Taylor, Jr., Byrd and McKnight Tabbed to Hero Sports All-American Teams
Morehead State's Vaughn Taylor, Jr., BJ Byrd and Brady McKnight have all been tabbed to the Hero Sports Football Championship Subdivision All-American Teams.
Taylor, Jr., is a Second-Team defensive pick, while Byrd is on the Third-Team offensive unit. The Eagles' long snapper, McKnight, was named Freshman All-America.
Taylor, from Washington, D.C., is the PFL Defensive Player of the Year and also Academic All-PFL. He led all PFL defenders with 23 tackles for loss in the regular season and his 2.09 tackles for loss per game, ranking second among all FCS athletes in 2021. He also finished the season with 10 sacks and was 14th in the PFL with 71 total tackles, ranking in the top 20 among FCS players in sacks per game. He recorded a sack in eight of 11 games in 2021, including all five games in October, and had a tackle for loss in all 11 games. Taylor was one of 25 finalists for the Stats Perform FCS Buck Buchanan Award. He also set the Morehead State career record in tackles for loss during the year and wrapped up his career with 60 TFLs. He also had 190 career total tackles.
The PFL Offensive Player of the Year, Byrd - of Richmond, Calif. - ended the regular season as the FCS' top receiver. He led the subdivision with 1,313 receiving yards, 90 receptions, and 8.2 receptions per game in 2021. Byrd's yardage total, catches and his 13 touchdowns are all MSU single-season records. He also set the single-game record with four TDs against Stetson. Byrd ranked second along all FCS players in touchdown receptions and receiving yards per game (119.4 ypg) during the season. He had an FCS-best eight 100-yard receiving performances in 11 games, including his 223-yard, four-touchdown day against Stetson. Byrd was one of 25 finalists for the Stats Perform FCS Walter Payton Award. He also finished his two-year career ranked among the best receivers in program history. In just 18 games (seven spring games after transferring from Jacksonville), Byrd compiled 1,780 yards, 21 touchdowns, averaging 98.9 yards per game.
McKnight, from Stephens City, Va., helped the Eagles lead the PFL in punting in 2021 with no bad snaps. His efforts helped punter Andrew Foster set a PFL record for punting average and also set and re-set the program record for consecutive PATs made. McKnight was named Honorable Mention All-PFL and to the Academic All-PFL Team.