Victory Sports Network presents it’s 2017 NAIA Football All-American team. The squad is headlined by several players that saw action in the NAIA Championship and the winning coach, again. The 2017 season ended in Daytona, Florida with St Francis of Indiana defeating Reinhardt in the 62nd NAIA title game, 24-13
Winning his third NAIA championship and second in a row, St Francis head coach Kevin Donley is the 2017 VSN National Coach of the Year. Besides taking home another trophy, he is the only NAIA football coach to win 300 games, ending the year with 315 ‘W’s, good for ninth all-time in college football.
The main cog in the USF offense, Justin Green, a 5-9, 195 junior running back is the VSN Offensive Player of the Year. He ran for over 2,000 yards, 29 touchdowns and played his best in the biggest games. The junior led the Cougars to their best season ever, a 14-0 record and a second national title as they celebrate their twentieth season of college football.
The VSN Defensive Player of the Year is also a Cougar, junior linebacker Piercen Harnish, 6’ 224. A three-time MSFA Mid-East first teamer, Harnish had 130 tackles, grabbed one interception, seven TFL and 3 sacks. He was the leader of the best defense in the MSFA in numerous categories.
Senior receiver/returner Charles Duckworth of Point, GA is the VSN Special Teams Player of the Year for 2017. Not only was he a top receiver for the Sky-Hawks with over 900 yards receiving, he was a kick-off return nightmare for opposing teams with three returns for touchdowns and a 30.2 average per return.
With only 32 spots available for the VSN NAIA All-American team, we understood many deserving players would be very close to making the final cut, but be left off. There was a glut of talent at nearly every position, especially along the offensive and defensive lines. Several players who made various All-American teams in 2016 were under consideration again this year; but we believe these 32 players had the best seasons at their positions in 2017.
|QB||TRENT SOLSMA||6′||210||JR||MORNINGSIDE||SIOUX CITY, IA||55 td passes ties NAIA record, 4,406 yards passing, 68% completion|
|RB||BUBBA JENKINS||5’10”||205||SR||MORNINGSIDE||SPRINGFIELD, MO||2,160 yards, 28 td’s and 6.2 per carry avg|
|RB||JD WOODS||5’8″||180||FR||BAKER||LAWRENCE, KS||1,618 yards, 25 td’s, and 6.9 per carry avg|
|RB||JUSTIN GREEN||5’9″||195||JR||ST FRANCIS, IN||GRIFFITH, IN||2,031 yards, 29 td’s, and played his best in the biggest games|
|WR||HAYDEN ADAMS||6’1″||190||SR||DAKOTA WESLEYAN||VILLA PARK, IL||1,472 yards, 133 yards/game and 18 td’s|
|WR||CONNOR NILES||5’11”||185||JR||MORNINGSIDE||SIOUX CITY, IA||1,449 yards, 111 yards/game and 18 td’s|
|WR||ALEX BRAMMER||6’2″||185||SR||GRAND VIEW||AMES, IA||1,141 yards, over 21 yards a catch and 10 td’s|
|WR||JAKARI JOHNSON||6′||203||SR||MISSOURI VALLEY||DALLAS, TX||1,209 yards, 110 yards/game and 8 td’s|
|OL||XAVIER CARTER||5’11”||240||SR||REINHARDT||SNELLVILLE, GA||NAIA’s 2017 Rimington Award winner, nuff said|
|OL||CHRIS EMTER||6’5″||305||SR||CARROLL||LIVINGSTON, MT||2X All Frontier first team|
|OL||DARRION MCALISTER||6’2″||250||SR||MARIAN||KOKOMO, IN||2X All-MSFA Mid East first teamer|
|OL||ZAC LAWSON||6’3″||300||SR||LINDSEY WILSON||BLOOMFOELD, KY||2X All-Mid South first teamer|
|OL||JUSTIN HUNTER||6’2″||305||SR||ST XAVIER||CREST HILL, IL||2X VSN All-American, 3X all-MSFA Mid West|
|OL||DAJSHON OLIVER||6’5″||305||SR||WARNER||TAMPA, FL||2X VSN All-American, 2X All-League 1st team|
|DL||JAMARAE FINNIE||6’3:||300||SR||LANGSTON||TACOMA, WA||CSFL Defensive POY and Consensus A-A in 2017|
|DL||ERIC HEMMELGARN||6’5″||320||SR||ST FRANCIS, IN||PORTLAND, IN||The big block of granite for USF D – always double-teamed|
|DL||RESEAN COLEMAN||6’4″||230||SO||WILLIAM PENN||RIVER ROUGE, MI||Heart North Co-Def MVP, 58 tackles, 18 TFL and 12 sacks|
|DL||TYLER SANDERS||6’2″||270||SR||MONTANA TECH||HELENA, MT||3X all Frontier first team, controlled interior line|
|DL||TEVIN MCCOY||5’10”||210||JR||REINHARDT||CARROLLTON, GA||Speed rusher was named Appalachian Def MVP|
|LB||PIERCEN HARNISH||6′||224||JR||ST FRANCIS, IN||OSSIAN, IN||3X ALL-MSFA MID EAST – 123 TACKLES -8.4 PER GAME|
|LB||CADEN MCDONALD||6’2″||215||SR||MORNINGSIDE||LOGAN, IA||GPAC Def MVP, 102 tackles, 14 TFL and 5 picks|
|LB||ERIC DUNTEN||6’1″||215||JR||ST FRANCIS, IN||FORT WAYNE, IN||Led St Francis in tackles with 130, also had 11.5 TFL|
|LB||THOMAS SEASE||6’3″||205||SR||DICKINSON STATE||BISMARCK, ND||3X NSAA first teamer, career leader for tackles and NSAA Def MVP|
|DB||DARIOUS PRICE||6’2″||225||SR||SIENA HEIGHTS||SAGINAW, MI||2017 MSFA MID EAST Def MVP – 4X Mid-East first team DB|
|DB||TARENCE ROBY||6’3″||203||SR||CONCORDIA, NE||ROCKFORD, IL||4X All-GPAC DB, top ten in NAIA punt and kickoff returns also|
|DB||NATE MOORE||5’9″||175||SR||COLLEGE OF IDAHO||MERIDIAN, ID||3X All Frontier first teamer, career 324 tackles and 62 passes defended|
|DB||TOMUNCI WHITFIELD||5’10”||180||SR||SOUTHWESTERN||CEDAR HILL, TX||1st team All KCAC, 7 int’s, 37 tackles|
|DB||KEEGAN FAGAN||5’11”||190||JR||ROCKY MOUNTAIN||LAKE TAPPS, WA||1st team All Frontier, 7 int’s, 64 tackles|
|PK||DANIEL MARTINEZ||5’11”||200||SR||WAYLAND BAPTIST||EL SALVADOR||holds school record 56 yard FG, led NAIA with 17|
|PUNTER||DEREK BRUSH||6’2″||200||SR||ARIZONA CHRISTIAN||WHITTIER, CA||another great year, leading the NAIA at 44.4 ypp|
|KICK RET||CHARLES DUCKWORTH||5’11”||200||SR||POINT||MT OLIVE, MS||30.2 yard return avg, 3 td’s on 24 returns, and over 900 yards receiving|
|PUNT RET||ALAN FREEMAN||5’9″||188||JR||ARIZONA CHRISTIAN||DETROIT, MI||leads NAIA at 17.9 yards a return, with a long of 67 yards|