BEMIDJI, Minn. – Beyond Sports College Network released its preseason All-America teams Monday and named Bemidji State University senior tight end Brian Leonhardt (Blane, Minn.) and junior defensive tackle Matt Shaver (St. Cloud, Minn.) BSN 2012 Division II Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.
Last season, Leonhardt earned All-America status from two different publications, while Shaver was named Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Third Team. Leonhardt is one of four captains for the 2012 season.
2011 (Jr): Earned Daktronics All-America Second Team Offense, D2Football.com All-America Honorable Mention, Daktronics, Inc. Super Region #3 First Team, All-NSIC First Team and Consensus Draft Services 2011 Preseason All-America Honorable Mention Football Team honors... Started all 11 games and led the team in receptions (35) and reception yards (483), to surpass his totals from 2010 and established career-highs in both categories... Averaged 43.9 yards per game and 13.8 yards per reception with two touchdowns... An extension of the offensive line that guided the second best rushing attack (No. 13 nationally) in the league for 241.5 yards per game... Helped protect quarterback Lance Rongstad as the Beavers ranked first in the NSIC and No. 6 in the nation in sacks allowed (.91 sacks allowed per game)... Blocked two field goal attempts.
Totaled a career-high 129 yards, a touchdown and his season-long reception of 34 yards in the 30-27 overtime upset of No. 16 Augustana College Sept. 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D... Became the first BSU receiver to go over 100 yards in a game since George Kadlec did so in 2008... Posted six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in a victory against No. 6 St. Cloud State (Nov. 5)... Brought in 89 yards on six receptions against Minot State (Aug. 25)... Blocked two field goal attempts at Northern State (Oct. 29), a 34- and 26-yard attempt.
Surpassed the 1,000 career receiving yards plateau in 2011 to become just the second BSU tight end since 1971 to surpass 1,000 carer reception yards as he follows Bruce Ecklund (1,542 yards, 1980-83)... Owns 1,088 career receiving yards entering 2012 season.
With a 3.68 GPA in business administration, Leonhardt was named Capital One Academic All-America Division II Second Team and Capital One All-Academic All-District VII College Division First Team for his efforts in the classroom... 2011 Fall Academic All-NSIC.
2011 (So): Stepped into the starting nose tackle position and earned Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Third Team and All-NSIC First Team honors... Played in 10 games, started eight, and totaled 24 tackles (four solo), including a tackle for loss (-1 yard)... A contributor to the No. 7 scoring defense in the nation.
Posted a career-high seven tackles at University of Mary Oct. 22... Recorded three tackles including a tackle for loss at No. 16 Augustana College Sept. 10.
The Beavers open the slate on the 2012 season at home with Upper Iowa University Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. - the only home night game on the schedule.
The 2011 Beavers were ranked in the national poll on three different occasions in 2011 and finished the campaign with an 8-3 overall record and a 7-3 mark in the NSIC to finish in a three-way tie for fourth in the league standings. The eight-win season marked the eighth time in program history the team had reached eight wins in a season and the sixth time under head coach Jeff Tesch. The Beaver offense finished the season averaging 26.8 points per game, while the ‘Gang Green’ defense was one of the best in the conference allowing just 16.0 points per contest to rank No. 7 in the nation at the end of the regular season.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).