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Gathings earns Big South preseason honor

Gathings earns Big South preseason honor

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Former Statesville Greyhound Izaiah Gathings was one of six Gardner-Webb players earning spots on the 2020 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference Team.

Gathings, a 6-foot-4, 216-pound junior receiver, joined teammates Darien Reynolds (linebacker) and Devron Harper (punt return specialist) as Runnin’ Bulldogs garnering first-team honors from the league's head coaches and the media voting panel.

A preseason All-America selection and NFL prospect, Gathings burst onto the scene as sophomore. In his first season as a starter, he led the Big South with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and ranked second in the conference with 11 touchdown catches.

Gathings became only the second Gardner-Webb receiver in the past 20 years at the Division I level to have a 1,000-yard season. He is only the third in program history (since 1970) to reach that mark.

It was his dominance against Big South Conference opponents that generated the greatest attention.

In the Oct. 12 league opener against Hampton, Gathings hauled in four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. That sparked a stretch of three consecutive games with at least two touchdown catches.

Gathings' productivity ramped up to another level from there. He caught a career-high 14 balls for 172 yards and a touchdown against Charleston Southern, beginning a still-active streak of four consecutive games with at least 10 catches, at least 100 yards receiving and at least one touchdown reception.

That four-game streak with 10-plus catches and 100-plus yards broke a Big South record, and Gathings could add to that record when the 2020 season begins.

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