Three Illinois State University football players have been named HERO Sports FCS All-Americans.
Senior running back James Robinson and senior safety Luther Kirk earned first-team honors. While junior offensive lineman Drew Himmelman earned a third-team selection.
Robinson followed up his second-team selection from 2018 thanks to a career year. The Rockford native was the driving force for the Redbird offense, leading the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 1,917 rushing yards, 127.8 yards per game and 18 touchdowns starting all 15 games.
Robinson kicked it into another gear once playoffs started. Robinson opened the playoffs with an ISU high 297-yard performance against Southeastern Missouri. Against Central Arkansas, he posted 210 yards.
Robinson finished the playoffs with a 94-yard performance against No. 1 North Dakota State. In three games Robinson notched 601 yards and three touchdowns.
Robinson left his mark on the Illinois State record book, ranking second in rushing yards (4,462), rushing touchdowns (44), all-purpose yards (5,236) and total touchdowns (46).
Kirk finds a place as a first-team All-American after back to back years as an All-MVFC First teamer.
Kirk was a leader for one of the top defenses in the MVFC. The defensive captain led the ’Birds with 89 tackles along with six pass breakups, three sacks, four tackles-for-loss and one forced fumble.
Kirk's best game of the season came against No. 9 University of Northern Iowa. Kirk recorded a career-high 10-tackles and a pair of pass breakups.
Both Robinson and Kirk will play in the East-West Shrine Bowl on Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The final All-American selection, Himmelman followed up his FCS Sophomore All-American First-Team selection from last year with a third-team All-American selection this year.
Himmelman was a key part of Robinson's success this season. The junior lineman earned All-MVFC First-Team honors after earning MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice during the season.