ROME, Ga. – Morningside (Iowa) senior wide receiver Kyle Schuck has been named the 2013 Rawlings-NAIA National Football Player of the Year, announced Friday night as part of the NAIA Banquet of Champions held at The Forum in Rome, Ga.
“It is a great honor to receive this award considering all the other finalist that had great seasons,” said Schuck. “I could not have achieved this award without the help of my team or my coaches. My teammates have become family to me and our accomplishments have achieved with be a forever memory.”
A native of Cherokee, Iowa, Schuck becomes the first Morningside player to win the award and the fifth individual from a team that was, at the time, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The other four GPAC winners played for Sioux Falls (S.D.) – Jon Ryan (2010), Lorenzo Brown (2009), Chad Cavender (2007) and Nick Kortan (2002).
One of only two wide receivers to win the NAIA’s Player of the Year award, Schuck played a key role on a Morningside squad that won its third-consecutive outright GPAC championship and reached the semifinals of the 2013 NAIA Football Championship series for the second-straight season. The Mustangs, who were the national runner-up a season ago, were eliminated by Grand View (Iowa). Schuck has experience nothing but success since joining the Morningside program in 2010, as the Mustangs boast a 43-7 record, including a 25-2 mark when Schuck catches at least one touchdown pass, during his four years.
Schuck, who was also named to the 2013 American Football Coaches’ Association All-America First Team, ended 2013 as one of the NAIA’s most productive receivers. He led the NAIA with 1,419 total receiving yards, while ranking third in receiving yards per game (109.2), fourth in total scoring (126) and fifth in total receptions (75). Schuck eclipsed 100 yards receiving in six games this season, including a career-high 202 yards against Nebraska Wesleyan on Sept. 14. He finished his career with 3,008 receiving yards in 42 games, which ranks second on the Mustangs’ all-time receiving yards list.
Schuck, who had a knack for finding the end zone throughout his career at Morningside, caught at least one touchdown in 11-of-13 games this season en route to a career-high 21 scores – his second-straight season with 20-plus touchdown receptions. Schuck boasts a program record 47 career touchdowns, with 41 coming the last two years.
Schuck is the second-straight winner from a team not participating in the Russell Athletic-NAIA National Championship and is the 14th different player to receive the Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year honor since the award was established in 1997. Eddie Eviston of Georgetown (Ky.), who claimed three-straight awards from 1999 – 2001, and Tyler Emmert of Carroll (Mont.) are the only repeat winners. Emmert received the honor in 2003 and 2005. Overall, there have been 15 offensive and two defensive players named to this exclusive club.
No. 1 Cumberlands (Ky.) takes on No. 2 Grand View (Iowa) in the 58th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship on Saturday. Kick off is scheduled for 4:34 EST at Barron Stadium, which is hosting the event for the sixth-straight season. The game will also be broadcast live on www.ESPN3.com.
All-Time Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year Award Winners
1997 – Bo Hurley, Findlay (Ohio), QB
1998 – Jack Williams, Azusa Pacific (Calif.), RB
1999 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2000 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2001 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2002 – Nick Kortan, Sioux Falls (S.D.), RB
2003 – Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.), QB
2004 – Cory Jacquay, Saint Francis (Ind.), RB
2005 – Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.), QB
2006 – Brian Kurtz, Saint Francis (Ind.), LB
2007 – Chad Cavender, Sioux Falls (S.D.), QB
2008 – Owen Koeppen, Carroll (Mont.), LB
2009 – Lorenzo Brown, Sioux Falls (S.D.), QB
2010 – Jon Ryan, Sioux Falls (S.D.), WR
2011 – Chance Demarais, Carroll (Mont.), RB
2012 – Jimmy Coy, Saint Xavier (Ill.), QB
2013 – Kyle Schuck, Morningside (Iowa), WR