FREELAND, Mich.--The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association released Tuesday the 2017 All-MIAA football teams and 11 Adrian College student-athletes were selected by a vote of the league's seven head coaches. Highlighting the Bulldogs' presence are four-year all-conference pick senior defensive lineman Damon Fuller (Redford/Thurston High School) and three-time All-MIAA First Team junior running back Emmanuel Stewart (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs HS). This represents the most all-conference Bulldogs since the 2014 squad produced 14.
The Bulldogs placed three first-teamers--junior wide receiver Jerron McGaw (Indianapolis, Ind./Thomas Carr Howe HS), senior center Eric McDonel (Titusville, Fla./Astronaut High School) and Stewart--on offense, three--senior outside linebacker Lawrence Austin (Bowling Green, Ohio/Warren [Mich.] Cousino HS), junior free safety Chris Adams (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs HS) and Fuller--on defense, and senior placekicker Cameron Cook (Linden High School) on special teams.
Making the second unit on offense were junior left guard Jaleel Brown (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS), junior nose tackle Austin Kowalczyk (Utica High School), senior linebacker Jacob Davis (Davison High School) on defense and senior punter Connor Storms (Flint/Carman Ainsworth HS) on special teams.
Adams made a successful transition to his new position after having an All-MIAA First Team campaign at linebacker as a sophomore. In 2017, Adams re-established his career high with 58 total tackles among 35 solos--both leading the Bulldogs. He had six tackles for loss of 16 yards, a forced fumble, an interception and five pass breakups. The business administration major listed 11th in MIAA overall solo stops with his 35--just three shy of a career high.
Austin also parlayed a switch in position into an all-conference season. The junior-eligible was third on the team in solo tackles (32) and total stops (51), including two sacks for 16 yards among 5.5 TFL of 23 yards. He also forced a fumble, recovered one and picked off two passes among four break-ups. He came to Adrian as a wide receiver originally.
Cook was a three-time MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week during the season and he improves on his all-conference second team standing from 2016. He ended the regular season ranked third in NCAA Division III field goal percentage (.923; 12-13) and 15th with 1.29 field goals per game. He leaves as the Adrian record holder for single-game (16 vs Lakeland, Oct. 7) and career points by a kicker (220, which is second overall), single-season and career extra-points made (41, 121) and attempted (44, 140) and single-game (4 vs Lakeland, Oct. 7) and career field goals made (33-tied) and career attempted (55). He also ranks among the percentage leaders for a game, season and career. The criminal justice major twice earned a spot on the D3football.com National Team of the Week, too.
Fuller, who has been first-team all-conference since his sophomore year, notched MIAA totals only of 22 tackles (9th), five sacks (4th) and 46 sack yards (2nd). Overall, he had 52 total stops for second on the Bulldogs. The sports management major also had six sacks among 12.5 TFL of 76 yards to go along with a forced fumble. Earlier in the season, he became the program's leader in TFL (68.5) and yardage (357) and moved up to No. 2 for 38 sacks and 263 yards. Fuller concludes with 217 total tackles--almost in the school's Top-10.
McDonel is a three-time all-conference pick including to the first team in each of the past two seasons. McDonel helped anchor an offensive line that paved the way for Stewart to break the all-time rushing record in school history and senior David Nutter running for a career-best 925 yards. The accounting major was part of an O-line contingent that was named to the Scoutware/D3football.com Team of the Week on Oct. 25--the second time in as many years.
McGaw improves on his second-team all-conference nod as a sophomore with a breakthrough, record-setting junior campaign. He led the MIAA with school records of 10 touchdown catches (tied) and 1,233 yards receiving. He also had a career-best 70 receptions for second on the all-time school chart. The communications major is fifth in the nation in receiving yards, 27 with 7.0 receptions per game, 39th in receiving TDs, 66th with 131.2 all-purpose yards per game and 89th with 11 total TDs. His three-year career rankings in team history are third with 1895 yards receiving, fourth with 125 catches and tied for third with 15 TDs.
Stewart had a successful return to field action (he missed all of 2016 to concentrate on academics and his family) by leading the MIAA in rushes (212), yards (1,367) and second in TDs (20 overall, 18 rush) and scoring (120 points). Entering the NCAA's postseason, the social work major lists nationally in total points scored (7th, 120), rushing TDs (8th, 18), rushing yards (11th, 1367--second all-time for an AC single-season), rushing yards per game (13th, 136.7) and all-purpose yards average (20th, 166.4 ypg). He ended the season breaking numerous career records in AC history, including the marks for rushing yards at 3,856, scoring at 264 points and all-purpose yards at 4,425.
A social work major, Brown makes his postseason awards debut. He joined McDonel and three other teammates on the Oct. 25 D3football.com TOW for their second such honor of their careers. He helped the O-line group rank 28th in the nation for the fewest sacks allowed while the Bulldogs were one of Division III's best offenses: 20th with 247.5 rushing yards per game, 28th with 229 first downs, 31st with a .588 fourth-down conversion rate and 44th with 35.7 points per game.
Davis recorded 30 tackles and 45 total to increase his career totals to 69 and 128 after switching from the offensive side of the ball as a running back after his sophomore year. Moreover, the sports management major showed his versatility by ranking 45th in combined kick returns with 559 yards. He finishes his AC career sixth with 329 punt return yards and eighth with 740 kick return yards.
Kowalczyk contributed 18 tackles and 32 total to make all-conference for the first time in his career. He had a sack among three tackles for loss. The business marketing major surpassed the 100-tackle milestone this season.
Storms made second-team all-conference for the second year in a row. He finished the regular season ranked second in the MIAA with a school-record 41.5 punting average--ranked ninth in the nation. He had a season-long 65 yards that also ranks tops in the conference. The criminal justice major set the Bulldogs' all-time punting yards and attempts records with 6,983 and 179, respectively.
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