JASON VANDER LAAN OF FERRIS STATE LEADS COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA® DIVISION II FOOTBALL TEAM
AUSTIN, Texas – Ferris State University senior quarterback Jason Vander Laan headlines the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division II football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Vander Laan has been named the 2015 Academic All-America® of the Year for NCAA Division II football and is one of nine Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) football student-athletes to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition.
|QB||Jason Vander Laan*||Ferris State||Sr.||3.76||Applied Math Actuarial Science|
|OL||Cody Dingeldey||Ferris State||Sr.||3.65||Business Administration|
|K||Brent Wahle||Ohio Dominican||Sr.||3.46||Business|
|DL||Justin Zimmer (1)#||Ferris State||Sr.||3.88||Business Mgmt./Marketing Tech|
|LB||Morgan Loyd||Tiffin||Sr.||4.00||Sports & Recreation Management|
|P||Ryan Van Goethem||Michigan Tech||Sr.||3.96||Biological Sciences|
|LB||Nick Huckabay||Ferris State||Jr.||3.83||Business Administration|
|DB||Brett Gervais||Michigan Tech||Sr.||3.79||Exercise Science|
The Division II Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2015-16 Division II Academic All-America® teams program.
An applied math and actuarial science major with a 3.76 G.P.A., Vander Laan led the Bulldogs to a second straight undefeated regular season and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship this year. The Frankfort, Illinois, native became college football's greatest rushing quarterback of all-time this season. His 2,625 passing yards and 1,542 rushing yards this year enabled him to become the first signal caller in NCAA history to both rush and pass for 1,000-plus yards four consecutive years.
The 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy winner, Vander Laan is one of 12 national finalists from all NCAA levels for the Campbell Trophy (also known as the Academic Heisman). Statistically, Vander Laan completed 65.6 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 27 touchdowns and rushing for 24 scores. As a senior, he became the GLIAC's all-time career total offense leader by averaging 347.3 yards per game. Vander Laan helped the Bulldogs post an 11-1 overall record as Ferris State pushed its regular season win streak to 25 games.
The CoSIDA Academic All-America® NCAA Division II football team features 13 returning Academic All-America® selections with 10 finding a place on the first team. Vander Laan's Ferris State teammate and senior defensive lineman Justin Zimmer and Mercyhurst University senior tight end John Matarazzo receive Academic All-America® laurels for the third time in their respective careers. Both Zimmer and Matarazzo made the second team in 2013 and the first team in 2014.
Zimmer is a three-time All-GLIAC first team selection for the Bulldogs. He is a nominee for the Gene Upshaw NCAA Division II Lineman of the Year Award and the Cliff Harris National Small College Defensive Player of the Year Award. Statistically, Zimmer leads Ferris State in tackles (81), quarterback sacks (13), tackles for loss (26) and forced fumbles (four). In the classroom, the Greenville, Michigan, native sports a 3.88 G.P.A. with a business management and marketing technology double major. Zimmer is one of four 2014 Academic All-America® defensive team members who were voted to the 2015 first team.
The 24 CoSIDA Academic All-America® NCAA Division II football first team members hold a composite 3.81 G.P.A. Mercyhurst's Matarazzo is one of five first team honorees with a perfect 4.00 cumulative G.P.A.
The remaining members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team offense include running back Davontay Stevens of Southwest Minnesota State University; offensive linemen Devon Ackerman of East Stroudsburg, Cody Dingeldey of Ferris State and Corbin Feenstra of Colorado State University-Pueblo; and place kicker Brent Wahle of Ohio Dominican University.
The other student-athletes on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team defense include defensive linemen Matt Koerper of Clarion University and Paul Norris of Bentley University; linebackers Morgan Loyd of Tiffin University and Austin Miller of the University of Central Missouri; defensive backs Shawn Kobylinski of Colorado Mines, Carl Mattox of Mars Hill University and Donovan Woods of Southwest Minnesota State University; and punter Ryan Van Goethem of Michigan Technological University.
The remaining members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® second team offense include running back Chris Temple of Indiana (Pa.) University; wide receivers Jameson Parsons of St. Cloud State University and Brady Rose of University of Sioux Falls; tight end Adam Shaheen of Ashland University; offensive linemen Kyle Henderson of Slippery Rock University, Jake Ludwig of Colorado State-Pueblo, John Miller of Southern Arkansas University and Hasan Shaar of Colorado Mines; and place kicker Carter McCauley of Winona State University.
The student-athletes on the Academic All-America® second team defense include defensive linemen Kimes Gilbert of Oklahoma Baptist University, Tommy Hoskins of Colorado Mines, Marcus Martin of Slippery Rock and Jeffrey Raymond of Minnesota State Mankato; linebackers Jason Ashley of Tuskegee University, Nick Huckabay of Ferris State, Cade Rogers of Concord University and Joe Rosenbrock of Colorado State-Pueblo; defensive backs Brett Gervais of Michigan Tech, Anthony Masucci of Stonehill College, Chris Shaffer of Lenoir-Rhyne University and John Tidwell of Sioux Falls; and punter Christopher Birozes of Wingate.