FERRIS DEFENSIVE LINEMEN CLAIM ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT LAURELS
Jake Visser & Erik Schumacher Honored As ESPN The Magazine First Team Picks
A pair of Ferris State University defensive linemen, junior tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) and senior end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) have been named to the 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV College Division First Team in an announcement made Thursday (Nov. 8).
The Bulldog duo represented half of the four defensive linemen chosen to the all-district team, which featured a total of 34 players. The defensive unit included 12 players while 11 were named to the offensive team and two others claimed special teams honors. Additionally, 25 others achieved all-district second team status in voting conducted by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Visser and Schumaker were two of the three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) players represented on the first team along with Michigan Tech junior receiver Keith White. The two all-district teams featured a total of six players from the 13 GLIAC-member schools. Ferris had two first-team picks, MTU had one first-team recipient, Wayne State had two second team selections and Ashland had a single player named to the second team.
Student-athletes must have reached at least sophomore status academically, maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and also be a starter or key reserve for their team to be nominated. The District IV team is comprised of all colleges and universities located in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. As all-district first team honorees, both Visser and Schumacher are now eligible to received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America accolades.
This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Academic All-America program, which was founded by CoSIDA in 1952 to recognize collegiate student-athletes for their outstanding achievements in the classroom and on the playing field. Over the years, the program has grown into one of the most recognized and prestigious collegiate scholar-athlete awards nationwide, honoring student-athletes from all NCAA championship sports. This season marks ESPN The Magazine's fourth year of sponsoring the Academic All-America program, which was formerly endorsed by both GTE and Verizon.
Visser, who was tabbed as both a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America First Team selection and D2football.com Preseason All-America Second Team pick along with being named to the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview 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 Gazett. 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.).
Presently this season, Visser has tallied the squad's second-highest tackles figure (95) and leads the squad in tackles for loss with 12 for minus 50 yards, which ranks ninth in the conference. He also has a team-best eight quarterback hurries along with 4.5 sacks for a loss of 32 yards. Visser is listed 33rd nationally in tackles (9.5) to date this season. A 2006 second-team All-Northwest Region pick by Don Hansen's Football Gazette, Visser 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.) a year ago.
In 33 career contests, Visser has compiled 279 tackles (146 solos) with four fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, and three pass deflections. He also has 36 tackles for a loss of 153 yards. Visser is presently eighth on Ferris State's all-time pass sacks leaders list with 19.0 total for a negative 116 yards. He also received 2006 first-team All-Northwest Region accolades by Daktronics, Inc.
An All-GLIAC Honorable Mention selection last season, Schumacher currently ranks fifth among the squad's leaders this season with 53 total tackles, which includes 27 solo stops. He has a team-leading 5.5 sacks for a loss of 27 yards. His 10.5 tackles for loss rank second on the team to date this season. In addition, he has four quarterback hurries, a team-best three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and one fumble recovery this campaign.
In his career, the senior team captain has posted 150 total tackles, 26.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in his 43 games at FSU to date. Schumacher currently is listed 29th (0.30 pg.) nationally in forced fumbles along with 92nd in pass sacks (0.6 pg.) this season, according to the latest (Nov. 5) NCAA-II National Statistics. He ranks tied for fourth in forced fumbles (0.30 pg.) and is tied for ninth in sacks (0.55 pg.) among the GLIAC's overall leaders to date this year.
Ferris State concludes the 2007 campaign on the road Saturday, Nov. 10, versus the Wayne State Warriors in Detroit, Mich. Kickoff for the league encounter is set for 12 p.m. (EST) at WSU Stadium in the Motor City. FSU can post its fourth winning season in the last five years with a win over Wayne State.
Additionally, a live audio and video webcast of the game will also be available via B2 Networks for $6 and can be accessed by visiting the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports.