Jacks earn All-American Honors

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

After claiming the first football conference championship since 1963, several Jackrabbit players are earning individual honors as well.

Eight players were named to the Great West first team, including kicker Parker Douglass and offensive lineman Mitch Erickson, both for the third time, and running back Cory Koenig, who also was selected as second team all-conference last year. Head coach John Stiegelmeier was selected GWFC Coach of the Year.

After being named to two preseason All-American Teams, Erickson, a senior from Hutchinson, Minn., proved he deserved such honors. He was selected to the first-team selection for the Associated Press FCS All-American Team, the American Football Coaches Association FCS All-American Team as well as the College Sporting News’ Fabulous 50 FCS All-American Team. Erickson started all 44 games in his career as a Jackrabbit and played a major role in the offensive unit that averaged 34.2 points per game while only giving up 12 sacks in 2007.

Senior cornerback Tyler Koch was selected to two All-American Teams. He was a third-team selection for the AP All-American Team as well as being selected to the Sports Network All-American Team. Koch led the team and GWFC in interceptions with seven, including three that he returned for touchdowns. He set a school record with his 99-yard return in the win over Southern Utah.

The Jacks not only excelled on the field, they also excelled in the classroom. Koenig and Douglass repeated as ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans. Koenig was selected as a first team selection for the second year in a row. Koenig has compiled a 3.77 GPA as a biology major and was second in the conference with 1,266 yards rushing, including rushing for over 100-yards in all four conference games. Douglass was a second-team selection for the second year in a row and has compiled a 3.78 GPA as a biology major. Douglass set 19 school records, led the GWFC in field goals, 16, and was second among kickers in points with 90.

Stiegelmeier was selected as the Region 5 Coach of the Year by the AFCA and was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year. Stiegelmeier has guided the Jacks to six consecutive winning seasons, including all four in the transition period to Division-I. Stiegelmeier currently ranks second in career victories at SDSU.

Seniors Koenig, Koch, Erickson and Douglass will be watching the televisions sets to see if their names will be picked at the NFL Draft on April 26-27 at the Music City Hall in New York. The draft has seven rounds in the two day event.