Lenoir-Rhyne's Isaiah Whitaker has been selected to the 2012 NCAA Division II All-American First Team by Don Hansen. In addition, L-R's Kaleb Myrick earned honorable mention All-American honors. Whitaker, a sophomore fullback from
Salisbury, N.C., finished second on the team in rushing yards this year with 874 to go along with five touchdowns this season.
Whitaker, a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference pick (2011-12), rushed for over 100 yards in both of Lenoir-Rhyne's playoff games this season. In two years with the Bears, Whitaker has totaled 1,689 yards on the ground and 11 scores.
Myrick, a senior offensive lineman from Loganville, Ga., garnered honorable mention All-American honors by three publications this year (D2Football.com and Beyond Sports Network were the others).
This year, Myrick was named to the All-South Atlantic Conference First Team and was a co-recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. The trophy is given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference. Myrick is the third straight Lenoir-Rhyne player to win the award (Chandler Rearden won the trophy in 2010 and 2011).
This past fall, Myrick anchored an offensive line which paved the way for the Bears to finish second in the nation in rushing at 376.2 yards per outing.
Myrick was a second-team all-conference pick in 2010 when he helped the Bears lead NCAA Division II in rushing yards at just over 319.5 yards per game. L-R finished the 2012 campaign with a 9-3 record including a 6-1 mark in league play and won its second straight South Atlantic Conference Championship.
The Bears advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 50 years as well and won their first postseason game since 1962 after downing Fort Valley State, 21-6, in the First Round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs this fall.
The Don Hansen Division II All-America Team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988.
2012 NCAA Division II
Don Hansen All-American
First Team Offense
QB - Zach Zulli, 6-2, 188, Jr., Shippensburg, Schwenksville, Pa.
RB - Isaiah Whitaker, 5-10, 225, So., Lenoir-Rhyne, Salisbury, N.C.
RB - Michael Hill, 5-11, 205, Sr., Missouri Western, St. Joseph, Mo.
RB - Franklyn Quiteh, 5-10, 203, Jr., Bloomsburg, Tobyhanna, Pa.
WR - Chris Bowden, 6-2, 215, Sr., Wingate, Forsyth, Ga.
WR - Jeff Janis, 6-3, 205, Jr., Saginaw Valley State, Tawas City, Mich.
WR - Isaiah Voegeli, 6-0, 185, Sr., Merrimack, Hyannis, Mass.
TE - David Pawelek, 6-3, 230, Sr., Colorado Mines, Smithson Valley, Texas
AP - John Brown, 5-11, 171, Jr., Pittsburg State, Homestead, Fla.
C - Kevin Day, 6-0, 270, Sr., Carson-Newman, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
OG - Garth Heikkinen, 6-4, 315, Sr. Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minn.
OG - Edmund Kugbila, 6-5, 347, Sr., Valdosta State, Lawrenceville, Ga.
OT - Manase Foketi, 6-5, 320, Sr., West Texas A&M, Hesperia, Calif.
OT - Ryan Schraeder, 6-7, 300, Sr., Valdosta State, Wichita, Kan.
PK - Sam Brockshus, 5-11, 200, Jr., Minnesota State, Spencer, Iowa
First Team Defense
DE - B.J. Stevens, 6-2, 245, Jr., California (Pa.), Monroeville, Pa.
DE - Ethan Westbrooks, 6-4, 275, Jr., West Texas A&M, San Leandro, Calif.
DG/DT - Larry Webster, 6-7, 240, Sr., Bloomsburg, Hagerstown, Md.
DG/DT - Brandon Williams, 6-3, 325, Sr., Missouri Southern, Kirkwood, Mo.
LB - Leron Furr, 6-3, Jr., Fort Valley State, Columbus, Ga.
LB - Cory Johnson, 5-10, 240, Sr., Catawba, Fayetteville, N.C.
LB - Tavarius Wilson, 5-11, 225, Jr., North Alabama, Jackson, Miss.
S - Caleb Massey, 6-0, 226, Jr., North Alabama, Sulligent, Ala.
S - Jack Moro, 5-11, 190, Jr., St. Cloud State, Brookfield, Wis.
CB - Pierre Desir, 6-2, 206, Jr., Lindenwood, St. Charles, Mo.
CB - Jumal Rolle, 6-0, 185, Sr., Catawba, Wilson, N.C.
RS - John Brown, 5-11, 171, Jr., Pittsburg State, Homestead, Fla.
P - Taylor Accardi, 6-2, 205, Sr., Colorado Mines, Littleton, Colo.
Second Team Offense
QB - Taylor Housewright, 6-2, 215, Sr., Ashland, Ashland, Ohio
FB - Romo Westbrook, 5-9, 195, So., Harding, Marion, Ark.
RB - Rayon Simmons, 5-11, 200, Sr., Winona State, University City, Mo.
RB - Derrick Washington, 6-0, 215, Sr., Tuskegee, Raymore, Mo.
WR - Lemar Durant, 6-2, 200, So., Simon Fraser, Coquitlam, B.C.
WR - Charles Johnson, 6-3, 225, Sr., Grand Valley State, Elsmere, Ky.
WR - Shjuan Richardson, 5-9, 172, Sr., Emporia State, Muskogee, Okla.
TE - Scott Simonson, 6-5, 240, Jr., Assumption, Red Bank, N.J.
AP - Rondell White, 5-9, 180, Jr., West Chester, West Chester, Pa.
C - Markus Lawrence, 6-4, 290, Sr., Winston-Salem State, Charlotte, N.C.
OG - Andrew Essman, 6-2, 305, Jr., Minnesota State, Lincoln, Neb.
OG - Tino Tuilata, 6-5, 320, Jr., Midwestern State, Pago Pago, American Samoa
OT - Dan Matha, 6-7, 310, Sr., Indiana (Pa.), Erie, Pa.
OT - Rod Williams, 6-5, 300, Sr., Northwest Missouri State, Grandview, Mo.
PK - Sergio Castillo, Jr., 5-10, 195, Jr. West Texas A&M, La Joya, Texas
Second Team Defense
DE - Rufus Johnson, 6-5, 257, Sr., Tarleton State, Dallas, Texas
DE - Zach Moore, 6-6, 282, Jr., Concordia-St. Paul, Chicago, Ill.
DG/DT - Tyrell Higgins, 6-3, 285, Sr., West Texas A&M, Schertz, Texas
DG/DT - Carl Thornton, 6-2, 270, Sr., Indiana (Pa.), Beaver Falls, Pa.
LB - Nate Dreiling, 6-4, 229, Jr., Pittsburg State, Victoria, Kan.
LB - Kevin Lindholm, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chadron State, Eads, Colo.
LB - Darius Wilson, 6-1, 210, Sr., Central State (Ohio), Matteson, Ill.
S - Dexter Moody, 6-3, 200, Jr., Albany State, Twin City, Ga.
S - Robert Virgil, 6-2, 180, Sr., Sioux Falls, Elk Grove, Calif.
CB - William Buford, 6-0, 190, Sr., Tuskegee, Thomasville, Ala.
CB - Keon Robinson, 6-0, 199, Jr., Shepherd, Fairfax Station, Va.
RS - Tyron Laughinghouse, 6-2, 175, Sr., St. Augustine's, Macon, Ga.
P - Randy Weich, 6-2, 250, Sr., Wayne State (Neb.), Lincoln, Neb.
Third Team Offense
QB - Dustin Vaughn, 6-5, 220, Jr., West Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, Texas
FB - Jordan Ollis, 5-10, 215, So., Brevard, Columbus, N.C.
RB - Joe Glendening, 5-10, 188, Sr., Hillsdale, East Grand Rapids, Mich.
RB - Jordan Roberts, 5-11, 225, Sr., Charleston (W.Va.) Madison, W. Va.
WR - Torrence Allen, 6-1, 190, Jr., West Texas A&M, Meridian, Texas
WR - Jacob Baskerville, 6-1, 194, Sr., Shippensburg, Pottsville, Pa.
WR - Mar'Quone Edmonds, 6-2, 211, Sr., Indianapolis, Waukegan, Ill.
WR - Robert Jordan, 5-10, 175, Jr., Henderson State, Miami, Fla.
TE - Adam Schiltz, 6-4, 256, Sr., Emporia State, Ponca City, Okla.
AP - Xzanvion Smith, 5-11, 190, Jr., Tusculum, Anderson, S.C.
C - Kelton Hays, 5-11, 284, Jr., Henderson State, Jonesville, La.
OG - Tim Lelito, 6-4, 315, Sr., Grand Valley State, St. Clair, Mich.
OG - David Stedman, 6-2, 275, Sr., New Haven, Hasbrouck Htrs., N.J.
OT - Macon Allen, 6-4, 310, Sr., Missouri Western, King City, Mo.
OT - Garrett Gilkey, 6-7, 320, Sr., Chadron State, Sandwich, Ill.
PK - Ryne Smith, 5-8, 180, Sr., West Alabama, Madison, Miss.
Third Team Defense
DE - David Bass, 6-5, 275, Sr., Missouri Western, St. Louis, Mo.
DE - Julian Howsare, 6-3, 255, So., Clarion, Altoona, Pa.
DG/DT - T.J. Batchelor, 6-0, 235, Jr., Chowan, Middlesex, N.C.
DG/DT - Jordan Morgan, 6-4, 252, Jr., Ferris State, Chicago, Ill.
DG/DT - Bryan Thomson, 6-1, 275, So., East Stroudsburg, Keyport, N.J.
LB - Max Davis, 5-11, 227, Sr., Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind.
LB - Carlos Fields, 6-2, 215, Jr., Winston-Salem State, Henderson, N.C.
LB - Jake Lilly, 5-11, 200, Jr., Concord (W. Va.), Bluefield, Va.
S - Johnny Franco, 5-10, 205, Sr., Indiana (Pa.), Altoona, Pa.
S - Trelan Taylor, 5-10, 195, Jr., Chadron State, La Mesa, Calif.
CB - Adam Lucas, 6-1, 190, Sr.,, Tuskegee, Riverdale, Ga.
CB - Don Unamba, 6-1, 192, Sr., Southern Arkansas, Hurst, Texas
RS - Robert Jordan, 5-10, 175, Jr., Henderson State, Miami, Fla.
P - Kyle Goodburn, 6-0, 180, So., Northwest Missouri State, Roeland Park, Kan.
American International: Markell Rice, S; Ashland: Brian Gamble, S; Jamie Meder, DG/DT; Bentley: Nick Halloran, OT; Bloomsburg: Brian Clarke, OG; Matt Feiler, OT; Brevard: Eric Watts, P; California (Pa.): Andrew Cerett, P; Rontez Miles, S; Carson-Newman: Brandon Baker, RB; Central Missouri: Logan Freeman, C; Central Oklahoma: Josh Birmingham, AP; Colorado State-Pueblo: Jonathan Jones, C; Ryan Jensen, OT; Brandon Kliesen, P; Josh Sandoval, RS; Concord (W. Va.): Riyahd Richardson, CB; Concordia-St. Paul: Nate Thienes, TE; Delta State: Lavon Downs; East Stroudsburg: Taylor Groff, PK; Elizabeth City State: Brad Davis, DE; Daronte McNeil, RB; Emporia State: Ben Carlson, LB; Fairmont State: Matt Wilmer, RS; Fort Valley State: Justin Rosenbaum, P; Glenville State: Rahmann Lee, RB; Grand Valley State: Matt Armstrong, OG; Harding: Austin Smithey, OT; Henderson State: Maxie Graham, LB; Kevin Rodgers, QB; Hillsdale: Cam White, TE; Humboldt State: Nick Ricciardulli, RB; Indiana (Pa.): Nick Carnicella, OG; Carl Fleming, LB; Harvie Tuck, RB; Indianapolis: Klary Fletcher, WR; Lane: Corey Jones, LB; Lenoir Rhyne: Kaleb Myrick, OG; Lincoln: O'Hara Fluellen, CB; Lindenwood: Andrew Helmick, WR; Mars Hill: Mam Nyang, DG/DT; Michigan Tech: Justin Armstrong, LB; Midwestern State: Ken Van Heule, OG; Minneosta Duluth: Fossam Foncham, DG/DT; Andrew Muer, OG; Minnesota State: Chris Schaudt, DE; Minnesota State-Moorhead: Steve Parks, DG/DT; Missouri Western: Travis Partridge, QB; Morehouse: Thomas Williams, RS; New Haven: Tom Herd, DE; New Mexico Highlands: Abdul Kanneh, CB; Newberry: LaQuawn James, OT; NW Missouri State: Collin DeBuysere, LB; Travis Chappelear, DG/DT; Nate DeJong, S; Pittsburg State: Cody Holland, OT; Gus Toca, DE; Saginaw Valley State: Jeff Heath, S; St. Cloud State: Phillip Klaphake, QB; Seton Hill: Tyler Zimmer, LB; Shippensburg: Trevor Harman, WR; Simon Fraser: Andrew Marshall, LB; Sioux Falls: Braden Wieking, PK; Southern Arkansas: Carlos Brown, FB; Mark Johnson, RB; Stillman: Carlos Wilson, CB; Texas A&M-Kingsville: Jeremy Aguilar, LB; Truman: Richie Schumacher, S; Tuskegee: Devonte Jones, OG; Quavon Taylor, LB; Christopher Tolbert, OT; Upper Iowa: Keaton Hosch, AP; Valdosta State: Cayden Cochran, QB; Gerald Ford, WR; Tyler Josey, DE; Chris Pope, LB; Lawrence Virgil, DG/DT; Mesh Wokomaty, OT; Washburn: Steve Dieckhaus, OT; West Alabama: Otha Foster, S; Deon Lacey, LB; Andy Nations, OG; West Chester: Ronnell Williams, LB; West Georgia: Jordan Ritchey, C; West Texas A&M: Torrence Allen, WR; Khiry Robinson, RS; Winona State: Richard Lilla, C; Winston-Salem State: Jahuann Butler, WR; Kameron Smith, QB.
Photo Courtesy: Isaiah Whitaker, L-R Athletics