Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team has placed seven players on the 2017 All-MIAA team. The league’s 12 head coaches vote on the makeup of the team and cannot vote for their own players. Fifth-year senior free safety George Brown (University City, Mo.) and sophomore defensive end Hinwa Allieu (Gaithersburg, Md.) lead the way as both made the third-team. This is Brown’s third All-MIAA honor and he joins linebacker Tyke Kozeal (2013-16) and offensive linemen Cole Manhart (2012-14) and Pete Trausch (2012-14) as the only Lopers to be named All-MIAA three or more times in a career. Tabbed honorable mention are sophomore left guard Josh Stoltenberg (Creighton Prep), junior defensive end Tye Spies (Mullen), sophomore inside linebacker Sal Silvio (Kansas City), sophomore strong safety Dallas Vaughn (St. Louis) and junior corner Malik Webb (Roper, N,C.). This is Spies second straight All-MIAA honor; the other four plus Allieu earn their first.
A rare four-year starter at both free safety and punt return, Brown played in all 11 games this fall and recorded 54 tackles (33 solo). He also picked off two passes for 16 yards, brought back a fumble 18 yards and had two pass breakups. On special teams, Brown had seven returns for 35 yards. One of just two fifth-year seniors on this year’s team, Brown was one of four co-captains this fall and currently is 24th on UNK’s career tackles list (184). His running mate the past two years, Vaughn ranked second on the team in tackles for a second straight year. This time, he managed 63 (36 solo) stops in 11 games, pushing his career total to 117. Vaughn also had four PBU’s, one INT and one sack.
Also in the secondary, Webb was among the MIAA leaders in INT’s and INT return yards. A reserve, he had three picks for 105 yards and one score and broke up another six passes. Finally, Webb had 29 tackles (24 solo) in 10 games. Helping replace the big void of Kozeal at linebacker, Silvio led UNK in tackles (81), TFL’s (13.5) and fumble recoveries (two). Playing in 10 games, he also forced two fumbles and brought back a pick 10 yards. In 21 career games, Silvio has made 126 tackles. Up front, Allieu and Spies helped the defense record 63 TFL’s, including 28 sacks. UNK is among the Division II sack leaders with Allieu having a team-high 5.5 and Spies adding 2.5. A true sophomore, Allieu finished with 32 tackles (7.0 TFL’s) and five quarterback hurries while Spies, a reserve, had 21 tackles (4.0 TFL’s). Overall, the Loper defense was among the MIAA leaders in sacks, rush defense (125.3 yards per game) and total defense (367.5 ypg). Besides Brown, three other starters graduate on this side of the ball.
A redshirt sophomore, Stoltenberg represents the Loper offense. He was the team’s starting left guard for a second straight fall. He blocked for a unit that averaged 17 points and 301 yards per game. League champion Fort Hays State had the Coach of the Year (Chris Brown) as well as the Defensive (tackle Nathan Shepherd) and Special Teams (kicker Brandon Brown) Players of the Year. Central Oklahoma wide receiver J.T. Luper is the Offensive P.O.Y with Central Missouri running back Devante Turner the top freshman. UNK’s coaching staff is currently on the road recruiting. This season, the Division II National Letter of Intent signing day is Wednesday, February 7th.