ROLLA, Mo. – Missouri S&T was well represented on this year's all-conference team announced today by the Great Lakes Valley Conference, as 19 members of the Miners earned a spot on the squad – including five first-team picks.
Running back Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central), who led the GLVC in rushing with a school record 1,579 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, was a unanimous pick to the first team following a year in which his rushing total also ranked third in NCAA Division II. Jones set the school's and league's single-game rushing record as well when he ran for 275 yards in a win over Saint Francis (Ill.).
Jones was joined on the first team by wide receiver Justin Vaughn and center Adam Echele (Wildwood, MO/Lafayette) from the offensive side of the ball as well as defensive end Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City) and cornerback Roderick Chapman.
Echele, who earned his second first-team All-GLVC honor in as many years, anchored an offensive line for a unit that led the GLVC this season in total offense with an average of 459.7 yards per game. The work of the offensive line helped make the Miners the only team in all NCAA divisions through Saturday with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,500-yard rusher.
Wharton led the GLVC with a school record 21 tackles for a loss this season and 13.5 quarterback sacks as part of a 64-tackle campaign. In addition, Wharton forced four fumbles from his defensive end spot and added a pass breakup to head the league's top-ranked unit, one that gave up just 294.3 yards per game and just 91.3 on the ground, just the second time in the last 32 seasons a Miner defense has allowed fewer than 100 yards per game.
Chapman was second in the conference in passes defended, as he finished the year with 12 pass breakups and five interceptions. One of the five pickoffs – which tied for the conference lead – was returned for a touchdown. Chapman also excelled on special teams, averaging 23.6 yards per kickoff return that included one ran back for a touchdown and 18.6 yards per punt return.
Vaughn was one of four Miner receivers to earn all-league honors after leading the Miners with 40 catches for 806 yards and three scores. He was joined on the All-GLVC team by second team selections Logan Armontrout (Centralia, MO/Centralia), who caught 37 balls for 609 yards and six touchdowns and Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca), who had 36 catches for 603 yards despite missing nearly the entire second half of the season due to an injury.
The fourth receiver named was freshman Josh Brown, who earned honorable mention after hauling in 33 passes for 423 yards and three scores.
Missouri S&T had eight second-team picks, led by linebackers Austin Truvillion (Kansas City, MO/Park Hill) and Landon Compton (Lamar, MO/Lamar) and safety Bo Brooks(Canutillo, TX/Canutillo), who ranked as the team's top three tacklers in 2017. Truvllion led the way with 85 tackles and four sacks, while Compton had 16 tackles for a loss – ranking fifth in the GLVC – among his 78 stops on the year. Brooks had 68 tackles from the secondary and had 10 pass breakups, finishing as one of three Miners with at least 10 pass breakups.
Defensive tackle Matt Mata'u (Laie, HI/Kahuku), who had 11 tackles while helping to anchor the interior defensive line, was also a second-team selection from the defensive unit.
The Miners' other second team picks were offensive guard Josh Elam (Aledo, TX/Aledo), who started in every game at left guard and placekicker Ben Styron(Harrisonville, MO/Harrisonville), who set new S&T single season records with 47 extra points and 86 points as a kicker, while also tying the single-year mark with 13 field goals.
Quarterback Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson), who established new S&T career records for passing yards (5,860) and total offense (5,538) in a year where he became the third Miner to throw for more than 3,000 yards with 3,165, was named honorable mention along with Brown, tight end Austin Griffin (West Palm Beach, FL/Oxbridge Academy), offensive tackle Austin Holmes (Eagle Point, OR/Eagle Point), defensive tackle Joseph Boettcher and linebacker Bret Curtis (Lombard, IL/Glenbard South).
Griffin had 10 receptions during the year that included three for touchdowns, while Holmes excelled in both a reserve and later a starting role on the offensive line. Curtis recorded 36 tackles and a pair of sacks from his spot on defense, while Boettcher became a force inside with 14 tackles, five for a loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks.
The 19 All-GLVC selections matches the most ever for an S&T team since the conference began sponsoring football, as the Miners' 2012 team also had 19 players named to that year's all-league team.
Missouri S&T finished the 2017 season with a 7-4 record and in a tie for second place in the GLVC with a 5-2 mark.