19 Ferris State players receive ALL-GLIAC honors

Devon Johnson (OL of The Year), Tony Annese (Coach of The Year), and Jayru Campbell (Player of The Year) earned individual awards on Tuesday. (Ferris Athletics Photo)

By Ferris State Athletics

BIG RAPIDS — Nineteen members of the nationally second-ranked Ferris State University football program were named today to the 2018 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) squad and the Bulldogs had three major award recipients as announced by the league office.

Seventh-year FSU head coach Tony Annese garnered GLIAC Coach of the Year accolades after leading FSU to the conference championship while junior quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) was tabbed as the GLIAC Player of the Year. FSU senior offensive tackle Devon Johnson (Aurora, Ill.) received the GLIAC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year honor.

The Bulldogs had seven individuals named to the All-GLIAC First Team, including both Campbell and Johnson. The others included redshirt freshman wide receiver Sy Barnett (Williamston), senior offensive guard Nic Sawyer (Ann Arbor), junior defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing), junior defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.) and sophomore linebacker Sam Heyboer (Grand Rapids.).

FSU also had six others receive All-GLIAC Second Team recognition in sophomore back Marvin Campbell (Detroit), junior offensive guard Tyler Allison (Clinton Township), senior defensive tackle Jamil Pollard (West Deptford, N.J.), junior defensive back Adrian Green (Ellenwood, Ga.), junior linebacker Avonte Bell (Lansing) and junior returner Dion Earls (Chicago).

Six other Bulldogs earned All-GLIAC Honorable Mention recognition in sophomore center Jake Boonstra (Grand Rapids) along with junior defensive tackle Sam Girodat (Jackson), senior receiver Keyondre Craig (Muskegon), sophomore defensive back Cyntell Williams (Battle Creek), junior slot Jevon Shaw (Farmington Hills) and senior back Derrick Portis (Lompoc, Calif.).

Named the GLIAC’s Coach of the Year, Annese led the Bulldogs to their third unbeaten regular-season and league championship in the past five years this season. As the nation’s winningest active head coach, he guided FSU to a perfect 11-0 mark, including an 8-0 run in the GLIAC. Annese also directed the Bulldogs to their fifth consecutive NCAA Division II Playoff appearance, which matches FSU’s 1990’s run for the longest streak in school history. The Bulldogs notched their fifth-straight year with 11 or more wins and are one of only two Division II schools to reach the postseason each of the past five seasons. Under Annese, the Bulldogs also ranked among the national leaders in virtually every offensive category while the defense overcame the loss of 10 starters from a year ago.

The GLIAC Player of the Year, Campbell has made the most of his first season as FSU’s starting quarterback, leading the Bulldogs to their first unbeaten regular-season and conference title since 2015. A Harlon Hill Trophy candidate, Campbell leads all quarterbacks nationally in rushing yardage and is among the nation’s leaders in points responsible for, passing effiency, scoring and total offense. The standout QB has completed nearly 60% of his passes for 2,368 yards while running for a team-best 1,162 yards and 19 TD’s in regular-season action. Behind his play, FSU has earned a fifth-straight NCAA Division II Playoff appearance as one of the region’s top two teams. Campbell has accounted for 42 touchdowns while helping FSU rank among the national leaders in total offense, rushing and scoring this season.

Finally, the GLIAC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year Johnson has played a key role in helping the Bulldogs earn a fifth-straight NCAA Division II Playoff appearance. As the squad’s starting left tackle, the NFL prospect has made 51 consecutive starts for the Bulldogs, which represents a school all-time mark and is believed to be the longest streak by a Division II player in the past decade. Johnson has played a pivotal role for a Bulldog offense that ranks among the national leaders in scoring, rushing and total offense. As the backside protector for Harlon Hill Trophy candidate Jayru Campbell, Johnson earned All-GLIAC recognition for the third consecutive campaign as one of the squad’s leaders up front. His play helped FSU notch its third unbeaten regular-season and GLIAC Championship in the past five seasons.

Ferris State will open NCAA Playoff action at home this Saturday (Nov. 17) as FSU hosts Harding (Ark.) in the first round with kickoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field. Tickets are on sale now and can be purched online at StarTickets.com or call (231) 591-2888 for additional information.

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