Three From MIAA earn AFCA Division II All-America Honors

WACO, Texas -- Three MIAA student-athletes were honored with selection to the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches' All-America Team, which was announced Wednesday (Dec. 12).

Northwest Missouri State senior RB Xavier Omon was one of three running backs selected, and was joined on the defense by Washburn senior DB Cary Williams and Central Missouri senior DB Kendall Ricketts.

In 2007, Omon became the first player in NCAA history, at any level, to rush for at least 1,500 yards for four straight years. He became the MIAA's career rushing leader with a 292-yard effort in the national semifinals against Grand Valley (Mich.) State, raising his career total to 7,010. Omon also set a school record for most touchdown's in a season at 36.

Williams leads the MIAA with seven interceptions, which was second most in Washburn single-season history. He was a unanimous first-team All-MIAA choice at defensive back and also earned all-conference honors as a kick return specialist, as he averaged 28.6 yards per return in 2007 (ninth in Division II).

Ricketts finished the season with 78 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception and one pass breakup. He is UCM's career leader with 344 tackles, and earned first-team All-MIAA honors in 2007 -- the third time he's done so in his career.

Both Williams and Ricketts accepted invitations to the Valero Cactus Bowl Division II All-Star Game in Kingsville, Texas, to be played Jan. 11.

Team Background
The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. 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.

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 - FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.

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 has been replaced by an all-purpose player this season.

Selection Process
The AFCA's Division II All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's nine districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.

Top Teams: Texas A&M-Kingsville has been represented a total of 32 times by 28 players on the AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team. Trailing Texas A&M-Kingsville is Pittsburg State (17/14), Indiana (Pa.) (16/14), North Dakota (15/13), American International (14/13), Carson-Newman (14/13), North Alabama (14/13), Texas A&M-Commerce (14/12), Ferris State (13/12), Grand Valley State (13/12) and Northwest Missouri State (13/9).

2007 AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team

Offense
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
WR Cedric Jones 6-0 180 So. Valdosta (Ga.) State David Dean Waycross, Ga. (Ware County)
WR Weston Dressler* 5-8 164 Jr. North Dakota Dale Lennon Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck)
OL Mackenzy Bernadeau 6-4 303 Sr. Bentley (Mass.) Peter Yetten Waltham, Mass. (Waltham)
OL Ben Hochstein 6-4 298 Sr. Nebraska-Omaha Pat Behrns Hartington, Neb. (Cedar Catholic)
OL Tim McCutcheon* 6-4 305 Sr. California (Pa.) John Luckhardt Sewickley, Pa. (Quaker Valley)
OL Christian Morton 6-5 286 Sr. South Dakota Ed Meierkort Norfolk, Neb. (Norfolk)
OL Vince Cashdollar 6-2 297 Sr. Ashland (Ohio) Lee Owens Newark, Ohio (Newark)
QB Brad Roach 6-6 245 Sr. Catawba (N.C.) Chip Hester Williamston, N.C. (Williamston)
RB Jamar Brittingham 6-0 203 Sr. Bloomsburg (Pa.) Danny Hale Levittown, Pa. (Neshaminy)
RB Xavier Omon 5-11 220 Sr. Northwest Missouri St. Mel Tjeerdsma Beatrice, Neb. (Beatrice)
RB Dervon Wallace 5-6 177 Sr. Shepherd (W.Va.) Monte Cater Lusby, Md. (Calvert)

Defense
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Brandon Swain 6-4 255 Jr. West Texas A&M Don Carthel Tulsa, Okla. (Washington)
DL Jake Visser 6-2 275 Jr. Ferris (Mich.) State Jeff Pierce Coopersville, Mich. (Coopersville)
DL Kurt Kissner 6-3 245 Sr. Mesa (Colo.) State Joe Ramunno Cedaredge, Colo. (Cedaredge)
LB Michael Eubanks 6-2 225 Sr. Delta (Miss.) State Ron Roberts Cleveland, Miss. (Cleveland)
LB Anthony Adams 6-2 234 Sr. Grand Valley (Mich.) St. Chuck Martin Troy, Mich. (Troy)
LB Will Clewis 6-1 240 Sr. Central Oklahoma Chuck Langston Fort Worth, Texas (Eastern Hills)
LB Eric Rice 5-11 205 Sr. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) Ken Sparks Thomasville, Ga. (County)
DB Cary Williams 6-2 190 Sr. Washburn Craig Schurig Miami, Fla. (Madonna College Prep)
DB Kendall Ricketts 5-10 190 Sr. Central Missouri Willie Fritz Raytown, Mo. (South)
DB Craig Fox 6-0 185 Sr. North Alabama Mark Hudspeth Kentwood, La. (Jewel M. Summer)
DB Ranardrick Phillips 5-10 202 Sr. Tarleton (Texas) State Sam McElroy Madison, Fla. (County)

Specialists
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Michael Podobnik 6-0 230 Jr. Arkansas Tech Steve Mullins Frankfort, Ill. (Lincoln-Way East)
K Jared Guberman 5-10 190 Jr. West Georgia Mike Ledford Boca Raton, Fla. (Spanish River)
AP De'Audra Dix 5-10 160 Sr. Johnson C. Smith (N.C.) Daryl McNeill Merritt Island, Fla. (Merritt Island)

*-2006 AFCA All-America


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