2012 AFCA Division III Coaches All-America Team Announced

Mount St. Joseph running back James Clay and Oberlin defensive lineman Clay Eaton headline the 2012 AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team 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.

Clay led the nation in total rushing yards (2,124) and rushing yards per game (212.4). He was second in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 252 when you added in 54 receiving yards, 159 punt return yards and 183 kickoff return yards for a total of 2,520 yards. Eaton led the nation in sacks per game with 1.7, giving him 17 total for the season. He also finished fifth in the nation with 22.5 tackles for a loss. Eaton also recorded 46 tackles, three pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

2012 AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team

Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
WR Brandon Boyle 5-9 172 Jr. Castleton Marc Klatt Springfield, Vt. (Springfield)
WR Scott Pillar 6-2 192 Sr. Albright John Marzka Keansburg, N.J. (Keansburg)
TE Billy Chapman 6-4 223 Sr. Middlebury Bob Ritter Greenwich, Conn. (Brunswick)
OL Brian Cranmer 6-3 284 Sr. Wesley Mike Drass Cologne, N.J. (St. Augustine Prep)
OL Armand Jenifer 6-4 295 Jr. Johns Hopkins Jim Margraff Teaneck, N.J. (Bergen County Academies)
C Curtis James* 6-3 304 Sr. St. Thomas (Minn.) Glenn Caruso Edina, Minn. (Edina)
OL Will Ferrell 6-4 305 Jr. Hampden-Sydney Marty Favret Blythewood, S.C. (Blythewood)
OL Tom Knowlton 6-5 300 Sr. Concordia-Moorhead Terry Horan Fargo, N.D. (Fargo South)
QB Nate Wara 6-1 220 Sr. Wis.-Oshkosh Pat Cerroni Oshkosh, Wis. (Oshkosh North)
RB Scottie Williams 5-6 170 Sr. Elmhurst Tim Lester Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)
RB James Clay 5-10 190 Sr. Mount St. Joseph Rod Huber Louisville, Ky. (duPont Manual)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL D.J. Chappell 6-1 285 Sr. Huntingdon Mike Turk Montgomery, Ala. (Jeff Davis)
DL Brynnan Hyland 6-2 240 Jr. Linfield Joseph Smith Eugene, Ore. (Churchill)
DL Clay Eaton 6-1 233 Sr. Oberlin Jeff Ramsey Findlay, Ohio (Van Buren)
DL Tim Taylor 6-2 219 Sr. Thiel Kurt Reiser Girard, Pa. (Erie Cathedral Prep)
LB Javicz Jones 6-0 200 Sr. Mary Hardin-Baylor Pete Fredenburg Katy, Texas (Morton Ranch)
LB Seth Mathis 6-3 240 Jr. Bethel (Minn.) Steve Johnson Anoka, Minn. (Anoka)
LB Mike Hendrick 6-3 212 Sr. Knox Chad Eisele Smithton, Ill. (Freeburg)
DB Zach Autenrieb 5-10 184 Sr. Thomas More Jim Hilvert Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder)
DB Nick Driskill* 5-10 205 Sr. Mount Union Larry Kehres Wabash, Ind. (Southwood)
DB Dwayne Hollis 5-9 175 Sr. N.C. Wesleyan Mark Henninger Newport News, Va. (Denbigh)
DB Ryan McWethy 6-2 220 Sr. Wis.-Platteville Mike Emendorfer Oregon, Ill. (Oregon)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Christian Hallingstad 5-11 185 Sr. Wis.-La Crosse Joel Dettwiler Cumberland, Wis. (Rice Lake)
PK Kevin Grady 6-0 180 Jr. Redlands Mike Maynard Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep)
AP John Borsellino* 5-8 185 Sr. Benedictine (Ill.) Jon Cooper Oak Brook, Ill. (Montini Catholic)

*-2011 AFCA All-American

Team Background: The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. 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 — Division I-A and Division I-AA.

In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. The AFCA began selecting an NAIA-only team in 2006. Also in 2006, the Division I-A and Division I-AA teams were renamed Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), 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.

The Award: Members of the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team.

Top Teams: Mount Union leads all schools with 19 players chosen to the AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team a total of 21 times since 1972. The Purple Raiders are followed by Augustana (Ill.) (19/17), Wittenberg (19/17), Wisconsin-La Crosse (17/17), Washington & Jefferson (17/15), Linfield (15/14), Mississippi College (14/13), Montclair State (14/12), Emory & Henry (13/13), Ithaca (13/13), Central (Iowa) (13/12), Wisconsin-Whitewater (13/11), Widener (13/10), Wesley (12/10), Wheaton (12/11), St. John’s (Minn.) (11/11), Salisbury (11/11), Frostburg St. (11/10), Springfield (Mass.) (11/10) and Mary Hardin-Baylor (11/9).

Consecutive Years: With Brian Cranmer’s selection this year, Wesley has had a player chosen for eight consecutive years, from 2005 to present, the longest current streak. From 2000-09, Mount Union had a player chosen for 10 straight seasons, which is the longest streak in Division III. The Purple Raiders also had one player chosen for six consecutive seasons from 1993-98. Tied for second on the list is Washington and Jefferson, who had a player chosen for All-America honors for nine straight seasons (2002-10). Emory & Henry is fourth on the list, having had a player named AFCA All-American for eight straight seasons from 1985-1992, followed by Mary Hardin-Baylor, who has had seven straight selections from 2006 to present. Augustana (Ill.) and Wheaton have had players selected for six consecutive seasons from 2000-05 and 2003-08, respectively.

Repeat After Me: No player has earned AFCA Division III All-America honors four times, however Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) running back Johnny Bailey did earn Coaches’ All-America honors four straight years (1986-87-88-89) in AFCA College Division I (now AFCA Division II).

Five players have earned AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team honors three times. They are: DB Tom Deery, Widener, 1979-80-81; RB Scott Reppert, Lawrence, 1980-81-82; RB Joe Dudek, Plymouth State, 1983-84-85; DL Sean Brewer, Millsaps, 1990-91-92; and P Jeff Shea, California Lutheran, 1995-96-97.

Class Distinction: This year’s AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 19 seniors and six juniors.

First Time Schools: Six new schools have had players earn AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America honors this year. Wide receiver Brandon Boyle of Castleton, quarterback Nate Wara of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, defensive linemen D.J. Chappell of Huntingdon and Clay Eaton of Oberlin, linebacker Mike Hendrick of Knox and defensive back Dwayne Hollis of North Carolina Wesleyan have all earned All-America honors for their schools, for the first time, in 2012.

Back-to-Back: St. Thomas (Minn.) center Curtis James, Mount Union defensive back Nick Driskill and Benedictine (Ill.) all-purpose player John Borsellino all earned AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America honors for a second consecutive season in 2012.

Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn 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.

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