2018 FWAA Freshman All-America Team
Liberty's Austin Lewis had an immediate impact on the Flames' football program during his rookie year and his efforts were recognized earlier today by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
The defensive lineman has been named to the 18th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team. The team was announced as part of the lead-up coverage to tonight's College Football Playoff National Championship game.
The 32-member team is comprised of 18 true freshmen and 14 redshirt freshmen. A 13-person panel of nationally prominent college football experts representing each of the FBS conferences, along with independents, selected the All-America team.
With his selection to the team, Lewis becomes Liberty's first player to earn All-America honors at the FBS level.
Lewis finished his freshman season at Liberty with 24 tackles (13 solo, 11 assisted), including 6.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He saw playing time in all 12 games, including two starts and recorded multiple tackles in six out of 12 games.
Lewis got his first career start against Army, finishing the contest with a season-best eight tackles (four solo, four assisted). He helped Liberty secure a win over Troy, finishing the game with two solo stops, including a seven-yard sack to end a Troy drive in the fourth quarter.
The native of Jonesborough, Tenn., started his second career game at UMass, finishing the contest with three tackles, including an assisted sack and a pass breakup. He wrapped up his rookie season at Liberty with four tackles, including a sack, during the Flames' season finale against New Mexico State.
Lewis played a part in Liberty finishing its inaugural campaign at the FBS level with a 6-6 overall record. With the half dozen victories, Liberty became the ninth team in NCAA history to win six or more games during its first season at the FBS level.