Wouldn't you know it? A whole year has passed and here we are talking D3 Football once more. Here's a good kickoff point: our D3 Football Preseason All Americans.
We discussed and debated, and went with a consensus approach on our Preseason D3 Football All-America picks, so long as they had the stats to back them up. Congrats to the selections, and best of luck this season!
QB: Chase Burton, Franklin
Burton enters his final season under center at Franklin as a reigning first team All-American after throwing a division high 42 touchdowns in 10 games last year. Imagine what he’ll do for an encore.
RB: Sam Benger, Carnegie Mellon
Benger was a monster last season with 1671 rushing yards on 314 carries. His touchdown total (26) was second only to Laker Forest stud Joey Valdivia (29).
RB: Chazz Middlebrook, MacMurray
The NCAA D3 rushing leader in 2016, Middlebrook needed just 10 games to eclipse 1,703 rushing yards on just 242 carries. He also scored 18 touchdowns, and averaged over 170 rushing yards per game.
WR: Koree Reed, Hartwick
Reed trumped all receivers with 1,606 receiving yards on 58 receptions last year. He also scored 17 reception touchdowns in just 10 games, and won the 2016 Fan Choice Offensive Player of the Year award for his effort.
WR: Jesse Zubik, Washington & Jefferson
Zubick is another name to watch this season after the junior receiver hauled in 97 catches for 1,413 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns in 11 games played.
TE: Jackson Hull, St. Thomas
Hull burned defenders for nine touchdowns last season, and should once again reign as one of St. Thomas’ premiere red zone targets.
T: Joe Fehrie, North Central
Fehrie was an integral part in North Central’s high-octane offense that averaged nearly 40 points per game, which led him to receive an honorable mention All-American nod.
G: Justin Fairfield, Hope
The Flying Dutchman rushed for a school-record 2,738 yards in 2016 thanks in part to a sturdy offensive line, and offensive guard Justin Fairfield.
C: Kyler Kregel, Wheaton
Kregel was named to the D3 Football Second Team All-American last season thanks to his stellar play that helped his team average nearly 35 points per contest.
G: Greg Castle, Randolph-Macon
Castle returns to for another round with the O-line that helped Randolph-Macon rush for 215 yards per game.
T: Matt Gono, Wesley
Gono anchors a line that allowed the Wolverines to gain 5,338 total offensive yards last season.
DE: Mamadou Soumahoro, Berry
Berry’s stud defensive lineman gets one more season to terrorize opponents. In 2016, he secured 20 tackles for loss and 109 tackle yards in nine games. He also led the league in sacks per game (1.67), and finished with 15 total sacks for 87 yards.
DT: Davon Keith, Emory & Henry
Keith ranked third in total tackles for loss (23), and totaled 113 tackle yards last season as a sophomore. He also contributed 12 sacks for 92 yards, including 10 solo.
DT: Austin Crow, Heidelberg
The league leader in tackles for loss last season (28.5), Crow will look to improve upon his tackle total (115) and average TFLPG (2.9). He also totaled 10.5 sacks.
DE: Isaac Zickafoose, Bluffton
Zickafoose led his team with 20 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks, including 10 solo.
LB: Ryan Slager, Grinnell
Slager led the league in total tackles (154), including 50 solo; and averaged 15.4 tackles per game.
LB: AJ LiCata, Alfred
LiCata finished the 2016 season with 153 total tackles, 91 solo tackles, and averaged just over seven solo tackles per game.
LB: Darin Hungerford, Kean
Last season, Hungerford ranked fourth in tackles for loss (22.5), and also totaled 106 total tackles, including 50 solo.
CB: Victor Bunce, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Totaled 44 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
S: Ben Marcus, Washington U.
Marcus made 67 solo tackles for Washington, and averaged 6.1 per game.
S: Jake O’Connell, Brockport
Totaled 51 tackles, six interceptions and two touchdowns.
CB: Alec Thompson, Rose-Hulman
Finished the 2016 season with 39 total tackles, 11 pass breakups, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
K: Drew Pearson, UW-Stout
Pearson earned a number of accolades for his tremendous performance last season, namely hitting 16-of-19 field goals.
P: Francis Cole, Anna Maria
In his sophomore season, Cole averaged a 45.1 yards per punt on 78 punts.
RET: Alex Bell, Hardin-Simmons
Bell led the league with three kickoffs returned for touchdowns, out of 19 total kickoffs.
QB: Ian Kolste, Whitworth
RB: Markeith Miller, Mary Hardin-Baylor
RB: Joey Valdivia, Lake Forest
WR: Reese Childress, Hardin-Simmons
WR: Brandon Shed, Hobart
TE: Hunter Joseph, Otterbein
T: Jonathan Castaneda, Hardin-Simmons
G: Tony Jones, East Texas Baptist
C: Nate Trewyn, UW-Whitewater
G: Dillon Martin, Western New England
T: Cameron Little, Johns Hopkins
DE: Chase Greeniee, Wheaton
DT: Mike Vidal, Mount Union
DT: Niles Scott, Frostburg State
DE: Billy Douds, North Central
LB: Tom Sora, North Central
LB: Zach Schmerge, Ohio Northern
LB: Alex Berg, Concordia-Moorhead
CB: Tyler Jensen, St. Norbert
S: Shawn Miller, Delaware Valley
S: Ethan Williams, Maryville
CB: Todd Jeter, Westminster
K: John Hoff, Minnesota-Morris
P: Rio Schmidt, Hobart
RET: Jordan Schemm, Ithaca