Seven players repeat from 2006 Team

Dec. 10, 2007

Story from AFCA Offices


WACO, TEX. -- (PDF version) Southern Virginia wide receiver McKay Dunn and Bethel (Kan.) defensive back Brandon Kaufman headline the 2007 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team announced today (Dec. 10) by the American Football Coaches Association.

Quarterback Chad Cavender of Sioux Falls is the signal-caller on the 2007 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. Cavender, who was named Great Plains Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2007, is 27-0 as a starter and is second in the nation in passing efficiency, completing 67 percent of his passes.

Cavender's receiving corps on this year's team features McKay Dunn of Southern Virginia, Preston Nicholson of Culver-Stockton and Jared Stace of Ohio Dominican. Dunn led the NAIA in receptions per game (9.6) and receiving yards per game (143.6), and set school records for receptions (111), yards (1,681) and touchdowns (14) in a season. Nicholson recorded 84 receptions for 1,259 yards in 2007. The 84 receptions were the third most in school history while his 1,259 yards was the second highest mark ever at Culver-Stockton. Stace caught 86 passes for 1,085 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Virginia-Wise's Ra'Shad Morgan and Bethel's (Tenn.) Adrain Smith are the runningbacks on this year's team. Morgan led the nation with 17.4 points per game, while finishing second in rushing yards per contest at 148.5 and fourth in all-purpose yards per game (178.1). Smith rushed the ball 218 times for 1,635 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. He led the nation with 7.5 yards per carry for those who rushed for at least 100 times during the season.

The offensive line features Mike Siverly of McKendree, Truman Ashby of Benedictine (Kan.), Joey Gilsdorf of Sterling, Jeremy Saunders of Quincy and Mike Galassi of Walsh.

Siverly was a key component on an offensive line that led the way for a McKendree rushing attack that was No. 1 in the nation at 305.2 yards per game. Ashby is one of two returning AFCA All-Americans on the offensive line. He helped the Ravens average 342.2 yards of total offense and score 31 touchdowns in 2007. Gilsdorf earned First Team All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference honors after helping the Warriors become the 12th ranked scoring attack in the nation. Saunders helped anchor an offense that averaged 21.4 points per game and 374.6 yards per game. The final member of the offensive line is returning AFCA All-America, Mike Galassi. Galassi was a key member of an offensive line that led Walsh to a balanced offensive attack. The Cavs ran for 1,950 yards and passed for 1,814 yards during the 2007 season. 

The linebackers on this year's team include Reggie Singletary of Missouri Valley, Owen Koeppen of Carroll (Mont.) and Jeremy Robinson of Olivet Nazarene.

Singletary was named Heart of America Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing 2007 with 54 total tackles, 33 of those solo, 17 tackles for a loss and five sacks. Koeppen led the Saints' defense with 111 total tackles, including 12 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and an interception. He earned the Frontier Conference's defensive MVP. Robinson finished fourth in the nation by averaging 12.8 tackles per game. He racked up 115 total tackles, with 51 unassisted.

This year's defensive linemen include Shawn Lewis of Urbana, Cody Van Sloten of Northwestern (Iowa) and J.J. Perino of Montana Tech. Lewis finished second in the Mid-States Football Association with 11 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss while leading the league with five forced fumbles. Van Sloten finished fourth in the NAIA with 10 sacks, and he ranked sixth on the team with 47.5 total tackles, 23 solo, and also recovered a fumble. Perino, a 2006 AFCA All-American, led the nation with 15 sacks, and totaled 80 tackles, 24 for a loss.

The secondary features Brandon Kaufman of Bethel (Kan.), Marc Samson of Montana State-Northern, Clay Hamblen of Georgetown (Ky.), Gary Thomas of Jamestown and Chad Hustedt of Morningside. Kaufman ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in interceptions per game (1.1) and set the school single-season record with nine interceptions this season. Samson led the nation with 18 pass breakups and finished sixth in the NAIA with eight interceptions. Hamblen was named Mid-South Conference East Division Defensive Player of the Year after he recorded eight interceptions and 52 total tackles. Thomas led the Jimmies with 80 total tackles, including 4.5 tackles for a loss. Hustedt guided the Morningside defense with 105 tackles and set school records for most interception return yards in a season (300) and longest interception return (99 yards for a touchdown).

Allen Ervin of Lambuth is the all-purpose player on the AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. Ervin led the NAIA in all-purpose yards per game with 215.5. He rushed for 1,295 yards, received for 107 yards and totaled 968 yards in returns.

The placekicker is Derek Doerfler of Baker. Doerfler set a school record for most field goals made in a season with 23. He also set school marks for most field goals made in a game (five vs. William Jewell) and longest field goal in school history at 62 yards, also set in the same game versus William Jewell. St. Xavier punter Shane Longest was the nation's third leading punter at a 43.2 yard average. He also led the NAIA with 27 field goals this season.

2007 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team
Pos Name                 Ht.   Wt. Cl. School                 Coach                 Hometown (High School)
WR  McKay Dunn           5-10  195 Sr. Southern Virginia      Mike Smith            Friendswood, Texas (Friendswood)
WR  Preston Nicholson    6-2   196 Sr. Culver-Stockton        Christian Guenther    Tampa, Fla. (Hillsborough)
WR  Jared Stace          5-9   185 Sr. Ohio Dominican         Dale Carlson          Whitehall, Ohio (Whitehall-Yearling)
OL  Mike Siverly         6-4   315 Sr. McKendree              Carl Poelker          Casey, Ill. (Casey-Westfield)
OL  Joey Gilsdorf        6-5   285 Sr. Sterling               Andy Lambert          Providence, Utah (Mountain Crest)
C   Truman Ashby*        6-3   280 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.)     Larry Wilcox          St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit)
OL  Jeremy Saunders      6-5   314 Sr. Quincy                 Bill Terlisner        Warren, Ill. (Warren)
OL  Mike Galassi*        6-5   302 Sr. Walsh                  Jim Dennison          Strongsville, Ohio (Holy Name)
QB  Chad Cavender        6-0   185 Sr. Sioux Falls            Kalen DeBoer          Redding, Calif. (Shasta)
RB  Ra'Shad Morgan*      5-10  208 Sr. Virginia-Wise          Bruce Wasem           Chestfield, Va. (Meadowbrook)
RB  Adrain Smith*        6-0   210 Sr. Bethel (Tenn.)         Dino Kaklis           Ocala, Fla. (Forrest)

Pos Name                 Ht.   Wt. Cl. School                 Coach                 Hometown (High School)
DL  Shawn Lewis          6-4   245 Jr. Urbana                 Tim Place             Aberdeen, Md. (Aberdeen)
DL  Cody Van Sloten      6-2   234 Jr. Northwestern (Iowa)    Orv Otten             Doon, Iowa (Boyden-Hull)
DL  J.J. Perino*         6-1   245 Sr. Montana Tech           Bob Green             Helena, Mont. (Capital)
LB  Reggie Singletary    6-0   243 Sr. Missouri Valley        Paul Troth            Kansas City, Mo. (Winnetonka)
LB  Owen Koeppen         6-2   232 Jr. Carroll (Mont.)        Mike Van Diest        Florence, Mont. (Park City)
LB  Jeremy Robinson      5-11  240 Sr. Olivet Nazarene        Gary Newsome          Crowe Point, Ind.
DB  Brandon Kaufman      6-0   190 Sr. Bethel (Kan.)          Mike Moore            Moundridge, Kan. (Moundridge)
DB  Marc Samson*         5-8   178 Sr. Montana St.-Northern   Mark Samson           Helena, Mont. (Capital)
DB  Clay Hamblen*        5-11  184 Sr. Georgetown (Ky.)       Bill Cronin           Danville, Ind. (Danville)
DB  Gary Thomas          5-10  200 Sr. Jamestown              Tom Dosch             Sparks, Nev. (Sparks)
DB  Chad Hustedt         6-2   180 Sr. Morningside            Steve Ryan            Galva, Iowa (Galva-Holstein)

Pos Name                 Ht.   Wt. Cl. School                 Coach                 Hometown (High School)
P   Shane Longest        5-11  180 Sr. St. Xavier             Mike Feminis          Wilmington, Ill. (Wilmington)
PK  Derek Doerfler       5-11  213 Jr. Baker                  Mike Grossner         Lee's Summitt, Mo. (Lee's Summitt)
AP  Allen Ervin          6-0   220 Sr. Lambuth                Vic Wallace           Memphis, Tenn. (Bolton)
*-2006 AFCA All-American

AFCA NAIA Player Selection History: NAIA players who were selected to AFCA All-America teams were named to the AFCA College Division team from 1967-71.  In 1972, the AFCA College Division was split to College I and College II.  Players from NAIA Division I teams were placed in AFCA College I, while players from NAIA Division II were placed in AFCA College II.  That process lasted until 1996, when College I and College II were renamed Division II and Division III.  From 1996-2005, all NAIA players who were selected as Coaches' All-Americans were placed on the AFCA Division II team. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.

Current NAIA Teams with AFCA Coaches' All-America Selections: Georgetown (Ky.) has been represented a total of 14 times by 11 players on AFCA Coaches' All-America Teams. Trailing Georgetown (Ky.) are Carroll (Mont.) (11/11), Montana Tech (5/4), Baker (4/4), Lambuth (4/3), Azusa Pacific (3/3), Jamestown (3/3), Morningside (3/3), St. Ambrose (3/3), Sioux Falls (3/3), Southern Oregon (3/3), West Virginia Tech (3/3), William Jewell (3/3), Bethel (Kan.) (2/2), Cumberlands (Ky.) (2/2), Hastings (2/2), McKendree (2/2), Northwestern (Iowa) (2/2), Ohio Dominican (2/2), Peru State (2/2), St. Xavier (2/2), Southwestern (Kan.) (2/2), Benedictine (Kan.) (2/1), Bethel (Tenn.) (2/1), Cumberland (Tenn.) (2/1), Menlo (2/1), Montana St.-Northern (2/1), Virginia-Wise (2/1), Walsh (2/1), Bethany (Kan.) (1/1), Central Methodist (1/1), Dickinson State (1/1), Eastern Oregon (1/1), Iowa Wesleyan (1/1), Lindenwood (1/1), Midland Lutheran (1/1), Nebraska Wesleyan (1/1), Pikeville (1/1), Rocky Mountain (1/1), St. Mary (Kan.) (1/1) and South Dakota Tech (1/1).

Consecutive Years: Georgetown (Ky.) had at least one player named to an AFCA Coaches' All-America Team for four straight seasons, from 2000 to 2003, the most by any current NAIA team.

Repeat After Me:  Only nine current NAIA schools have had players earn consecutive AFCA Coaches' All-America honors, with seven of them coming from this year's team: Benedictine's (Kan.) Truman Ashby (2006-07, OL), Walsh's Mike Galassi (2006-07, OL), Virginia-Wise's Ra'Shad Morgan (2006-07, RB), Bethel's (Tenn.) Adrain Smith (2006-07, RB), Montana Tech's J.J. Perino (2006-07, DL) and Montana St.-Northern's Marc Samson (2006-07, DB). Georgetown (Ky.) is the only school with three players to earn that distinction. Clay Hamblen (2006-07) was a repeat selection at defensive back this season, followed by offensive lineman Chris Reed in 1987-88 and defensive lineman Chris Hogan from 1991-92. Lambuth's Jo Jo Jones was a two-time Coaches' All-America at runningback from 1993-94, while Menlo's Nate Jackson earned his back-to-back honors at wide receiver from 2000-01.

Class Distinction: This year's AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team is made up of 21 seniors and four juniors.

Players From First Time Schools: McKay Dunn of Southern Virginia, Preston Nicholson of Culver-Stockton, Joey Gilsdorf of Sterling, Jeremy Saunders of Quincy, Shawn Lewis of Urbana, Reggie Singletary of Missouri Valley and Jeremy Robinson of Olivet Nazarene are the first players from their respective schools to earn AFCA Coaches' All-America Team honors.

Repeat After Me:  Texas A&M-Kingsville's Johnny Bailey is the only player to earn Coaches' All-America honors in four consecutive years at any level. Bailey was a four-year pick at runningback in 1986-87-88-89.

One Player, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds is the only player to earn Coaches' All-America honors at two different schools. He 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.

Team Background
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 is selecting an NAIA-only team for the second time this year.

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. 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.

Selection Process
The AFCA's NAIA 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.

For more information on the AFCA and its programs, log on to the AFCA's website at



Sioux Falls QB Chad Cavender is the 2007 AFCA All-America pick on offense; he takes his No. 1 Cougars into the Championship on Dec. 15