Eight Wildcats on NSIC All-Conference football list

Wayne State had eight players named to the 2017 NSIC All-Conference Football Team that was announced Wednesday.

Quarterback Zach Osborn and wide receiver Nate Rogers were voted by league coaches to the NSIC South Division All-Conference First Team Offense, defensive back Glenn Harris was named First Team Defense, offensive lineman Mike Milenkovich received Second Team Offense honors while defensive lineman Xavier Graham, running back Rashad Trimble, wide receiver Layne Sullivan and linebacker Tyler Thomsen were each named to the Honorable Mention Team.

Osborn, a 6-foot-1, 180 pound senior quarterback from Harlan, Iowa, was a First Team selection on offense after completing 108 of 192 passes for 1,480 yards and 14 TD’s with just five interceptions in a season limited to just seven games due to injury. At the time of his season-ending injury at Winona State, Osborn led the NSIC in passing yards per game, was second in passing TD’s, fourth in total offense and fifth in pass efficiency. He finished his WSC career as the all-time leader in touchdown passes (86) while ranking second in passing yards (9,866) and total offense yards (10,569).

Rogers, a 6-foot-5, 190 pound senior wide receiver from South Sioux City, was a First Team honoree on offense after recording 44 catches for 577 yards (13.1 avg) with 12 touchdowns. He ranked second in the league in TD catches and was tied for eighth in receptions per game (4.0). This season, Rogers had at least one catch in every game and had a touchdown reception in nine of 11 games. He is tied with Jim Strahan (1947-49) with 27 career touchdown receptions at Wayne State.

Harris, a 6-foot-1, 180 pound senior defensive back from Kansas City, Mo., is a First Team selection on defense after leading WSC and the NSIC with eight interceptions this season, which was tied for second in NCAA Division II. His eight interceptions also tied a single season school record that dates back to 1984. Harris also tied a single game school record with three interceptions at Augustana and had interceptions in six games this season. He tied for third in the NSIC in passes defended (12) and had 34 tackles including 27 solo stops.

Milenkovich, a 6-foot-5, 305 pound junior offensive lineman from Omaha, received Second Team honors on offense after being an Honorable Mention selection last season. He started 10 games this season at left tackle on the Wildcat offensive line and is a three-year starter for WSC.

Graham, a 5-foot-10, 285 pound junior from Omaha, was an Honorable Mention selection after recording 31 tackles this season. He led the team in sacks (3.5-foot-14) and tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (7.5-foot-25) while playing all 11 games at nose guard. Graham had a season-best six tackles with one tackle for loss at No. 1 Minnesota State and was credited with two tackles for loss and one sack vs. No. 18 Sioux Falls. He also had two quarterback hurries and one blocked kick on special teams.

Trimble, a 6-foot-0, 225 pound senior running back from Bellevue, collected Honorable Mention recognition after leading the Wildcats in rushing for a second straight season. He accounted for 833 yards on 165 carries (5.0 avg) with six touchdowns this season and ranked sixth in the NSIC in rushing yards per game (75.7). Trimble had two 100-yard games this season, highlighted by a career-best 185 yards and one TD at Minnesota Crookston. He also recorded 159 yards on 25 carries and one score vs. Southwest Minnesota State.

Sullivan, a 6-foot-1, 190-poud junior wide receiver from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was an Honorable Mention selection after leading the Wildcats in receiving this season with 55 catches for 603 yards and four touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the NSIC in receptions per game (5.00), highlighted by career-highs of 14 catches for 151 yards vs. Minnesota Duluth.

Thomsen, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound sophomore linebacker from Fremont, was leading Wayne State in tackles and ranked sixth in the NSIC in tackles per game until suffering a season-ending injury in the Sioux Falls game Oct. 12. He produced 59 tackles (31 solo) with six tackles for loss (22 yds) and two sacks for 16 yards with one forced fumble, one interception, three quarterback hurries and three pass breakups.

Wayne State finished the season at 6-5 overall and fourth in the NSIC South with a 4-3 divisional mark. It was the first winning season for the Wildcats since 2012.

The Wayne Herald

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