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FOOTBALL: BSU punter Pulkinen named All-American

WACO, Texas — The American Football Coaches Association announced its 2013 All-America Team Tuesday and in the process honored BSU senior punter/kicker Zach Pulkinen as a 2013 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Specialists Team member for his exceptional punting abilities. Pulkinen becomes the first BSU student-athlete to earn All-American status from the AFCA.

Pulkinen, a Minot, N.D., native, is the only Bemidji State punter to earn All-American honors from any publication or organization and becomes the 27th BSU All-America football player in the school’s history.

The senior completed his second season as the full-time punter with a 42.5 yards per punt average that set the new record for Bemidji State punting average, ranked second in the NSIC and 14th nationally at the conclusion of the regular season. The previous record at BSU was 41.8 yards per punt set by Rick Van Roekel in 1977.

Pulkinen totaled 2,802 yards on 66 punts to rank second all-time at BSU in total punt yards, which led the league in 2013. His 66 punts stands tied for seventh at BSU on the single season list.

Pulkinen was named All-NSIC Second Team for his kicking abilities; he also went 22-for-24 on point after attempts and 5-for-13 on field goals.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.