HUNSTSVILLE – Nathan Stewart and Zyon McCollum were each named to the HERO Sports Preseason All-America team on Thursday, per a release from the media outlet.
Stewart, a senior wide receiver, was named to the second team while McCollum, a junior defensive back, was named to the third team.
The honor is another in a long line of accolades for Stewart who has been one of the most electric receivers in the FCS since joining the Bearkats as a freshman in 2016. He is one of just four players in FCS history to amass 1,000 receiving yards as a freshman, sophomore and a junior after hauling in 1,063 yards and five scores in 2018.
He was named to the all-Southland Conference second team last year and was one of just two SLC receivers to finish with at least 1,000 yards receiving. Stewart finished with six 100-yard games on the year, including each of the final four games of the year.
Stewart will enter his senior season ranking second all-time at SHSU in receiving yards and needs just 228 yards in the air to move past Yedidiah Louis for the all-time lead in that category. His 98.2 receiving yards per game is the highest average in Bearkat history, while his 31 career touchdown catches ranks second.
As for McCollum, the preseason all-America honor comes on the heels of a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018. Last year he was named an all-Southland Conference first team choice at cornerback, while HERO Sports named him to its Sophomore All-America first team as well.
He started all 11 games at cornerback a year ago for the Kats, finishing with 44 tackles and a team-high three interceptions. He also had eight pass breakups and 1.5 TFLs, while closing the season with a 2-interception game at HBU that included a 17-yard pick-six in the second quarter.
That season came after he played in all 14 games as a true freshman, making 10 starts in 2017. He also intercepted three passes that year, becoming the first Bearkat freshman to do so since 2001 and the first Bearkat true freshman to do it since 1973.
Stewart, McCollum and the rest of the Bearkats kick off the 2019 season on Aug. 31 at New Mexico before returning to Bowers Stadium for the home opener on Sept. 7 against Oklahoma Panhandle State.