Four EIU Players Named Preseason All-Americans


Published on July 17 2013 7:42 am
Last Updated on July 17 2013 7:42 am
Written by Millie Lange

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Four Eastern Illinois players were named preseason All-Americans as Phil released its 2013 FCS All-American football team. EIU had two first team selections, one second team honoree and one fourth team preseason selection.

Erik Lora and Cameron Berra both earned preseason first team honors by the website. Jimmy Garoppolo was named a second team All-American. Tackle Dominic Pagliara was named a fourth team All-American.

Lora was a consensus first team All-American last season placing fourth in voting for the Walter Payton Award. He set the FCS single season record with 136 receptions while his 1,664 receiving yards rank fifth most on the FCS single season list. Lora was named the 2012 OVC Offensive Player of the Year and OVC Male Athlete of the Year for 2012-13.

Berra was a first team All-OVC selection at kicker last season leading the Panthers in scoring with 84 points. He was 12-of-13 on field goal attempts for the year including 5-of-5 from beyond 40 yards. Berra was 48-of-52 in point after attempts.

Garoppolo placed 10th in voting for the 2012 Walter Payton Award last year after setting the OVC single season record for passing yards with 3,823. He was a second team All-OVC selection completing 331 of 540 passes with 31 touchdowns.

Pagliara was named to the fourth team All-American squad after helping to anchor an offensive line that paved the way for a 1,000 yard rusher and 3,800 yard passer.  EIU’s offense ranked in the top ten nationally in passing offense, scoring offense and total offense during the 2012 season.

This season Lora and Garoppolo were both named to the preseason Walter Payton Award list.  Last year Eastern Illinois became the first school to have two players finish in the top ten for voting for the Walter Payton Award. Former EIU quarterback Tony Romo won the award in 2002.

In addition to listing its preseason All-American team, Phil also ranked the top players in the FCS with Lora ranking 17th overall and Garoppolo 20th.

EIU opens the 2013 season on August 31 at San Diego State.  The home opener is Sept. 14 against Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic. Season tickets are now on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at