Brian Shay Tops Little All-America
NEW YORK (AP) _ Brian Shay, who outran Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams to become college football’s career rushing leader, and three players from Division II national champion Northwest Missouri headline The Associated Press’ Little All-America team.
Shay, a 5-foot-9, 211-pound fullback from Emporia State, ran for 2,265 yards and 29 touchdowns this season and finished his career with 6,958 yards, an all-divisions record. Williams ended his run at Texas with the Division I mark of 6,297 yards.
Joining Shay _ the Harlon Hill Award winner as the top player in Division II _ in the backfield were Northwest Missouri quarterback Chris Greisen and Grove City running back R.J. Bowers, who led Division III with 2,283 yards and had 34 touchdowns.
Greisen completed 200 of 332 passes for 2,937 and 25 touchdowns during the Bearcats’ 11-0 regular season. In four playoff games, he threw for another 1,139 yards and 13 touchdowns. He capped the first 15-0 season in Division II history by throwing for 211 yards and two TDs in a 24-6 win over Carson-Newman in the title game.
The other Northwest Missouri players on the team were defensive lineman Aaron Becker and linebacker Aaron Crowe.
Augsburg’s Scott Hvistendahl, the Gagliardi Trophy winner as Division III’s top player, led a trio of wide receivers. The others were Tywan Mitchell of Minnesota State and Kevin Ingram of West Chester.
Hvistendahl broke Jerry Rice’s all-divisions, single-season receiving yards record with 1,860 yards on 112 catches. He also had 15 TDs. Ingram was the top receiver in Division II with 115 catches for 1,673 yards and 21 touchdowns. Mitchell caught 73 passes for 1,183 yards and 13 TDs.
The team, comprised from players in Divisions II and III and the NAIA, was made up of 19 seniors, four juniors and three sophomores. Shay was the only repeater from the ’97 squad.
The offensive line consists of Jason Carriveau of Albion, Charles Cooley of Livingstone, John Hesse of Emporia State, Chris Williams of West Georgia and Cliff Clemons of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Average weight? 299.8 pounds.
Sophomore Damon Thompson of Virginia State was the all-purpose player. He averaged 251.9 yards per game _ second to Shay in Division II _ with 1,330 yards receiving, 770 on kick returns, 292 on punt returns and 127 rushing.
Jason Williams of Southern Arkansas was the kicker. He hit 20-of-24 field goal attempts, including a 57-yarder, and was 36-of-36 on extra points.
Joining Becker on the defensive line were Lamar King of Saginaw Valley State, Bill Nourse of Widener and Aaron Smith of Northern Colorado.
Nourse set a school record with 18 1/2 sacks, while King led Saginaw Valley with 84 tackles, including 12 sacks.
The linebackers were Crowe, Jason Hall of Mount Union, Kevin Homer of Chadron State and Johnny Luter of Central Oklahoma.
Hall had 140 tackles, including 13 for losses as Mount Union won its third straight national title with a 44-24 win over Rowan. Homer had 117 tackles, including 14 for losses and intercepted three passes. Luter finished with 146 tackles, 17 for losses, and forced four fumbles.
The secondary consisted of Che’ Bryant of Tuskegee, Montrae Ford of Carson-Newman, Cedric Johnson of Texas A&M-Kingsville and Ken Pope of Wittenberg.
Bryant and Johnson had eight interceptions apiece, while Pope had five.
Jason Van Dyke of Adams State was the punter. He led Division II with a 46.2-yard average on 59 punts.