Four Falcons honored as all-Colorado
Dec. 18, 2017

Air Force seniors Grant Ross (LB), Alex Norton (OC), Marquis Griffin (DB) and Luke Strebel (PK) were all named to the all-Colorado team by the National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter. Ross was named first-team while Norton, Griffin and Strebel were all named to the second team.

Ross led the Falcons in tackles this season with 97, tackles for loss with 9.5 and forced fumbles with four. Norton led the offensive line to pace the way for the top rushing team in the conference while Griffin was tops among the team’s defensive backs with 66 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss. Strebel was a Lou Groza National Placekicker watch list member that finished the season 43-43 in extra points and 9-12 in field goals.  

First Team Offense

QB            Eystin Salum, Colorado Mesa, Jr., QB, 6-1, 185, Denver, Colo. / Regis Jesuit

RB            Phillip Lindsay, Colorado / Sr., TB, 5-8, 190, Aurora, Colo. (Denver South)



RB            Cameron Mayberry, Colorado School of Mines, R-So., RB, 5-11, 200, Stillwater, Okla./Stillwater

WR           Michael Gallup, Colorado State, SR, WR, 6-1, 200, Monroe, Ga/Butler County CC)

WR           Chad Hovasse, Adams State, R-Jr., WR, 6-1, 215, Colorado Springs, Colo./Mesa Ridge

TE              Zach Boyd, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., TE, 6-4, 248, Fort Lupton, Colo. / Fort Lupton HS

OL             Jeromy Irwin, Colorado / Sr., OT, 6-5, 300, Cypress, Texas (Cypress Fairbanks)

OL             Corbin Feenstra, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., OL, 6-3, 287, Superior, Colo. / Monarch HS

OL             Austin Fleer, Colorado Mesa, Sr., OL, 6-8, 300, Aurora, Colo. / Grandview

OL             Ty McCulley, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., OL, 6-5, 308, Pueblo, Colo. / Pueblo Central HS

OL          Jake Bennett, Colorado State, RS SR, OL, 6-3, 290, Lakewood, Colo./Bear Creek HS


First Team Defense

LB             Brandon Payer, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., ILB, 6-4, 248, Pine, Colo. / Conifer HS

LB             Dean Wenger, Colorado School of Mines, R-Sr., OLB, 5-11, 200, Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek

LB             Josh Watson, Colorado State, RS JR, LB, 6-2, 240, Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South HS

LB             Grant Ross, Air Force, ILB, 6-1, 225, Sr., Houston, TX (Kashmere)

DB            Isaiah Oliver, Colorado / Jr., CB, 6-1, 195, Goodyear, Ariz. (Brophy Prep)

DB            Darius Williams, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., CB, 6-0, 195, Gilbert, Ariz. / Williams Field HS

DB            Emery Taylor, CSU-Pueblo, So., CB, 5-9, 162, Aurora, Colo. / Columbine HS

DB            Tanner Draper, CSU-Pueblo, So., DB, 6-4, 200, Amarillo, Texas / Randall HS

DL             Blake Nelson, Colorado Mesa, Sr., DL, 5-11, 230, Centennial, Colo. / Arapahoe

DL             Josh Croy, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., DL, 6-4, 260, Littleton, Colo. / Columbine HS

DL             Kiefer Morris, Northern Colorado, DE, R-Jr., 6-4, 250, Parker, Colo./Chaparral HS


First Team Special Teams

ST             Virnel Moon, Colorado Mesa, Sr., WR & ST, 5-10, 165, El Cajon, Calif. / El Cajon Valley

ST             Kevin Ribarich, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., PR, 5-6, 155, Pueblo, Colo. / Pueblo East HS


Second Team Offense

QB            Nick Stevens, Colorado State

RB            Dalyn Dawkins, Colorado State

RB            David Tann, Colorado Mesa

WR           Brody Oliver, Colorado School of Mines

WR           Bryce Bobo, Colorado

TE              Dalton Fackrell, Colorado State

OL             Alex Norton, Air Force

OL             Zack Golditch, Colorado State

OL             Gerrad Kough, Colorado

OL             Aaron Simons, Colorado Mesa

OL             Trae Moxley, Colorado State


Second Team Defense

LB             Noor Shongolo, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., OLB, 6-1, 225, Commerce City, Colo. / Adams City HS

LB             Rick Gamboa, Colorado / Jr., ILB, 6-0, 240, Sylmar, Calif. (Chaminade College Prep)

LB             Drew Lewis, Colorado / Jr., ILB, 6-2, 230, Sammamish, Wash. (Eastlake/Coffeyville)

LB             Tom Saager, Colorado Mesa, Sr., LB, 6-6, 250, Centennial, Colo. / Arapahoe

DB            Garrett Jackson, Adams State University, R-Jr., S, 6-1, 180, Baltimore, MD/Coppin State University

DB            Donnell Pleasant III, Fort Lewis, JR, S, 5-10, 216, San Diego, Calif./Southwestern

DB            Marquis Griffin, Air Force, DB, 5-11, 195, Sr., Stockbridge, GA (Eagles Landing Christian)

DB            Stone Kane, Northern Colorado, S, Sr., 5-11, 205, Fairbank, Iowa/Iowa Western CC

DL             Deyon Sizer, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., DL, 6-4, 281, Aurora, Colo. / Eaglecrest HS

DL             George Marpaung, Fort Lewis, So., DT, 5-10, 287, Aurora, Colo./Rangview

DL             Leo Jackson, Colorado / Sr., DE, 6-3, 275, Decatur, Ga. (North Atlanta/Foothill College)


Second Team Special Teams

ST             James Stefanou, Colorado / Fr., PK, 6-1, 185, Melbourne, Australia (Rose Hill) 

ST             Luke Strebel, Air Force, PK, 5-11, 175, Sr., Nashville, TN (Father Ryan)



2017 NFFCC Coach of the Year

John Wristen, CSU-Pueblo 

Wristen was named RMAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career and sixth time in the last seven years. He guided the ThunderWolves to their sixth RMAC title in the last seven years. The Pack reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the fifth time in the last seven years. The ThunderWolves scoring offense was second in the RMAC and 24th nationally at the end of the regular season. CSU-Pueblo finished the regular season fourth nationally in both interceptions (21) and team passing efficiency defense (88.95) and were 10th in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and total defense (273.5 ypg).


2017 NFFCC Offensive Player of the Year

Phillip Lindsay, Colorado

A team captain, Phillip Lindsay spent most of the year in the top five/10 in rushing and all-purpose yards. He finished his career at Colorado second in rushing (3,707 yards) and scoring (234 points) and first in all-purpose yards (5,760) and yards from scrimmage (4,683).  He is the first player in CU history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons (and just the second to have two period).


2017 NFFCC Defensive Player of the Year

Dean Wenger, Colorado Mines 

A team captain and First-Team All-RMAC selection, Wenger was named the RMAC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 30).  He led Mines with 72 total tackles.  Wenger tallied 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.  He also led Mines with six total turnovers created (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble), and also blocked a kick.  Wenger added a fumble recovery for a touchdown as well.


2017 NFFCC Special Teams Player of the Year

Virnel Moon, Colorado Mesa 

The RMAC Special Teams Player of the Year, Virnel Moon was selected to the D2CCAA All-Super Region 4 First Team.  He led NCAA Division II in Kick Return Touchdowns (three) and averaged 27.6 yards per kick return.  As a wide receiver, he caught 23 passes for 633 yards and eight touchdowns while leading the NCAA Division II in Yards per Reception (27.52).


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