FERRIS' JAKE VISSER CHOSEN TO PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Street & Smith's Magazine Honors Bulldog Junior Defensive Tackle
Junior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) of the Ferris State University football team has been tabbed as a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America First Team selection by the annual publication, which is now in its 67th year of existence.
|Ferris junior defensive tackle Jake Visser has been tabbed as a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America selection
Visser was among 13 players chosen to the magazine's defensive unit, which included four defensive linemen, four linebackers, four defensive backs and a punter. Fourteen individuals were part of the preseason offensive team. The offensive unit featured a quarterback, three running backs, five linemen, three wide receivers, a kicker and a return specialist. Street & Smith's chose only one team per side of the ball and did not recognize any second-team selections.
The 6-2, 265-pound Visser was one of six individuals from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) honored among the 27 individuals on the Street & Smith's preseason team. Two-time (2005-06) defending NCAA-II National Champion Grand Valley State had three players chosen in offensive lineman Brandon Barnes, linebacker Anthony Adams and defensive back Brandon Carr. Additionally, two Wayne State players were named to the list in running back Joique Bell and kicker David Chudzinski.
In addition to the preseason All-America team, the publication also included a Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. GVSU was picked as the preseason number one team followed by Northwest Missouri State, North Dakota, North Alabama and Nebraska-Omaha in the top five. GLIAC member Northwood came in 14th overall with Wayne State listed 21st as three league schools made the publication's preseason poll.
The Bulldogs, who are coming off their best season in a decade, were listed immediately following the top 25 teams among the GLIAC's "Best of the Rest" in the annual college football yearbook magazine. Ferris State previously earned preseason recognition this summer as the nation's 18th-ranked squad in the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll.
Visser, who was also named to the 2007 Lindy's All-Division II Preseason All-America Second Team, was a 2006 honorable mention All-America selection by both D2Football.com and Don Hansen's Football Gazette. The 2006 All-GLIAC First-Team lineman finished second among Ferris' 2006 tackles leaders with 86 stops (52 solos) as an 11-game starter. The two-time (2005-06) FSU Most Valuable Defensive Lineman also finished ninth nationally last season in pass sacks per game (1.0 avg.).
Visser, a 2006 second-team All-Northwest Region pick by Hansen's Football Gazette, racked up a squad-high 16.0 tackles for a loss of 74 yards last year, which included a conference-leading 10.5 pass sacks for minus 62 yards. His season's sacks total tied for the sixth-highest ever total among the Bulldogs' all-time single-season leaders. He also finished 30th among last season's NCAA Division II statistical leaders in solo tackles (4.7 avg.) and 35th in tackles for loss (1.5 avg.).
In 23 career contests, Visser has compiled 184 tackles (95 solos) with three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, and three pass deflections. He also has 24 tackles for a loss of 103 yards. Visser is presently 16th on Ferris State's all-time pass sacks leaders list with 14.5 total for a negative 84 yards. He also received 2006 first-team All-Northwest Region accolades by Daktronics, Inc.
Expectations are high after Ferris State concluded the 2006 campaign at 8-3-0 overall, which represented the program's most single-season victories since 1996. The Bulldogs, who compiled a third-place 7-3-0 mark in the GLIAC, also finished the year ranked 17th in Don Hansen's Football Gazette's final Division II Top 40 poll and 22nd nationally in D2Football.com's final Top 25 poll.
Ferris will officially kickoff its 99th year of varsity competition Saturday, Sept. 1, versus the Kentucky State University Thorobreds in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference tilt at Top Taggart Field.
Along with the season opener, the 11-game regular-season schedule features six home contests. Ferris' conference opener is Saturday, Sept. 8, against the Mercyhurst Lakers at Top Taggart Field with opening kickoff slated for 7 p.m. (EDT).