NDSU Athletics

North Dakota State Lands League-Best Seven on All-MVFC First Team

Press release from the NDSU athletic department as the Bison lead the league with seven on MVFC first-team.

North Dakota State had 11 players named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first and second teams Monday, Nov. 30, by a vote of the league's head coaches, sports information directors and media.

NDSU led the league with seven selections on the first team.  They were fullback Andrew Bonnet, left tackle Joe Haeg, left guard Zack Johnson, defensive end Greg Menard, middle linebacker Nick DeLuca, cornerback CJ Smith and punter Ben LeCompte.

On the second team from NDSU were running back King Frazier, tight end Luke Albers, right guard Jeremy Kelly and long snapper James Fisher.  Bison quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver RJ Urzendowski and defensive tackle Nate Tanguay were honorable mention.

LeCompte was selected to the all-conference team for the third straight year, Bonnet and Haeg were named for the second straight year, and Johnson was named for the second time in three seasons.

Last week, Illinois State running back Marshaun Coprich was named Offensive Player of the Year, Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre Hall was named Defensive Player of the Year, Northern Iowa quarterback Aaron Bailey was named Newcomer of the Year, South Dakota defensive end Andrew Van Ginkel was named Freshman of the Year, and Bob Nielson of Western Illinois was named Bruce Craddock Valley Football Coach of the Year.

North Dakota State (9-2) won a share of its fifth straight conference championship with a 7-1 league record and earned the No. 3 seed for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.  The Bison host Montana (8-4) in a second round game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

Bonnet, a senior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been a key blocker for NDSU's league-leading rushing offense that averages 244.0 yards per game.  Bonnet has seven pass receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns this year.  In his career, he has 52 catches for 530 yards and seven TDs.

Haeg, a senior from Lake Shore, Minn., is a finalist for STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year and two-time MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week this season.  Haeg graded out at 91 percent and had 45 knockdowns for an offensive line that allows the fewest sacks and tackles for loss in the MVFC.

Jonson, a junior from Apple Valley, Minn., battled through a foot injury and started seven of eight games played this season.  He graded out at 84 percent and helped the Bison lead the Missouri Valley Football Conference in rushing (244.0), time of possession (36:20) and third down conversions (50%).

Menard, a sophomore from Lakeville, Minn., made all 11 starts at right end and ranked third in the MVFC in sacks (8.0) and sixth in tackles for loss (12.5) while finishing with 43 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

DeLuca, a junior from Omaha, Neb., is NDSU's leading tackler with 96 stops including 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.  He has one interception, five pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble.  DeLuca made double-digit tackles three times and was MVFC Defensive Player of the Week after a career-high 20 tackles at Southern Illinois.

Smith, a senior from Savage, Minn., was third in the league in passes defended (1.11/game) with eight pass breakups and two interceptions.  He made 28 tackles and led a defensive secondary that limited eight of the MVFC's top 10 receivers to an average of three catches for 39 yards with only two touchdowns.

LeCompte, a senior from Barrington, Ill., leads the MVFC and ranks second in the FCS with a 46.1 punting average.  His 44.5 career punting average ranks No. 1 in NDSU and MVFC history and No. 4 in FCS history.  The Bison lead the league and rank fourth nationally in net punting (39.25).  LeCompte has punted 48 times with 20 inside the 20-yard line, 17 punts of 50-plus yards, and a season-long of 73 yards.

Frazier, a junior from Greenwood, Mo., averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 71.8 yards per game to lead a four-man running back rotation for NDSU.  He carried 147 times for 790 yards and seven touchdowns.  Frazier was MVFC Offensive Player of the Week after a career-high 177 yards at Southern Illinois, where he had a 50-yard TD and two other runs of 41 and 51 yards.

Albers, a senior from Iola, Wis., was NDSU's leading tight end with eight receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown.  A key blocker for NDSU's league-leading rushing offense, he emerged as a clutch receiver in last year's playoff run with go-ahead TD catches in the national quarterfinal and championship victories.

Kelly, a senior from Somerset, Wis., led the NDSU offensive line for the second straight year with 68 knockdowns.  He graded out at 85 percent and was named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week after getting nine knockdowns in the win at Southern Illinois, where he helped the Bison rush for 397 yards.

Fisher, a sophomore from Bloomington, Minn., delivered 45 of 48 snaps on-target for the NDSU punt team with zero fumbles.  Fisher has excelled in downfield coverage for the No. 4 net punting team in the FCS, and the Bison have allowed zero blocks while converting 8 of 13 field goals and 52 of 53 PATs.

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