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Eight First-Team All-PFL returnees highlight Preseason All-PFL Team
Campbell wide receiver Aaron Blockmon returns after earning First-Team All-PFL honors last season.
Campbell wide receiver Aaron Blockmon returns after earning First-Team All-PFL honors last season.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

SAINT LOUIS – Twenty-nine student-athletes were named to the 2017 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team as selected by the league’s head coaches, Tuesday.

Returning players who were selected to the league’s 2016 All-PFL Teams were placed automatically on the 2017 Preseason All-PFL team in order of voting. Eight First-Team All-PFL honorees return for the 2017 season. In addition, 14 Second-Team All-PFL selections and seven honorable mention recipients join the 2017 preseason squad.

San Diego quarterback Anthony Lawrence, a First-Team All-PFL selection in 2016, returns to marshal the PFL’s preseason offensive unit. He finished 2016 ranked among the FCS Top 10 in passing efficiency (155.0) and completion percentage (67.6) while passing for 2,998 yards.

The league’s wideout group is headlined by a pair of returning First-Team All-PFL selections: Campbell’s Aaron Blockmon and Marist’s Juston Christian. Blockmon was the league’s only 1,000-yard receiver last season, finishing 15th among all FCS wideouts with 1,034 yards. Christian finished second in the league receiving yardage race with 992 yards, ranking 21st nationally. They are joined by Butler’s Pace Temple who was a second-team honoree after amassing 978 receiving yards in 2017 – 24th nationally.

The backfield saw all four running backs selected to the first or second team last season depart due to graduation. In their place, Marist’s Marcellus Calhoun and Valparaiso’s Jarrett Morgan are expected to step in. Calhoun finished with 604 rushing yards and 996 all-purpose yards last season while Morgan amassed 576 rushing yards and 940 all-purpose yards for the Crusaders. They are joined by Butler fullback Duvante Lane, a Second-Team All-PFL choice last season, after finishing fourth among PFL runners with nine touchdown carries  

San Diego dominates the preseason offensive line with three selections: First-Team All-PFL honorees Miles McArdle and Daniel Cooney as well as Second-Team All-PFL selection Joe Hurney. That trio is joined by Dayton’s Ben Gauthier and Marist’s Richard Duncan Murphy.

On the defensive line, San Diego’s Jonathan Peterson – a unanimous First-Team All-PFL pick last season – returns after an impressive 11.5-sack, 20.5 tackle-for-loss campaign in 2016. He finished the season ranked third among FCS defenders in sacks per game (1.04) and seventh in tackles for loss (1.9). Peterson is joined on the D-Line by a pair of Second-Team All-PFL nods: Dayton’s Nick Surges and Morehead State’s Colt Briggs. Surges finished only behind Petersen in sacks per game (0.77) among PFL tacklers while Briggs was third among PFL defenders in tackles for loss (1.6). Drake’s Mack Marrin joins the four-man preseason unit after battling through an injury most of last season.

A trio of Second-Team All-PFL honorees lead the preseason linebacker corps. Dayton’s Jack Crain, Marist’s Willie Barrett and Stetson’s Jeb Boudreaux. Boudreaux returns after finishing second in the PFL in both tackles for loss per game (1.8, 10th in FCS) and total tackles per game (10.5, 14th in FCS). Crain was the Flyers third leading tackler (7.2 per game) and third on the team in tackles for loss (0.60 per game). Barrett was third among all Red Foxes in tackles (6.6 per game) and was second on the team in tackles for loss (0.55 per game). That trio in joined by Valparaiso’s Drew Snouffer, who led his team in total tackles (9.3 per game, 30th in FCS).

Dayton’s Christian Searles returns after earning First-Team All-PFL honors last season following a campaign that saw him pick off five passes last season while finishing with 16 passes defended. Marist placed two defensive backs on the preseason team: Second-Team All-PFL honoree Wes Beans and honorable mention choice Jordyn Jean-Felix. Beans returns after leading the Red Foxes in both tackles (6.9 per game) and interceptions (six) last season while Jean-Felix nabbed three interceptions and was third on the team with 5.5 tackles for loss. They are joined by San Diego Second-Team All-PFL member Ray Clark who was credited with 11 total passes defended and 3.4 tackles per game.

Dayton punter Sean Smith – a first-Team All-PFL choice last season – returns to highlight the preseason special teams unit after leading all punters with 41.6 yards per punt. Jacksonville kicker Javier Acre-Ramirez was the league’s most accurate field-goal kicker last season (90.0 percent, 4th in FCS) while ranking fifth among all scorers (6.6 points per game). Valparaiso return specialist Bailey Gessinger’s 808 combined kick return yards covered the league by more than 100 yards and ranked 11th among all FCS returners. Marist long snapper Nick Mecca rounds out the league’s preseason special teams unit.

2017 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team

(as selected by PFL head coaches)
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown

   OFFENSE

WR Aaron Blockmon (1) Campbell 6-1 205 RJr. Sanford, North Carolina
WR Juston Christian (1) Marist 6-0 186 Jr. Owings Mills, Maryland
WR Pace Temple (2) Butler 6-1 190 Jr. Geneva, Illinois
QB Anthony Lawrence (1) San Diego 6-1 195 RJr. La Mesa, California
TE Ross Dwelley (2) San Diego 6-5 240 RSr. El Dorado Hills, California
RB Marcellus Calhoun (H) Marist 6-0 201 RSr. Columbus, Ohio
RB Jarrett Morgan (H) Valparaiso 5-10 195 Sr. Cooper City, Fla.
FB Duvante Lane (2) Butler 5-10 215 RSr. Evansville, Indiana
OL Ben Gauthier (H) Dayton 6-2 275 Jr. Avon, Ohio
OL Richard Duncan Murphy (H) Marist 6-3 327 RSr. Bensalem, Pa.
OL Joe Hurney (2) San Diego 6-1 280 Sr. Charlotte, North Carolina
OL Miles McArdle (1) San Diego 6-3 290 Sr. Napa, California
OL Daniel Cooney (1) San Diego 6-8 315 RJr. Western Springs, Illinois

   DEFENSE

DL Nick Surges (2) Dayton 6-3 236 RJr. Naperville, Illinois
DL Colt Briggs (2) Morehead State 6-1 261 RSr. Wilmington, Ohio
DL Jonathan Petersen (1) San Diego 6-1 230 RSr. Poway, California
DL Mack Marrin (H) Drake 6-2 238 RSr. Mendota Heights, Minn.
LB Jack Crain (2) Dayton 6-2 225 RSr. Lisle, Illinois
LB Willie Barrett (2) Marist 5-11 220 RJr. Holiday, Florida
LB Jeb Boudreaux (2) Stetson 5-8 204 Jr. Mobile, Alabama
LB Drew Snouffer (H) Valparaiso 6-0 220 Jr. Columbus, Ohio
DB Wes Beans (2) Marist 5-10 188 RJr. New Oxford, Pennsylvania
DB Christian Searles (1) Dayton 5-9 185 Sr. Chicago, Illinois
DB Ray Clark (2) San Diego 5-11 195 Sr. Brentwood, California
DB Jordyn Jean-Felix (H) Marist 6-0 194 RJr. Suwanee, Ga.

   SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Javier Arce-Ramirez (2) Jacksonville 5-10 175 RSo. Madrid, Spain
P Sean Smith (1) Dayton 6-4 221 Jr. Avondale, Pennsylvania
RS Bailey Gessinger (2) Valparaiso 5-10 170 So.. Goshen, Indiana
LS Nick Mecca (2) Marist 5-11 210 Sr. South Brunswick, New Jersey
Notes in parentheses: 1-was a first-team selection in 2016, 2-was a second-team selection in 2016, H-was a honorable mention selection in 2016.
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