to take over the job.

TEXAS: The Longhorns hired former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash as its defensive coordinator Tuesday as Tom Herman rebuilds his staff following a 7-5 regular season that fell well short of expectations.

Ash, who was fired at Rutgers this season, was the defensive co-coordinator at Ohio State in 2014 when the Buckeyes won the national championship and Herman was offensive coordinator.

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