BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb linebacker Chad Geter and quarterback Tyrell Maxwell were named to the inaugural Hero Sports FCS All-America Team Friday, with Geter earning second-team honors and Maxwell landing on the third team.
Geter (Irmo, S.C. / Dutch Fork HS) earned his fourth All-America team honor this postseason, making him the first linebacker in Gardner-Webb's football history to do so in the same season. He is the seventh Gardner-Webb standout – regardless of position – to earn spots on four or more teams in a single season and first since 2013.
The 6-foot-2, 253-pound graduate student earned second team honors from Hero Sports after collecting a career-high 118 total tackles (67 solo) to lead a young, but talented, Gardner-Webb defensive unit in 2016. He added 8.0 tackles for loss, one sack and a team-high six quarterback pressures in 11 games.
Geter ranked No. 8 nationally in solo stops among NCAA Division I FCS tacklers and ranked No. 13 nationally in tackles per game. He was even better against top competition, averaging a team-high 12.3 hits against three ranked opponents, collecting a season-high 14 stops against No. 15 Citadel (9/17) and No. 15 Coastal Carolina (10/15). He finished with 10 stops in Gardner-Webb's win at No. 8 Charleston Southern (11/5).
Geter closed the 2016 season with six consecutive games of at least 10 tackles. He was runner up for Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors and was one of 25 finalists for the 2016 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player in FCS.
The performance in his final season capped a strong career for the outside linebacker. Geter was a three-time All-Big South Conference choice (2013, 2015, 2016) and finished his career with 345 total tackles and 40 tackles for loss. His total tackles are tied for former All-America linebacker Jeffery Williams for seventh in Big South history and ninth in Gardner-Webb's program record book.
An NFL prospect, Geter will participate in the 2017 College Gridiron Showcase (Jan. 7-11) in Bedford, Texas.
Maxwell (Cordova, S.C. / Edisto HS) earned third-team honors at the athlete position from Hero Sports – and is the first Gardner-Webb quarterback to earn All-America honors since Jeremy Martin was an honorable mention choice in 2002 by the Weekly Football Gazette.
Maxwell is one of only four quarterbacks in program history to earn All-America honors, with Hall of Famers Martin (Football Gazette, HM, 2000-2002), John Craven (NAIA, 1st Team, 1992) and Chip Stuart (NAIA, 1st Team, 1982) also among that group.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound dynamo was one of the most explosive performers nationally in 2016, posting 32 plays of 20+ yards in 11 games played.
Maxwell earned Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors after setting new career bests in passing yards (1,646), rushing yards (965), passing touchdowns (9), rushing touchdowns (8) and yards per carry (5.7) during his junior season.
His dual-threat production allowed Maxwell to lead the Big South in total offense per game (238.4 ypg) – a mark he improved to 302.0 yards per game in league games. Against Big South foes Maxwell led the league in nine different offensive categories, including rushing (118.2 ypg), total offense, pass efficiency (144.5 rating) and yards per play (7.6).
He set a Big South single-season record with five games of at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in 2016. Maxwell also became the first quarterback in league history (since 2002) to pace the circuit in total rushing yards.
For his career, Maxwell is the first quarterback in league annals to top the 2,000-yard rushing mark and has now passed for 2,731 yards and run for 2,014 yards – despite starting only 20 games under center in three seasons.
Maxwell was also one of 25 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the FCS Offensive Player of the Year.
Maxwell enters his senior season in 2017 as one of eight offensive starters returning for the Runnin' Bulldogs. He is one of 16 expected starters returning on offense and defense combined for Gardner-Webb in 2017.