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.

OFFENSE

             
POSITION NAME HT WT CLASS SCHOOL HOMETOWN NOTES
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
               

DEFENSE

             
POSITION NAME HT WT CLASS SCHOOL HOMETOWN NOTES
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
               

SPECIAL TEAMS

           
POSITION NAME HT WT CLASS SCHOOL HOMETOWN NOTES
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