Football: 2 Falcons named to All-America Team

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Two U.S. Air Force Academy football players were named to the Sports All-America team recently. 

Senior wide receiver and z-back Chad Hall and cornerback Carson Bird were named honorable mention team members by

Hall, who was listed on the team as a running back, was also a third-team selection by Hall is the first Air Force tailback to earn All-America honors since Robert Brickey in 1958. 

For Bird, it was his first All-America honor. Bird is the first cornerback to earn the honor since Tim Curry in 1998.

Prior to this season, the last Falcon to earn All-America honors was offensive lineman Brett Huyser, a fourth-team All-America by The Sporting News in 2002.

Hall was the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-league selection. Bird was also a first-team all-MWC choice.

Hall led the Mountain West Conference and was 16th nationally in rushing with 117.9 yards per game. He also led the conference and tied for third nationally in all-purpose yards (208.7 per game). The Atlanta native led the team in rushing yards (1,415), receiving yards (488), receptions (46), rushing touchdowns (14), all-purpose yards (2,504) and punt returns (12.6 yards per return). He was the lone player in the nation to lead his team in rushing and receiving yards. In his last seven games, he rushed for 1,257 yards and 11 touchdowns and recorded 1,803 all-purpose yards while leading the Academy to a 6-1 record. His 179.6 yards per game over the last seven contests is the second best in nation (Tulane's Matt Forte is averaging 214.1 per game) since Oct. 6. Hall set the school record for rushing yards in a game with 275 vs. Army, breaking his own record of 256 set earlier this season vs. Colorado State. In the Army game, he also set the school record for all-purpose yards with 333.

Bird led the MWC and is fourth in the nation in interceptions with 0.55 per game (six in 11 games). He tied for second in the MWC in fumble recoveries (0.27 per game) and tied for third in the MWC with 1.00 passes defended per game. He led the team with nine takeaways and was second on the team with five pass breakups. Three times during the season, he had two takeaways in a game with an interception and fumble recovery vs. South Carolina State and BYU and a career-best two interceptions vs. Colorado State. Against TCU, Bird intercepted a pass in the end zone with 49 seconds left in a tie game to force overtime, which the Air Force won 20-17 in overtime.

Air Force finished the regular season at 9-3 overall and placed second in the Mountain West Conference with a 6-2 mark. The Falcons will play in their first post-season bowl game since 2002 when the team plays in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl vs. California at 12:30 p.m. ET Dec. 31.

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