BOONE, N.C. — App State cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles knocked the pass to the turf before sprinting away from the scene excitedly, raising one index finger and waving it side to side.
There was justification for Jean-Charles to celebrate then and now.
For the first time, App State has produced a first-team FBS All-American.
A fifth-year senior from Miramar, Fla., Jean-Charles received that recognition Thursday night from the prestigious Walter Camp Football Foundation, which has the nation’s longest-running All-America team. The announcement was made during ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Show.
It’s the fourth All-America award to date for Jean-Charles, who has been honored by the Sporting News (second team), PFF College (second team) and Phil Steele (third team). This is the 131st edition of the Walter Camp All-America team, and Jean-Charles was one of three players from a Group of Five conference program to make the first team as an offensive or defensive player.
App State’s breakthrough with a first-team FBS All-American comes in its sixth season at the highest level of college football. A program that secured three FCS national championships and 12 Southern Conference titles before joining the Sun Belt Conference has won 69 of its last 84 games dating back to a point during that 2014 debut season.
The Mountaineers last had a first-team All-American in 2012, with the most high-profile recognition coming from The Associated Press honoring punter Sam Martin. In its pre-FBS history, App State produced 34 first-team All-Americans from the AP.
With App State’s 9-3 season in 2020 complete, Jean-Charles leads the nation with 16 PBUs and 17 passes defended (adding his one interception at Texas State). After a 56-28 bowl win, the Mountaineers remain the only FBS team allowing their opponents to complete less than 50 percent of their passes (48.0 percent).
Jean-Charles had the rare accomplishment of posting an identical catch-allowed rate and forced incompletion rate (33.3%) on 50-plus targets this season, according to PFF, and he finished the year as a strong run-support defender with 37 tackles.
A semifinalist for both the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defender) and Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back), Jean-Charles was named the nation’s No. 3 breakout player (behind BYU QB Zach Wilson and Alabama QB Mac Jones) by ESPN.
Jean-Charles opened the season by being named PFF’s national Defensive MVP of the Week after recording a career-high four pass breakups, eight tackles and one forced fumble against Charlotte. He had three more PBUs at ULM and two apiece against Marshall, Campbell and Louisiana.
In five years with the program, Jean-Charles helped App State go 52-13 with five bowl wins and four Sun Belt Conference championships. He played 50 career games, half of them as a starter in 2019 and 2020, while amassing 31 PBUs, 33 passes defended and 96 tackles for the Mountaineers.
App State’s FBS All-Americans:
2019: CB Shaun Jolly – 2nd team (PFF College)
2019: OLB Akeem Davis-Gaither – 4th team (Phil Steele)
2020: CB Shemar Jean-Charles – 1st team (Walter Camp), 2nd team (PFF College, Sporting News), 3rd team (Phil Steele)
2020: OG Ryan Neuzil – 2nd team (PFF College, Sporting News), 4th team (Phil Steele)
2020: CB Shaun Jolly – Honorable Mention (Phil Steele)