Nine First-Team All-PFL returnees highlight 2019 Preseason All-PFL Team

Monday, July 29, 2019
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

SAINT LOUIS – Twenty-nine student-athletes were named to the 2019 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team as selected by the league’s head coaches and announced Monday.

The PFL will announce its preseason coaches’ poll Tuesday.

Returning players named to the league’s 2018 All-PFL Teams were placed automatically on the 2019 Preseason All-PFL team in order of voting. Nine First-Team All-PFL honorees return for the 2018 season. Also, 14 Second-Team All-PFL selections and six honorable mention recipients join the 2018 preseason squad.

Jacksonville quarterback Calvin Turner Jr., who led all FCS quarterbacks with 1,431 rushing yards last season, returns to lead the Preseason All-PFL offensive unit. Those 1,431 rushing yards led all PFL runners and ranked fifth among all FCS backs. Turner Jr. also averaged 11.0 points per game to lead the league and rank second in the FCS.

Joining Turner Jr. in the backfield are Davidson running back Wesley Dugger, San Diego running back Emilio Martinez and Jacksonville fullback Garnett Nicholas. Dugger has posted 1,000-yard rushing campaigns in each of his first two seasons at Davidson, including a 1,340-yard, 16-touchdown (5th the FCS) effort in 2018. Martinez led the Toreros ground efforts last season with 710 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Nicholas joined Turner Jr. as a potent one-two punch for the Dolphins, finishing the season with 718 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

The league’s wide receiver group includes San Diego’s Michael Bandy, Stetson’s Steve Burdette, and Drake’s Steven Doran. Bandy set a PFL record with 1,698 receiving yards last season, breaking a 15-year-old record and leading all FCS receivers in 2018. Burdette caught 10 touchdown passes (18th in the FCS) for the Hatters last season and amassed 769 receiving yards. Doran nearly hit the 1,000-yard mark as a receiver, his 920 yards finishing 26th among FCS wideouts while he caught 12 touchdown passes. Joining them is Dayton tight end Adam Trautman who returns after catching 41 passes, including nine for touchdowns.

Davidson’s Ethan Steinbacher, Jacksonville’s Dane Cordell, Dayton’s Michael Niese, Marist’s Dan Wittekind, and Morehead State’s Josh Poe form the league’s five-man offensive line unit. Cordell, Niese, and Steinbacher each return after forming a part of offensive line groups that led the way for the league’s three 1,000-yard rushers last season.

The Preseason All-PFL defensive line features four athletes selected to either the 2018 First-Team or Second-Team All-PFL squads. First-Team All-PFL selections Drake defensive tackle Gavin Dineen (38 tackles, 3.0 sacks) and San Diego defensive end Nick Friedel (36 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks) highlight the unit. Davidson defensive tackle Bryce Perry-Martin (58 tackles), who led the PFL with 15.0 tackles for loss, and Drake defensive end Erin Morgan (21 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks) return after their second-team selections.

The PFL linebacker group sees Dayton’s Andrew Lutgens (68 tackles, 10.0 TFL) and Stetson’s Colby Duncan (88 tackles, 9.5 TFL) return after First-Team All-PFL campaigns in 2018. Butler’s Mason Brunner (73 tackles, 8.5 TFL) and San Diego’s Kama Kamaka (69 tackles, seven passes defended) return after earning Second-Team All-PFL honors.

Drake safety Will Warner – a First-Team All-PFL pick in 2018 – led the PFL and ranked second among FCS defenders with eight interceptions in 2018. Joining him in the defensive secondary are Stetson cornerback JJ Henderson (2 INT, 10 passes defended) and Butler safety Luke Sennett (104 tackles) – both Second Team-All-PFL choices – and Valparaiso defensive back Jamari Booker (90 tackles).

On special teams, San Diego’s Michael Armstead (840 kick return yards, 2 TDs) will look to build on his First-Team All-PFL selection at return specialist. Butler kicker Drew Bevelhimer (8-9 FG, 25-29 PAT) and long snapper Mason Brunner joined San Diego punter Tanner Kuljian (42.8 punt average) on the squad after each earned Second-Team All-PFL honors last season.


2019 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team

(as selected by PFL head coaches)
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
WR Michael Bandy (1) San Diego 5-11 190 Sr. La Mirada, Calif.
WR Steve Burdette (2) Stetson 5-11 168 Sr. Sardis, Miss.
WR Steven Doran (2) Drake 6-3 216 Grad. Germantown, Wis.
QB Calvin Turner Jr. (H) Jacksonville 6-1 195 Jr. Savannah, Ga.
TE Adam Trautman (2) Dayton 6-0 231 RSr. Williamsburg, Mich.
RB Wesley Dugger (1) Davidson 6-0 192 Jr. Henrico, Va.
RB Emilio Martinez (2) San Diego 5-9 190 Jr. Salinas, Calif.
FB Garnett Nicolas (1) Jacksonville 6-2 225 So. Florida, N.Y.
OL Ethan Steinbacher (2) Davidson 6-2 278 Sr. Concord, N.C.
OL Dane Cordell (H) Jacksonville 5-10 285 RJr. Plano, Texas
OL Michael Niese (H) Dayton 6-5 273 Sr. Chesterfield, Mo.
OL Dan Wittekind (H) Marist 6-2 290 Sr. Chester, N.Y.
OL Josh Poe (H) Morehead State 6-4 303 RSr. Salyersville, Ky.
DL Gavin Dineen (1) Drake 6-3 284 Sr. Algonquin, Ill.
DL Nick Friedel (1) San Diego 6-3 235 RJr. San Ramon, Calif.
DL Bryce Perry-Martin (2) Davidson 6-1 266 Sr. Spring Lake, N.C.
DL Erin Morgan (2) Drake 6-2 234 Grad. Aurora, Ill.
LB Andrew Lutgens (1) Dayton 6-3 205 Sr. Brentwood, Tenn.
LB Colby Duncan (1) Stetson 6-2 208 RSr. Jacksonville, Fla.
LB Mason Brunner (2) Butler 6-0 215 Sr. Harrison, Ohio
LB Kama Kamaka (2) San Diego 6-1 195 Jr. Kailua, Hawaii
DB Will Warner (1) Drake 6-3 201 Sr. Pella, Iowa
DB JJ Henderson (2) Stetson 5-10 164 RJr. Tampa, Fla.
DB Luke Sennett  (2) Butler 6-1 200 RSr. West Chester, Ohio
DB Jamari Booker (H) Valparaiso 6-0 185 Sr. Kentwood, Mich.
PK Drew Bevelhimer (2) Butler 6-1 185 Sr. Indianapolis, Ind.
P Tanner Kuljian (2) San Diego 5-10 170 RJr. Temecula, Calif.
RS Michael Armstead (1) San Diego 5-11 175 Sr. Monterey, Calif.
LS Mason Brunner (2) Butler 6-0 215 Sr. Harrison, Ohio
Notes in parentheses: 1-was a first-team selection in 2018, 2-was a second-team selection in 2018, H-was an honorable mention selection in 2018.