ROSELAND, N.J. — USA College Football, Inc. announced its 20th Annual USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American and Central Region All-Star Teams Monday. Senior Beau Wakefield (WR, Butternut, Wis.) was named second team All-America defense as a return specialist and senior Brian Leonhardt (TE, Blaine, Minn.) earned third team All-America offense honors to lead a list of six Bemidji State University football student-athletes on the Central Region All-Star Team.
Selected as Central Region Offensive All-Stars where seniors Dustin Kroeplin (RB, Withee, Wis.), Justin Lee (WR, Elgin, Ill.), Leonhardt and Brett DeLange (OL, Plainefield, Ill.). Senior Cory Crosby (ILB, Cold Spring, Minn.) and junior Matt Shaver (DT, St. Cloud, Minn.) were named Central Region Defensive All-Stars.
Coaches, sports information directors, certified players' agents, pro scouts, national media reporters and the staff of USA Football News selected the All-American and region all-star teams, while the region all-star teams were also named honorable mention All-Americans.
All members of the Class of 2013 with no remaining college eligibility listed as All-Americans and Regional All-Stars are candidates to participate in the 2013 USA Freedom Bowl, a four-day, three-night event that that continues the tradition of the Snow Bowl and Cactus Bowl and last January’s Hansen Bowl. It is the only post-season NCAA Division II football event recognized by the national broadcast and print media industry that is compliant with NCAA rules and regulations and will take place from January 18-21, 2013.
In addition to the USA Football News preseason accolades, Leonhardt and Shaver earned Beyond Sports College Network 2012 Division II Preseason All-America Honorable Mention honors June 26.
Served as BSU’s primary kickoff and punt returner in 2011... Recorded 13 kickoff returns for 264 yards for an average 20.3 yards per return... Posted a 38-yard kickoff return for his season-high... Brought in 14 punts for 140 yards, an average of 10.0 yards per punt return that finished third in the NSIC... Tallied a season-long punt return of 30 yards... Totaled 404 all-purpose yards to rank sixth on the team.
A 2012 BSN Division II Preseason All-America Honorable Mention, in 2011, Leonhardt 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. 10 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... 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)... 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.
The Beavers closed the 2011 season with an 8-3 overall and 7-3 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference record to finish tied for fourth in the league standings. BSU was pegged sixth in the overall 2012 NSIC Coaches’ Poll and slotted third in the NSIC North.
The Beavers began practice Aug. 11 and continue preseason camp until starting school Aug. 27. BSU will then conduct a week of practice to prepare for its 2012 opener Aug. 31 against Upper Iowa University at 6 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).