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James Robinson, Luther Kirk lead five Illinois State first team all-MVFC performers
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James Robinson, Luther Kirk lead five Illinois State first team all-MVFC performers

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Illinois State running back James Robinson looks for an opening against Northern Arizona on Sept. 21 at Hancock Stadium.

NORMAL — Illinois State senior tailback James Robinson was selected to the first squad of the Missouri Valley Football Conference all-star team for the third consecutive season Monday.

Robinson was joined by teammates Luther Kirk, Devin Taylor, Romeo McKnight and Drew Himmelman on the first team.

Robinson paced the Valley with 1,316 rushing yards in the regular season and exploded for 297 more in ISU's first-round FCS playoff victory over Southeast Missouri State last Saturday.

A senior safety, Kirk is part of the first team for the second straight year. Kirk leads ISU with 79 tackles and 58 solo stops.

Taylor, a junior cornerback, has a Valley-best 16 pass break ups and four interceptions. Taylor was a second team pick in 2018.

A junior end, McKnight tops the Redbirds with nine sacks and 13½ tackles for loss. 

Himmelman, a junior offensive tackle, was a second team pick last season. The 315-pounder was twice named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week. 

Senior linebacker Ty DeForest was ISU's lone pick on the all-Valley second team.

DeForest ranks third on the Redbirds with 71 tackles and also has recorded two sacks and two interceptions.

ISU players receiving honorable mention were sophomore defensive lineman John Ridgeway, senior offensive lineman Adam Solomon, senior place-kicker Sam Fenlason and junior long snapper Paul Monaco.

A Bloomington native, the 330-pound Ridgeway anchored the Redbird line at nose guard and has 46 tackles.

Solomon started at both guard and tackle in his only season as a Redbird after tranferring from the University of Illinois.

Fenlason is 15 of 19 on field goal attempts and 31 of 31 on extra point tries.

No. 13-ranked ISU faces No. 9 Central Arkansas on Saturday in a 2 p.m. second-round FCS playoff game in Conway, Ark.

Contact Randy Reinhardt at (309) 820-3403. Follow him on Twitter: pg_reinhardt

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