College Sports

Sacramento State’s Darnell Sankey named first-team All-American

Linebacker Darnell Sankey, shown during a practice at Sac State in April 2015, is the first consensus All-American in the school’s Division I-AA and Football Championship Subdivision history.
Linebacker Darnell Sankey, shown during a practice at Sac State in April 2015, is the first consensus All-American in the school’s Division I-AA and Football Championship Subdivision history. rbenton@sacbee.com

Sacramento State senior linebacker Darnell Sankey capped a cascade of postseason honors by being named a first-team All-American on Monday by the American Football Coaches Association.

The award follows All-America recognition from STATS Inc., the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Sankey is the first consensus All-American in the school’s Division I-AA and Football Championship Subdivision history. He also was named to the College Sports Madness All-America first team earlier this month and was a first-team all-Big Sky Conference selection.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker finished second in the FCS and first in the Big Sky with 153 total tackles.

Sankey had the second-most single-season tackles in school history, one shy of Ryland Wickman total in 1997. Sankey had a school-record 27 tackles against Weber State. That was the best one-game performance this season by an FCS player.

The San Jose product finished his Sac State career ranked No. 4 in tackles with 330. He also is ninth with 27 1/2 tackles for loss and ninth in sacks with 12 1/2.

Sankey joined linebackers Deon King of Norfolk State and Myke Tavarres of Incarnate Word on the 25-man AFCA FCS All-America Team.

Sankey joined Other Big Sky players on the team are wide receiver Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington, offensive lineman Sean Meehan of North Dakota, defensive lineman Tyrone Holmes of Montana and punter Ryan Hawkins of Northern Arizona.

Sankey will play in the NFLPA All-Star Game on Jan. 23 in Carson.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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