Default Header

Dakota Wesleyan's Hayden Adams and St. Ambrose's Chris Overton Headline the 2017 AFCA-NAIA Coaches' All-America Teams

Chris Overton - St. Ambrose (Iowa) 16x9
December 11, 2017
By Alan Grosbach, NAIA Associate Director of Athletic Communication

Written by AFCA Offices and NAIA National Office

WACO, TEXAS — Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) wide receiver Hayden Adams and St. Ambrose (Iowa) defensive lineman Chris Overton headline the 2017 AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Teams announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

Adams finished 2017 with 81 receptions, good enough for fourth in the NAIA, led the nation with 1,472 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. He holds Dakota Wesleyan football records for receiving yards and receptions in a game with 254 yards on 18 catches against Doane (Neb.) on September 16. Adams also broke school records for receiving yards in a season, receptions in a season and career receiving yards with 3,243 yards. Overton finished with 14.5 sacks this season, the top mark in the NAIA and also a single-season school record. Overton also set a St. Ambrose single-game record with a 4.5-sack performance in their win over Robert Morris (Ill.) on October 28. Of his 48 total tackles, 21 were behind the line of scrimmage, the second-most tackles for loss in the country. Overton also forced a team-best three fumbles in 2017.

2017 AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team - First Team

Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
QB Tanner Trosin 6-0 180 R-Sr. Southern Oregon Charlie Hall Folsom, Calif. (Folsom)
RB Ejay Johnson 5-9 195 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.) Larry Wilcox O’Fallon, Ill. (O’Fallon)
WR Hayden Adams 6-1 190 Sr. Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) Ross Cimpl Villa Park, Ill. (Willowbrook)
WR Caleb Thomas 5-9 170 Fr. Graceland (Iowa) Marc Kolb Miami Gardens, Fla. (Flanagan)
WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez 5-11 175 Sr. Southeastern (Fla.) Keith Barefield Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill)
TE Trenton Poe-Evans 6-3 202 So. Kansas Wesleyan Matt Drinkall Needles, Calif. (Needles)
OL Chris Emter 6-4 302 Sr. Carroll (Mont.) Mike Van Diest Livingston, Mont. (Park)
OL Zac Lawson 6-3 300 Sr. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Chris Oliver Bloomfield, Ky. (Nelson County)
C *Xavier Carter 5-11 240 Sr. Reinhardt (Ga.) James Miller Snellville, Ga. (Shiloh)
OL Jacob Cook 6-0 305 Sr. Dordt (Iowa) Joel Penner Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central)
OL *Dajshon Oliver 6-4 315 Sr. Warner (Fla.) Rod Shafer Tampa, Fla. (Chamberlain)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Jamarae Finnie 6-3 300 Sr. Langston (Okla.) Quinton Morgan Tacoma, Wash. (Lincoln)
DL *Evan Sprayberry 6-2 210 Jr. Tabor (Kan.) Mike Gardner Moore, Okla. (Moore)
DL *Josh Kock 6-0 260 Sr. Baker (Kan.) Mike Grossner Concordia, Mo. (Concordia)
DL Chris Overton 6-1 230 Sr. St. Ambrose (Iowa) Mike Magistrelli Springfield, Ill. (Sacred Heart-Griffin)
LB Caden McDonald 5-11 210 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Logan, Iowa (Logan-Magnolia)
LB Michal Arenas 6-0 215 R-Sr. Eastern Oregon Tim Camp Winnemucca, Nev. (Lowry)
LB Thomas Sease 6-3 205 Sr. Dickinson St. (N.D.) Pete Stanton Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck)
DB Darius Price 6-2 215 Sr. Siena Heights (Mich.) Matt Kohn Saginaw, Mich. (Saginaw)
DB Tomunci Whitfield 5-10 180 Sr. Southwestern (Kan.) Brad Griffin Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill)
DB Cole Wiseman 5-11 175 Sr. Doane (Neb.) Matt Franzen Sutton, Neb. (Sutton)
DB Keenan Fagan 5-11 190 Jr. Rocky Mountain (Mont.) Jason Petrino Lake Tapps, Wash. (Lake Tapps)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P *Derek Brush 6-3 200 Sr. Arizona Christian Jeff Bowen Whittier, Calif. (Whittier Christian)
PK Daniel Martinez 5-11 200 Sr. Wayland Baptist (Texas) Butch Henderson San Salvador, El Salvador (Bryan Adams)
AP Justin Green 5-10 196 Jr. St. Francis (Ind.) Kevin Donley Griffith, Ind. (Griffith)
*-2016 AFCA All-American
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
QB Nick Ferrer 6-4 230 Sr. St. Francis (Ind.) Kevin Donley Westfield, Ind. (Westfield)
RB Bubba Jenkins 5-10 205 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Springfield, Mo. (Parkview)
WR Darryl Terrell 5-10 170 So. Sterling (Kan.) Chuck Lambert Muskegon, Mich. (Heights)
WR Lexus Jackson 6-0 175 Sr. St. Francis (Ill.) Joe Curry University Park, Ill. (Crete-Monee)
WR Connor Niles 5-11 195 Jr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Sioux City, Iowa (Bishop Heelan Catholic)
TE J.C. Koerselman 6-2 220 Sr. Northwestern (Iowa) Matt McCarty Boyden, Iowa (Boyden-Hull)
OL *Justin Hunter 6-2 305 Sr. St. Xavier (Ill.) Mike Feminis Crest Hill, Ill. (Joliet Catholic Academy)
OL Garrett Bader 6-5 287 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.) Larry Wilcox Aurora, Mo. (Aurora)
C Darrion McAlister 6-2 250 Sr. Marian (Ind.) Mark Henninger Kokomo, Ind. (Kokomo)
OL Trae Bradburn 6-2 285 Sr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Fort Calhoun, Neb. (Fort Calhoun)
OL *Spencer Baalman 6-5 295 Sr. Tabor (Kan.) Mike Gardner Wichita, Kan. (Maize)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Tevin McCoy 5-10 215 Jr. Reinhardt (Ga.) James Miller Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton)
DL Cameron Oshodi 6-1 305 Sr. Georgetown (Ky.) Bill Cronin Columbus, Ohio (Groveport Madison)
DL Curt Boeke 6-5 250 Jr. Dakota State (S.D.) Josh Anderson Clear Lake, S.D. (Deuel)
DL Tim Hamilton 6-3 230 Sr. Friends (Kan.) Dion Meneley Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)
LB Garrett Updegraft 5-11 214 Sr. Kansas Wesleyan Matt Drinkall Meridian, Idaho (Hart)
LB Trent Mueller 6-0 225 Jr. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Chris Oliver Nashville, Tenn. (Christian)
LB Piercen Harnish 6-0 224 Jr. St. Francis (Ind.) Kevin Donley Ossian, Ind. (Norwell)
DB #Nate Moore 5-9 185 Sr. College of Idaho Mike Moroski Meridian, Idaho (Mountain View)
DB Tarence Roby 6-3 200 Sr. Concordia (Neb.) Patrick Daberkow Rockford, Ill. (Lutheran)
DB Tionte McDaniel 5-9 170 So. St. Xavier (Ill.) Mike Feminis Markham, Ill. (Thornton Township)
DB Tucker Johnson 6-1 200 Sr. Carroll (Mont.) Mike Van Diest Billings, Mont. (Junipero Serra)
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Spencer Wyant 6-1 205 Jr. Morningside (Iowa) Steve Ryan Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (Sergeant Bluff-Luton)
PK Mario Esparza 5-8 210 Sr. Southwestern (Kan.) Brad Griffin El Paso, Texas (Montwood)
AP Charles Ducksworth 5-11 200 Sr. Point (Ga.) Julius Dixon Mt. Olive, Miss. (Mize)

*-2016 AFCA All-American     #-2015-2016 AFCA All-American

Team Background: The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams – University Division and College Division – were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. In 2016, the AFCA added a second team All-America.

Selection Process: The AFCA’s NAIA All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.

The Award: Members of the AFCA Coaches’ All-America First Team will receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team, while members of the Second Team will receive a certificate.

AFCA NAIA Player Selection History: NAIA players who were selected to AFCA All-America teams were named to the AFCA College Division team from 1967-71. In 1972, the AFCA College Division was split to College I and College II. Players from NAIA Division I teams were placed in AFCA College I, while players from NAIA Division II were placed in AFCA College II. That process lasted until 1996, when College I and College II were renamed Division II and Division III. From 1996-2005, all NAIA players who were selected as AFCA All-Americans were placed on the AFCA Division II team. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.

Top Teams: Carroll (Mont.) has been represented a total of 21 times with 19 different players on AFCA Coaches’ All-America Teams to lead all schools in NAIA. In second behind Carroll (Mont.) is Morningside, who has had 18 different players selected as All-Americans on 18 different occasions. Trailing Carroll (Mont.) and Morningside are: Georgetown (Ky.) (18/15), Saint Francis (Ind.) (15/14), Baker (13/11), Saint Xavier (12/11), Southern Oregon (10/10), Marian (10/9), Northwestern (Iowa) (10/8), St. Ambrose (9/9), Missouri Valley (9/7), Montana Tech (9/7), Grand View (8/8), Benedictine (Kan.) (8/7), Bethel (Tenn.) (8/6), Friends (7/6), Dakota Wesleyan (6/6), Dickinson State (6/6), Sterling (6/6), Doane (6/5), MidAmerica Nazarene (6/5), St. Francis (Ill.) (6/5), Tabor (6/4), Southwestern (Kan.) (5/5), Faulkner (5/4), Nebraska Wesleyan (5/4), Bethel (Kan.) (4/4), Campbellsville (4/4), Concordia (Neb.) (4/4), Dakota State (4/4), Eastern Oregon (4/4), Hastings (4/4), Jamestown (4/4) and Valley City State (4/4).

First Time Schools: This year, wide receiver Caleb Thomas of Graceland, wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez of Southeastern and offensive lineman Zac Lawson of Lindsey Wilson have earned their schools All-America honors for the first time.

Consecutive Years: Morningside has had at least one player named to the AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team for 12 straight seasons, from 2006 to present, the longest streak by any team in NAIA history. Following Morningside is Carroll (Mont.) with 11 straight selections from 2005 to 2015. Grand View is third on the list with eight straight AFCA All-Americans from 2009 to 2016. Fourth is Marian with seven straight picks from 2011 to present.

Five Time: Morningside joins Baker as the only schools to have five AFCA All-Americans named in one season. Morningside achieved the feat this year with Caden McDonald (LB-first team), Bubba Jenkins (RB-second team), Connor Niles (WR-second team), Trae Bradburn (OL-second team) and Spencer Wyant (P-second team). Baker earned its five selections in 2016 with Logan Brettell (QB-first team), Clarence Clark (PK-second team), Josh Kock (DL-second team), Darrain Winston (DB-second team) and Cornell Brown (AP-second team).

Three-peat: With his second team All-America selection this year, College of Idaho defensive back Nate Moore becomes the first NAIA player to be named to three straight AFCA NAIA All-America Teams. Moore was a first team selection in 2015 and 2016.

Repeat After Me: Center Xavier Carter of Reinhardt, offensive lineman Dajshon Oliver of Warner, defensive lineman Evan Sprayberry of Tabor, defensive lineman Josh Kock of Baker, punter Derek Brush of Arizona Christian, offensive lineman Justin Hunter of St. Xavier and offensive lineman Spencer Baalman of Tabor earned AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 2017.

Class Distinction: This year’s AFCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 37 seniors, nine juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.

One Player, Two Positions: Baker’s Clarence Clark became the first player in AFCA All-America Team history at all levels to repeat as an AFCA All-American at two different positions. He was named to the 2015 squad as a receiver, then earned 2016 honors as a place-kicker.

Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn AFCA Coaches’ All-America honors at two different schools. Bounds was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991. Zuerlein was named to the Division II Coaches’ All-America Team in 2009 while playing for Nebraska-Omaha. He transferred to Missouri Western State after Nebraska-Omaha dropped its football program and earned Division II honors in 2011 as a Griffon.

For more information on the AFCA and its programs, visit and follow us on Twitter @WeAreAFCA.



Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship
Sports Rules - Football
Official Merchandise-Football