2017 Football

AFCA All-America Team is out, only one HBCU player selected

Osband Thompson picked while two high powered offensive talents left off.

Tuskegee University senior Osband Thompson has been selected as a first-team linebacker on the 2017 American Football Coaches Association All-America Team. The Tuskegee senior is the only HBCU player to earn a spot on the All-America Team.  Thompson finished the season with 131 tackles, the second most in the nation.  Thompson was the first linebacker in ten years to lead Tuskegee in tackles and interceptions in the same season.

Left off despite stats

Two noticeable absences from the All-America team were Trent Cannon from Virginia State and Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall.  Of the four running backs selected, Cannon had more total yards and yards-per-carry than three of them.  Marc Jones from Gannon (Pa.) was in another world statistically, rushing for 2,176 yards in 11 games this season.  Cannon rushed for 1,638 yards in the same amount of contests.

VSU RB Trent Cannon carries the ball. Photo by Michael Peele.

Amir Hall had a higher efficiency rating, fewer interceptions and more touchdowns per game than All-Americans Travis Tarnowski and Luis Perez.  In two fewer games, Hall had 3,519 passing yards compared to Tarnowski’s 3,044 yards.  Tarnowski who played at Ashland, was chosen as a first-team selection.  Both Hall and Perez are among the ten finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the nation’s top football player in Division II.  Tarnowski was among the 34 players nominated before the list was trimmed down to ten.

Amir Hall D2 Top 25

Amir Hall passing the ball (Photo: Wali Pitt)


2017 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America – First Team


Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

QB  Travis Tarnowski 5-11 218 Sr. Ashland (Ohio) Lee Owens Broadview Heights, Ohio (North Royalton)

RB Marc Jones 5-11 225 Sr. Gannon (Pa.) Brad Rzyczycki Painesville, Ohio (Riverside)

RB *Kamal Cass 5-11 185 Sr. Eastern New Mexico Kelley Lee Clovis, N.M. (Clovis)

WR Donta Armstrong 5-10 151 Sr. West Alabama Brett Gilliland Bruce, Miss. (Bruce)

WR Weston Carr 6-2 200 So. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) Victor Santa Cruz Benicia, Calif. (Benicia)

TE Seth Hebert 6-4 225 R-Jr. Central Missouri Jim Svoboda St. Louis, Mo. (Fort Zumwalt West)

OL *Jared Machorro 6-7 280 Sr. Texas A&M-Commerce Colby Carthel Coldspring, Texas (Oakhurst)

OL Joseph Lacey 6-6 328 Sr. LIU-Post (N.Y.) Bryan Collins Medford, N.Y. (Patchogue-Medford)

OL Desmond Harrison 6-7 288 Sr. West Georgia David Dean Houston, Texas (Oak Ridge)

OL Andrew Alten 6-2 308 Sr. Findlay (Ohio) Rob Keys Loveland, Ohio (Loveland)

OL Ruben Holcomb 6-4 317 R-Sr. Indianapolis (Ind.) Bob Bartolomeo Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider)


Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

DL Blake Nelson 5-11 230 Sr. Colorado Mesa Russ Martin Centennial, Colo. (Arapahoe)

DL *Marcus Martin 6-2 255 R-Sr. Slippery Rock (Pa.) Shawn Lutz West Mifflin, Pa. (West Mifflin)

DL *Zach Sieler 6-6 290 Jr. Ferris St. (Mich.) Tony Annese Pinckney, Mich. (Pinckney)

DL Nathan Shepherd 6-5 300 Sr. Fort Hays St. (Kan.) Chris Brown Ajax, Ontario (J. Clarke Richardson)

LB **Kyle Kitchens 6-2 205 Sr. Catawba (N.C.) Curtis Walker Decatur, Ga. (Decatur)

LB Brandon Payer 6-4 248 Jr. Colorado St.-Pueblo John Wristen Pine, Colo. (Conifer)

LB *Osband Thompson 6-0 205 Sr. Tuskegee (Ala.) Willie Slater Miami, Fla. (Jackson)

DB Max Redfield 6-1 205 Sr. Indiana (Pa.) Paul Tortorella Mission Viejo, Calif. (Mission Viejo)

DB Chris Johnson 6-3 200 Jr. North Alabama Chris Willis Birmingham, Ala. (Oak Mountain)

DB Marcus Jones 6-0 178 Sr. Northwest Missouri St. Rich Wright Gladstone, Mo. (North Kansas City)

DB Andrew Spencer 6-1 210 Sr. Winona St. (Minn.) Tom Sawyer Lake Villa, Ill. (Lakes Community)



Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

PK Casey Bednarski 6-1 230 Jr. Minnesota St.  Todd Hoffner Oconomowoc, Wis. (Oconomowoc)

P Cody Mikell 6-0 215 Sr. Henderson St. (Ark.) Scott Maxfield Poplarville, Miss. (Poplarville)

AP Deonte Harris 5-6 170 Jr. Assumption (Mass.) Bob Chesney Baltimore, Md. (Archbishop Curley)

*-2016 AFCA All-American **-2015 & 2016 AFCA All-American

2017 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America – Second Team


Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

QB  Luis Perez 6-3 220 Sr. Texas A&M-Commerce Colby Carthel Chula Vista, Calif. (Otay Ranch)

RB *Chris Robinson 5-9 196 Sr. Delta St. (Miss.) Todd Cooley Bude, Miss. (Franklin County)

RB Ja’Quan Gardner 5-7 205 Sr. Humboldt St. (Calif.) Rob Smith Ceres, Calif. (Central Valley)

WR Keshaun Taylor 6-1 180 Sr. Mars Hill (N.C.) Tim Clifton Homestead, Fla. (Homestead)

WR J.T. Luper 5-9 175 Sr. Central Oklahoma Steve Laqua  Sherman, Texas (Sherman)

TE Tanner Hudson 6-5 239 R-Sr. Southern Arkansas Bill Keopple Camden, Tenn. (Central)

OL Dontavius Blair 6-7 294 Sr. West Alabama Brett Gilliland Anniston, Ala. (Anniston)

OL Taylor Nikithser 6-4 300 Sr. California (Pa.) Gary Dunn Wexford, Pa. (North Allegheny)

OL Austin Fleer 6-8 300 Sr. Colorado Mesa Russ Martin Aurora, Colo. (Grandview)

OL Sam Lee 6-5 300 Sr. Augustana (S.D.) Jerry Olszewski Blue Earth, Minn. (Blue Earth Area)

OL Islam Sbeih 6-1 298 Sr. Midwestern St. (Texas) Bill Maskill East Oakland, Calif. (San Leandro)



Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

DL Davondrick Lison 6-2 213 R-Jr. Southern Arkansas Bill Keopple Arkansas City, Ark. (McGehee)

DL Myles Humphrey 6-2 245 Sr. Shepherd (W.Va.) Monte Cater Upper Marlboro, Md. (Dr. Henry A. Wise)

DL Adonis Davis 6-3 257 R-Jr. Florida Tech Steve Englehart Columbus, Ohio (Beechcroft)

DL Markus Jones 6-3 255 Jr. Angelo St. (Texas) Will Wagner Crowley, Texas (Crowley)

LB Austin Weltha 5-10 220 Sr. McKendree (Ill.) Mike Babcock Bloomington, Ill. (Bloomington)

LB Dennis Gardeck 6-0 205 Gr. Sioux Falls (S.D.) Jon Anderson Lake in the Hills, Ill. (Crystal Lake South)

LB Kevin Haynes 6-1 228 Sr. Central Washington Ian Shoemaker Battle Ground, Wash. (Battle Ground)

DB Yusef Sterling-Lowe 6-2 170 Sr. Texas A&M-Commerce Colby Carthel Oakland, Calif. (McClymonds)

DB Tevin Madison 5-10 168 Sr. West Alabama Brett Gilliland Fayette, Ala. (Fayette)

DB Tavierre Thomas 6-0 205 Sr. Ferris St. (Mich.) Tony Annese Detroit, Mich. (Allen)

DB Darius Williams 6-0 195 Jr. Colorado St.-Pueblo John Wristen Gilbert, Ariz. (Williams Field)


Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

PK Cole Tracy 5-11 190 Sr. Assumption (Mass.) Bob Chesney Camarillo, Calif. (Newbury Park)

P Justin Marcha 6-1 200 Sr. Emporia St. (Kan.) Garin Higgins Edmond, Okla. (Edmond Memorial)

AP BJ Muckelvene 5-10 170 R-So. Wingate (N.C.) Joe Reich Waxhaw, N.C. (Cuthbertson)

*-2016 AFCA All-American





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