2018 AFCA-NAIA All-America Teams Announced

2018 AFCA-NAIA All-America Teams Announced

WACO, TEXAS — Morningside (Iowa) quarterback Trent Solsma and Evangel (Mo.) defensive lineman Andreas Moeller headline the 2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Teams announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five 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.

Solsma, who has helped lead Morningside to the NAIA National Championship game, had a record-setting senior year. He led the nation with 5,097 yards passing, 365 completions, 68 touchdowns and 5,040 yards in total offense. The 68 touchdowns are a single-season NAIA record, as is his 72.6 completion percentage. Moeller set a school record and finished second in the nation with 27.5 tackles for loss. He also finished seventh in the country with 12 sacks and tied for second with five forced fumbles on the season. Moeller also added 69 total tackles and one interception.

2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team - First Team

Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
QB Trent Solsma 6-0 215 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Dakota Dunes, S.D. (Bishop Heelan Catholic)
RB Joe Conner 6-0 215 R-Jr. Concordia (Mich.) Joshua Schumacher Flat Rock, Mich. (Flat Rock)
RB Demarco Prewitt 5-10 204 Jr. Kansas Wesleyan Matt Drinkall Menifee, Calif. (Paloma Valley)
WR Darrion Dillard 6-4 205 Sr. Ottawa (Kan.) Kent Kessinger St. Louis, Mo. (McCluer)
WR Brenden Kelly 6-2 205 R-Sr. Eastern Oregon Tim Camp Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge)
TE Brandon Dillon 6-5 250 Sr. Marian (Ind.) Mark Henninger Bringhurst, Ind. (Carroll)
OL *Garrett Bader 6-5 293 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.) Larry Wilcox Aurora, Mo. (Aurora)
OL Anthony Vereen 6-4 290 Sr. Jamestown (N.D.) Josh Kittell Las Vegas, Nev. (Mojave)
OL Shabari Jones 6-2 300 Sr. Avila (Mo.) Marc Benavidez Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)
OL Dustin Rivera 5-11 250 Jr. Southwestern (Kan.) Brad Griffin Buckeye, Ariz. (Buckeye)
OL Trevor Wietzema 6-2 290 Sr. Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) Ross Cimpl Worthington, Minn. (Worthington)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL *Curt Boeke 6-5 265 Sr. Dakota State (S.D.) Josh Anderson Clear Lake, S.D. (Deuel)
DL Kenneth Steele, Jr. 6-0 212 Sr. Ottawa (Ariz.) Mike Nesbitt Tampa, Fla. (Tolleson)
DL JT Graydon 6-0 215 R-So. Reinhardt (Ga.) James Miller Tifton, Ga. (Tift County)
DL Andreas Moeller 6-1 245 Jr. Evangel (Mo.) Chuck Hepola Hebo, Ore. (Nestucca)
LB Jason Ferris 6-3 215 R-Jr. Montana Western Ryan Nourse Dillon, Mont. (Beaverhead County)
LB Damarcus Wimbush 5-10 211 R-So. Bluefield (Va.) Dewey Lusk Danville, Va. (Tunstall)
LB Caleb Coe 6-1 210 Sr. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) Eric Hehman Cedarville, Ohio (Cedarville)
DB Nicholas Holmes 5-11 207 So. St. Mary (Kan.) Jay Osborne Lansing, Kan. (Pleasant Ridge)
DB Anthony Murray 5-8 170 Sr. Hastings (Neb.) Tony Harper Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
DB Jay Liggins 6-2 200 Sr. Dickinson St. (N.D.) Pete Stanton Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck)
DB Wilmer Cole 6-1 194 Sr. Saint Francis (Ind.) Kevin Donley Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Drake Higgins 6-2 257 Jr. Missouri Valley Paul Troth Lathrop, Mo. (Lathrop)
PK Marcus Montano 6-1 205 Sr. Southern Oregon Charlie Hall Manteca, Calif. (Manteca)
AP J’Kobi Reddick 5-8 183 So. Bethel (Tenn.) Brent Dearmon Tampa, Fla. (Cambridge Christian)

*-2017 AFCA All-American

2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team - Second Team

Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
QB Jaylen Lowe 6-0 200 Sr. Langston (Okla.) Quinton Morgan Collinsville, Okla. (Owasso)
RB Milton Shelton 5-10 190 Jr. Cumberlands (Ky.) Matt Rhymer Roswell, Ga. (Blessed Trinity Catholic)
RB Drevion Cooper 5-7 170 Sr. Tabor (Kan.) Mike Gardner Coldspring, Texas (Oakhurst)
WR Aaron Jackson 6-2 187 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.) Larry Wilcox Frankfort, Ky. (Frankfort)
WR *Connor Niles 5-11 195 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Sioux City, Iowa (Bishop Heelan Catholic)
TE Devante Jimenez 6-5 277 Sr. Bethel (Tenn.) Brent Dearmon Pulaski, Tenn. (Giles County)
OL Tre Coney 6-1 275 Jr. Reinhardt (Ga.) James Miller Dublin, Ga. (Dublin)
OL Mick Wilson 6-5 285 R-Sr. Eastern Oregon Tim Camp Council, Idaho (Council)
OL Jordan Heldreth 6-5 310 Sr. Southeastern (Fla.) Keith Barefield Port Orange, Fla. (Warner Christian)
OL Jarin Bush 6-4 295 Sr. Marian (Ind.) Mark Henninger Flora, Ind. (Carroll)
OL D.J. Loving 6-2 280 Sr. Grand View (Iowa) Mike Woodley St. Louis, Mo. (East St. Louis)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Mike Mitchell 6-4 270 Sr. Southeastern (Fla.) Keith Barefield Plano, Texas (Prestonwood Christian)
DL Shaq Bradford 5-10 219 Jr. Kansas Wesleyan Matt Drinkall San Diego, Calif. (Hoover)
DL Dmitri Joe 6-3 285 Sr. St. Xavier (Ill.) Mike Feminis La Grange Park, Ill. (Nazareth Academy)
DL Ryder Rice 6-6 220 Jr. Rocky Mountain (Mont.) Jason Petrino Savage, Mont. (Savage)
LB Ben Slavens 5-10 215 Jr. Grand View (Iowa) Mike Woodley Bettendorf, Iowa (Pleasant Valley)
LB *Trent Mueller 6-0 225 Gr. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Chris Oliver Nashville, Tenn. (Christian)
LB Eric Dunten 6-2 220 Sr. Saint Francis (Ind.) Kevin Donley Fort Wayne, Ind. (Carroll)
DB Bryce Van Beek 6-0 175 Sr. Northwestern (Iowa) Matt McCarty Rock Valley, Iowa (Rock Valley)
DB Landon Jones 6-1 215 Jr. SAGU (Texas) Ryan Smith Waco, Texas (Midway)
DB Xavier Spann 6-1 185 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland)
DB #Cain Boschee 6-3 185 Sr. Dickinson St. (N.D.) Pete Stanton Kalispell, Mont. (Glacier)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Austin Bohn 6-4 180 Jr. Ottawa (Ariz.) Mike Nesbitt Erie, Colo. (Erie)
PK Jared Amundson 6-3 220 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Sioux City, Iowa (East)
AP Nate McLaurin 5-11 190 Sr. Baker (Kan.) Mike Grossner Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)

*-2017 AFCA All-American      #-2016 AFCA All-American

Team Background: The five 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 — FBS and FCS. 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. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. In 2016, the AFCA added a second team All-America.

Selection Process: The AFCA’s NAIA All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s seven 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 First Team will receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team, while members of the Second Team will receive a certificate.

AFCA NAIA Player Selection History: NAIA players who were selected to AFCA All-America teams were named to the AFCA College Division team from 1967-71. In 1972, the AFCA College Division was split to College I and College II. Players from NAIA Division I teams were placed in AFCA College I, while players from NAIA Division II were placed in AFCA College II. That process lasted until 1996, when College I and College II were renamed Division II and Division III. From 1996-2005, all NAIA players who were selected as AFCA All-Americans were placed on the AFCA Division II team. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.

Top Teams: Morningside has been represented a total of 22 times with 21 different players on AFCA Coaches’ All-America Teams to lead all schools in NAIA. In second is Carroll (Mont.), which has had 21 different players selected as All-Americans on 19 different occasions. Trailing Morningside and Carroll (Mont.) are: Georgetown (Ky.) (18/15), Saint Francis (Ind.) (16/15), Baker (14/12), Saint Xavier (13/12), Marian (12/11), Southern Oregon (11/11), Northwestern (Iowa) (11/9), Grand View (10/10), Benedictine (Kan.) (10/8), Bethel (Tenn.) (10/8), Missouri Valley (10/8), St. Ambrose (9/9), Montana Tech (9/7), Dickinson State (8/7), Dakota Wesleyan (7/7), Friends (7/6), Tabor (7/5), Eastern Oregon (6/6), Southwestern (Kan.) (6/6), Sterling (6/6), Doane (6/5), MidAmerica Nazarene (6/5), St. Francis (Ill.) (6/5), Hastings (5/5), Jamestown (5/5), Kansas Wesleyan (5/5), Dakota State (5/4), Faulkner (5/4), Nebraska Wesleyan (5/4), Ottawa (Kan.) (5/4), Reinhardt (5/4) and Rocky Mountain (5/4).

First Time Schools: This year, offensive lineman Shabari Jones of Avila, linebacker Damarcus Wimbush of Bluefield and defensive lineman Kenneth Steele, Jr. and punter Austin Bohn of Ottawa (Ariz.) have earned their schools AFCA All-America honors for the first time.

Consecutive Years: Morningside has had at least one player named to the AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team for 13 straight seasons, from 2006 to present, the longest streak by any team in NAIA history. Following Morningside is Carroll (Mont.) with 11 straight selections from 2005 to 2015. Grand View and Marian are tied for third on the list with eight straight AFCA All-Americans. Grand View’s selections came from 2009 to 2016, while Marian’s is from 2011 to present.

Five Time: Morningside joined Baker as the only schools to have five AFCA All-Americans named in one season. Morningside achieved the feat in 2017 with Caden McDonald (LB-first team), Bubba Jenkins (RB-second team), Connor Niles (WR-second team), Trae Bradburn (OL-second team) and Spencer Wyant (P-second team). Baker earned its five selections in 2016 with Logan Brettell (QB-first team), Clarence Clark (PK-second team), Josh Kock (DL-second team), Darrain Winston (DB-second team) and Cornell Brown (AP-second team).

Three-peat: With his second team All-America selection in 2017, College of Idaho defensive back Nate Moore became the first NAIA player to be named to three straight AFCA NAIA All-America Teams. Moore was a first team selection in 2015 and 2016.

Repeat After Me: Offensive lineman Garrett Bader of Benedictine (Kan.), defensive lineman Curt Boeke of Dakota State, wide receiver Connor Niles of Morningside and linebacker Trent Mueller of Lindsey Wilson earned AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 2018. Cain Boschee of Dickinson State earned his second honor in 2018 after being named All-America in 2016.

Class Distinction: This year’s AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 32 seniors, 13 juniors, four sophomores and one graduate student.

One Player, Two Positions: Bethel’s (Tenn.) Stoney Burns and Baker’s Clarence Clark are the only players in AFCA All-America Team history at all levels to repeat as AFCA All-Americans at two different positions. Burns was named to the 2013 squad as a defensive back, then earned 2014 honors at all-purpose. Clark was named to the 2015 squad as a receiver, then earned 2016 honors as a place-kicker.

Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn AFCA Coaches’ All-America honors at two different schools. Bounds 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. Zuerlein was named to the Division II Coaches’ All-America Team in 2009 while playing for Nebraska-Omaha. He transferred to Missouri Western State after Nebraska-Omaha dropped its football program and earned Division II honors in 2011 as a Griffon.

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship

November 23, 30, Dec. 7, 2019
Football Championship Series
Campus Sites

December 21, 2019
Eddie G. Robinson Stadium
Ruston, La.