North Central placed five players on The Associated Press Division III All-America team, including quarterback Broc Rutter, in a season that will end with its first appearance in the NCAA championship game.
The team, presented by Regions Bank and released Thursday, was chosen by a panel of sports information directors and the AP.
North Central, which beat perennial powerhouse Mount Union in the second round of the playoffs, will face Wisconsin-Whitewater on Friday for the national title.
Rutter, a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy given to Division III’s best player, is joined on the first team by four teammates: running back Ethan Greenfield, offensive lineman Sharmore Clarke, receiver Andrew Kamienski and defensive back Jake Beesley.
Whitewater was represented on the first team by offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz.
Birmingham-Southern running back Robert Shufford, another Gagliardi finalist, also made the first team.
Quarterback — Broc Rutter, senior, North Central (Ill.).
Running backs — Robert Shufford, junior, Birmingham-Southern; Ethan Greenfield, sophomore, North Central (Ill.).
Linemen — Sharmore Clarke, junior, North Central (Ill.); Quinn Meinerz, junior, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Nic Vetter, senior, Wartburg; Sean Sherman, senior, Mount Union; Dan Greenheck, senior, St. John’s.
Tight end — Ryan Curtiss, senior, Muhlenberg.
Receivers — Andrew Kamienski, junior, North Central (Ill.); Justin Hill, senior, Mount Union.
All-purpose player — Willie Julkes III, senior, Concordia-Moorhead.
Kicker — Anthony Avila, sophomore, Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Linemen — Frankie Feaster, senior, Muhlenberg; Dallas McRae, senior, Wheaton (Ill.); Joey Longoria, senior, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Michael Nobile, sophomore, Delaware Valley.
Linebackers — Scottie Bobeck, senior, Benedictine; Dante Capozzoli, junior, Kean; Anton Clark, senior, East Texas Baptist.
Secondary — Jeff Hector, senior, Redlands; Spencer Rowland, senior, Wheaton (Ill.); Jake Beesley, junior, North Central (Ill.); Kordell Ford, junior, Mount Union.
Punter — Zach Warcola, senior, College of New Jersey.
Quarterback — Jackson Erdmann, senior, St.John’s.
Running backs — Alex Minton, senior, Denison; Wesley Schools, senior, Grove City.
Linemen — Ben Bartch, senior, St. John’s; Joe Krall, senior, Monmouth (Ill.); Tyler Norwood, senior, Salisbury; Ryan Malarkey, senior, Muhlenberg; Steven Sellers, junior, Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Tight end — Dan Allen, senior, Delaware Valley.
Receivers — Ruhann Peele, senior, Wesley (Del.); Ravi Alston, sophomore, St. John’s; Samuel Staehling, senior, St. Norbert.
All-purpose player — Brock Martin, sophomore, Ohio Northern.
Kicker — Jaydon Haaq, sophomore, Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Linemen — Jordan McInerney, senior, Lake Forest; Danny Pietruszewski, junior, St. John’s; Tim Ousley, senior, Muskingum; Mike Williams, senior, Washington & Jefferson.
Linebackers — Mason Dekker, senior, Hope; Emmet Forde, junior, Hobart; Nick Garone, senior, Ithaca.
Secondary — Peyton Haynes, senior, LaGrange; Blaze Barista, senior, Dubuque; Danial Shelton, senior, Susquehanna; Tramon Wiley, junior, Heidelberg.
Punter — Alex Berg, senior, Concordia-Moorhead.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/
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