Kmic, Schlafke Highlight Little All-America Team
Dec. 18, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) -Mount Union running back Nate Kmic, college football's career rushing leader, and quarterback Ted Schlafke from Division II national champion Minnesota Duluth highlighted the AP Little All-America Team released Thursday.
Kmic broke the all-division rushing record last week with a 310-yard performance in Mount Union's Division III semifinal victory against Wheaton.
The senior has 7,986 career yards rushing, topping the mark set last year Danny Woodhead of Chadron State.
Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian was the other Little All-American running back. He won the Harlon Hill Trophy as best player in Division II after running for 2,156 yards, 28 touchdowns and 8.1 yards per carry.
The Little All-America Team is comprised of the top players in Division II, III and NAIA.
Kmic and the Purple Raiders will play Wisconsin-Whitewater and All-American linebacker Jace Rindahl for the Division III national title on Saturday in Salem, Va. It's the fourth straight season the Purple Raiders and Warhawks have decided the championship. Mount Union won the first two before Wisconsin-Whitewater ended the Raiders' 37-game winning streak, and deprived them of their 10th national title in the last 15 years in 2007.
Kmic, from Delta, Ohio, leads Division III this season with 2,702 yards rushing and 42 touchdowns. He also holds NCAA all-division career records for points (774) and touchdowns (129).
The Division II championship was decided last week and Schlafke threw two touchdown passes in a 21-14 victory against Northwest Missouri State to lead the Bulldogs (15-0) to their national title.
Schlafke, from Stevens Point, Wis., threw 33 touchdown passes and was second in the nation in efficiency rating at 174.7. The 5-foot-11 passer received only one scholarship offer out of high school, but went on to become a four-year starter.
"I was more an athlete back then who could run around and make a lot of plays," he said in a telephone interview.
Playing under the fourth offensive coordinator of his career, Schlafke became more of a drop-back passer in 2008 and flourished.
"It's something you really couldn't have predicted I guess," he said. "I don't have the strongest arm in the world. I developed into more of a passer where I didn't have to run around as much, getting the ball into the hands of the real athletes."
He threw for 2,890 yards, leading a balanced and high-scoring offense that often buried teams early and left Schlafke sitting out much of the second half.
The Little All-American receivers were West Texas A&M's Charly Martin, who led Division II with 1,867 yards receiving and 22 TD catches, and Central Washington's Johnny Spevak, who had 1,442 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Spevak's teammate, Jared Bronson, was the first-team tight end, and their quarterback, Mike Reilly, was a third-team selection.
On the offensive line were Bill Eisenhardt from Grand Valley State; Roger Allen from Missouri Western; Jeremy Davis from Northwest Missouri State; Thomas Battle from Carson-Newman; and Sean James from Division III Cortland State.
Dyshaun Edwards of Tiffin was selected to the first-team as an all-purpose player. The senior receiver was third in Division II in total yards per game at 183.6.
Tom Schneider from North Alabama was the All-American kicker. He scored 130 points and kicked 19 field goals in 26 attempts.
Joining Rindahl on the first-team defense were linebackers Jared Brock from West Texas A&M and Morehouse's Jeffrey Cargile, who leads Division II in tackles for loss with 23.
Troy Pribnow from Wayne State, Division II's sacks leader with 14, is joined on the defensive line by Jake Visser from Ferris State, Dan Skuta from Grand Valley State and Jacob Calderon from Division III California Lutheran.
West Virginia Conference defensive player of the year Darren Banks of West Liberty State headlines the secondary, along with Sherard Reynolds of Valdosta State, Myles Burnsides from Northwest Missouri State, and Peter Ittersagen from Division III Wheaton.
Nick Krut from East Stroudsburg, who led Division II in punting with a 46.0-yard average, was completed the first team.