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Three NAIA Players Honored on AFCA DII All-American Team

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December 07, 2005
By NAIA National Office

Dec. 7, 2005

WACO, Texas -- Carroll College (Mont.) quarterback Tyler Emmert and Texas A&M-Commerce linebacker J.D. Hearn headline the 2005 AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team is made up of players from the NAIA and NCAA Division II institutions. The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all four of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best -- the coaches themselves.

THE OFFENSE: Quarterback Tyler Emmert of Carroll is the signal-caller on the 2005 AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team. In 2005, Emmert has thrown for 3,039 yards and 37 touchdowns en route to leading the Fighting Saints to its fourth straight appearance in the NAIA national championship game.

Emmert's receiving corps on this year's team features Justin Gallas of Colorado School of Mines and Carlton Brewster of Ferris State. Gallas earned RMAC Wide Receiver and Special Teams Player of the Year honors after leading all of NCAA Division II in all-purpose yards per game (238.5 ypg) and receptions per game (8.3 rpg). Brewster recorded five 100-yard plus receiving performances this season, including a season-best 137 yards and two touchdown's on eight receptions against Northern Michigan.

Pittsburg State's Germaine Race, California's (Pa.) Antoine Bagwell and Missouri Western State's Jeremiah White are the runningbacks on this year's team. Race rushed for 1,846 yards and tied the NCAA Division II single-season rushing touchdowns record of 33. The PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year, Bagwell rushed for 1,588 yards and ranked third in nation in scoring with 152 points. White finished sixth in the nation in rushing yards per game with 151.7 and totaled 1,669 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The offensive line features Jahri Evans of Bloomsburg, Marcus Brisbone of Presbyterian, Lance Ancar of North Alabama, Patrick McCoy of West Texas A&M and Darryl Grace of Central Missouri State.

Evans makes his second straight appearance on the Coaches' All-America team. He anchored an offensive line that helped Bloomsburg lead the PSAC in rushing at 284.3 yards per game. Brisbone, who did not allow a sack this season, was selected as the SAC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, given annually to the top offensive lineman. Ancar helped block for a passing attack that averaged 271.3 yards per game. McCoy was the starting left tackle on the No. 1 passing offense and fourth-ranked total offense in the country. Grace anchored an offensive line that helped average 40 points and 419.5 yards of total offense per game.

THE DEFENSE: The defense is led by Texas A&M-Commerce linebacker J.D. Hearn. A Division I-A transfer, Hearn led the nation with 13.3 tackles per game and broke the school record for total tackles in a season with 133. Joining Hearn at linebacker are John DiGiorgio of Saginaw Valley State and Digger Anderson of North Dakota.

DiGiorgio was named GLIAC Player of the Year as he recorded 142 total tackles, tied for most in Division II this season. A two-time Coaches' All-American, Anderson recorded 85 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and five interceptions.

Leading the way on the defensive line is Dave Tollefson from Northwest Missouri State. Tollefson earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Year honors by recording 11.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries and 12.5 tackles for a loss. Grand Valley State's Michael McFadden ranked ninth nationally with 1.3 sacks per game and added 12 tackles for a loss. St. Cloud State's Charlie Cosgrove was the NCC Most Valuable Defensive Lineman while recording 48 tackles and 15.5 tackles for a loss. Valdosta State's Tim Thompson led the team in tackles (55), tackles for loss (13) and sacks (4).

The secondary is led by Abilene Christian's Danieal Manning. A two-time Coaches' All-American, Manning finished the season with 49 tackles, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, three blocked kicks and three interceptions. Carson-Newman's Deonte Bolden was 18th in Division II in interceptions per game (0.6) and 44th in passes defended (1.2). Antwan Marsh of Pikeville earned Mid-South Defensive Player of the Year honors by recording 102 tackles and four interceptions. Shippensburg's Brent Grimes finished his career as the PSAC record holder in interceptions with 27. He totaled five this season to go along with 44 tackles.

THE SPECIALISTS: P.J. Berry of Virginia State is the return specialist on the AFCA Division II Coaches All-America Team. Berry finished second in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 34.4 yards per return, and 33rd in punt returns with an 11.9 yard average.

The placekicker is Evan Granier of Lambuth. Granier led NAIA with 16 field goals made this season and tied the school record for longest made field goal at 52 yards. Adam State punter Jeff Williams earned his second straight Coaches' All-America selection as he led NCAA Division II in punting for a second straight season with an average of 45.7 yards per kick.

Top Teams: Texas A&M-Kingsville has been represented a total of 31 times by 27 players on the AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team. Trailing A&M-Kingsville's 31 Division II selections is Pittsburg State with 17 appearances by 14 players. Third on the list is Indiana (Pa.) with 15 selections by 13 players while American International is fourth with 14 appearances by 13 players. North Dakota and Carson-Newman are tied in fifth with 13 appearances by 12 players.

Consecutive Years: Texas A&M-Kingsville had at least one player named to the AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team for 18 straight seasons, from 1986 to 2003, the most by any team in Division II.

Repeat After Me: Texas A&M-Kingsville's Johnny Bailey is the only player to earn Burger King Coaches' All-America honors in four consecutive years at any level. Bailey was a four-year pick at runningback in 1986-87-88-89.

One Player, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds is the only player to earn Coaches' All-America honors at two different schools. He was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991.

Class Distinction: This year's AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team is made up of 21 seniors and four juniors.

First Time School: Antwan Marsh of Pikeville is the first player from his school to earn AFCA Coaches' All-America Team honors.

Back-to-Back: Jahri Evans of Bloomsburg, Digger Anderson of North Dakota, Danieal Manning of Abilene Christian and Jeff Williams of Adams State earned AFCA Coaches' All-America honors for the second consecutive year.

Team Background: The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. The four teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams -- Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996 the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997 a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team.

Selection Process: The AFCA's Division II All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's nine districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee.

The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.

The Award: Members of the AFCA Coaches' All-America Team receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team.

Offense
WR, Justin Gallas, 6-1, 185, Sr., Colorado Mines, Bob Stitt, Wesminster, Colo., Northglenn
WR, Carlton Brewster, 5-11, 214, Sr., Ferris St., Jeff Pierce, Grand Rapids, Mich., Creston
OL, Marcus Brisbone, 6-1, 271, Sr., Presbyterian, Tommy Spangler, Sumter, S.C., Crestwood
OL, Jahri Evans, 6-4, 335, Sr., Bloomsburg, Danny Hale, Philadelphia, Pa., Frankford
C, Lance Ancar, 6-1, 280, Sr., North Alabama, Mark Hudspeth, Harvey, La. (Archbishop Shaw)
OL, Patrick McCoy, 6-6, 320, Sr., West Texas A&M, Don Carthel, Fairfield, Calif., Deanza
OL, Darryl Grace, 6-2, 308, Sr., Central Missouri St, Willie Fritz, Captain Cook, Hawaii, Konawaena
QB, Tyler Emmert, 6-2, 204, Sr., Carroll (Mont.), Mike Van Diest, Helena, Mont., Capital
RB, Germaine Race, 5-11, 225, Jr., Pittsburg St., Chuck Broyles, Warrensburg, Mo., Warrensburg
RB, Antoine Bagwell, 5-11, 185 Sr., California (Pa.), John Luckhardt, Lansing, Mich., East Lansing
RB, Jeremiah White, 6-2, 244, Jr., Missouri Western St., Jerry Partridge, Mesa, Ariz., Skyline

Defense
DL, Michael McFadden, 6-1, 255, Jr., Grand Valley St., Chuck Martin, Saginaw, Mich., Heritage
DL, Dave Tollefson, 6-4, 270, Sr., Northwest Missouri St., Mel Tjeerdsma, Concord, Calif., Ygnacio Valley
DL, Charlie Cosgrove, 6-3, 265, Sr., St. Cloud State, Randy Hedberg, Minneapolis, Minn., Washburn
DL, Tim Thompson, 6-4, 250, Sr., Valdosta St., Chris Hatcher, Sparta, Ga., Hancock Central
LB, John DiGiorgio, 6-2, 225, Sr., Saginaw Valley St., Randy Awrey, Shelby Township, Mich., Eisenhower
LB, J.D. Hearn, 6-1, 217, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce, Scotty Conley, Mesquite, Tex., Mesquite
LB, Digger Anderson, 6-0, 228, Sr., North Dakota, Dale Lennon, Coon Rapids, Minn., Coon Rapids
DB, Danieal Manning, 6-0, 205 Jr., Abilene Christian, Chris Thomsen, Corsicana, Tex., Corsicana
DB, Deonte Bolden, 5-11, 185, Carson-Newman, Ken Sparks, Tampa, Fla., Lakewood
DB, Antwan Marsh, 6-4 228 Sr., Pikeville, Jerry Mynatt, Polkton, N.C., Anson
DB, Brent Grimes, 5-10, 174, Sr., Shippensburg, Rocky Rees, Philadelphia, Pa., Northeast 

Specialists
P, Jeff Williams, 6-4, 225, Sr., Adams St., Wayne McGinn, Mead, Colo., Skyline
PK, Evan Granier, 6-0, 215, Sr., Lambuth, Vic Wallace, Mayfield, Ky., Mayfield
RS, P.J. Berry, 6-1, 170, Sr., Virginia St., Andrew Faison, Hopewell, Va., Hopewell

The 50th Annual NAIA Football National Championship will take place on December 17, 2005, with kickoff at 12:05 p.m. (CT). Carroll College will meet University of Saint Francis (Ind.) at Jim Carroll Stadium in Hardin County, Tenn. The game will be televised LIVE nationwide on College Sports Television (CSTV). For additional information on the NAIA visit www.naia.org.

For additional information on the American Football Coaches Association visit www.afca.com.

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship
Sports Rules - Football