Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Andy Schantz: Third Team All-American

After a stellar senior season, inside linebacker Andy Schantz was named to the Associated Press All-America Third Team on Wednesday. The recognition cemented Schantz as one of the top 10 linebackers in the nation and one of the finest in Portland State history.

Schantz, who came to Portland State after transferring from San Diego State, started and served as a Portland State captain in every game this season. He finished the season with 115 tackles, 31 more than the next closest player. His 15 tackles for loss also led the Vikings this season.

When the Big Sky All-Conference teams were released several weeks ago and Schantz's name did not find its way onto the first team, there were a few surprised people in Portland. He finished the season averaging 10.5 tackles per game, good for second place in the conference.

Schantz was unquestionably the leader of the entire Vikings' team on and off the field. He rarely made the highlight play, but made all the plays a middle linebacker is supposed to. While KJ McCrae and Ryan Pedersen often stole the spotlight, it was Schantz who anchored the defense.

Yet, Schantz was ousted from the first team by Sacramento State senior linebacker Cyrus Mulitalo who had a fine year but his 96 tackles ranks clearly behind Schantz.

Schantz was joined on the All-American teams by Northern Arizona cornerback K.J. Gerrard, punter/kicker Robbie Dehaze (from Sherwood), Montana seniors Colin Dow and Colt Anderson, Eastern Washington senior defensive end Greg Peach, Weber State junior running back Trevyn Smith and sophomore quarterback Cameron Higgins.

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