Two Beavers named preseason All-Americans
BEMIDJI - Beyond Sports College Network released its preseason All-America teams Monday and named Bemidji State senior tight end Brian Leonhardt and junior defensive tackle Matt Shaver BSN 2012 Division II Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.
Last season, Leonhardt earned All-America status from two different publications, while Shaver was named Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Third Team. Leonhardt is one of four captains for the 2012 season.
As a junior in 2011, Leonhart earned Daktronics All-America Second Team Offense, D2Football.com All-America Honorable Mention, Daktronics, Inc. Super Region #3 First Team, All-NSIC First Team and Consensus Draft Services 2011 Preseason All-America Honorable Mention Football Team honors.
He started all 11 games and led the team in receptions (35) and reception yards (483), to surpass his totals from 2010 and established career-highs in both categories. He also averaged 43.9 yards per game and 13.8 yards per reception with two touchdowns.
Shaver, a sophomore in 2011, stepped into the starting nose tackle position and earned Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Third Team and All-NSIC First Team honors.
He played in 10 games, started eight and totaled 24 tackles (four solo). The BSU defense was the No. 7 scoring defense in the nation last season, allowing just 16.0 points per game.
Last season, the Beavers were ranked in the national poll on three different occasions in 2011 and finished the campaign with an 8-3 overall record and a 7-3 mark in the NSIC to finish in a three-way tie for fourth.
The Beavers open the 2012 season at home against Upper Iowa University at 6 p.m. Aug. 31.