UTSA linebacker earns another national honor

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TAMPA, Fla. — Josiah Tauaefa added another postseason accolade to his resume on Monday when the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) named him to its 2016 Sound Mind Sound Body/FWAA Freshman All-America Team.Tauaefa, who was named Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference last month, is the first Roadrunner to earn a spot on the top squad for Football Bowl Subdivision rookies.The 6-foot-1, 230-pound redshirt freshman linebacker became the first UTSA player to ever earn a conference postseason individual award in program history when he was tabbed the circuit’s Freshman of the Year and he also was the first player to earn first-team C-USA accolades in UTSA’s four years in the league and the second player to earn a spot on a league’s top team overall (Triston Wade was a 2012 first-team All-Western Athletic Conference pick).Tauaefa led the Roadrunners with a program single-season record 115 tackles this past season and he also racked up nine TFLs, six sacks, seven QB hurries and an interception. He ranked second among Football Bowl Subdivision freshmen in tackles this past year.The Corinth native opened his career with 13 stops and a pair of sacks against Alabama State (Sept. 3) and just missed the school’s single-game record when he registered 15 at Old Dominion three weeks later (Sept. 24). Tauaefa, who moved to linebacker from defensive end last spring, added another 12 against Southern Miss (Oct. 8) en route to C-USA Defensive Player of the Week accolades and 10 more at Rice the following week (Oct. 15). He wrapped up the 2016 campaign with a game-high 11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss and a sack, against New Mexico in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 17).
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