By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- A total of five Willamette University football players have been chosen for the Hampshire Honor Society class of 2017. Sponsored by the National Football Foundation, the Hampshire Honor Society, now in its 11th year, recognizes college football players from all divisions who are seniors and have maintained at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average during their careers.
The class of 2017 includes 1,089 players from 297 colleges and universities. It is the largest induction class since the Hampshire Honor Society was started in 2007. This year's athletes were nominated after completing the fall semester.
Willamette's selections from the 2016 season were Daniel Abdie (Sr., WR, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS), Nick Brickous (Sr., SS, Mesa, AZ/Perry HS/U.S. Military Acad.), Paimon Jaberi (Sr., ILB, Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS), Conner Olson (Sr., LB, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) and Trent Spallas (Sr., LB, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS).
Since the spring of 2007, a total of 42 Bearcats have been chosen for the Hampshire Honor Society. The Bearcats have had at least one selection in 10 of the 11 seasons.
NFF Hampshire Honor Society Class of 2017
Daniel Abdie (Sr., WR) saw action in 17 games for the Bearcats in the 2014 through 2016 seasons. He missed the 2013 season due to injury.
During his career, Abdie played wide receiver and caught a total of 15 passes for 124 yards. In addition, he provided blocking on running plays. In 2014, he made three tackles on special teams.
Abdie majored in Exercise Science at Willamette. He owned a 3.33 cumulative grade point average through the fall semester.
Nick Brickous (Sr., SS) played in 25 games during three seasons with the Bearcats after transferring from the U.S. Military Academy. At WU, he recorded 132 total tackles, including 80 unassisted tackles, as a defensive back. He started every game in 2015 and 2016.
He was named First Team All-Northwest Conference in 2016 and was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2015. He achieved a career-high 68 total tackles (44 solo) as a senior. He was credited with 50 tackles (28 solo) in 2015. Brickous intercepted five passes and returned them for 117 yards during his career.
At Willamette, Brickous majored in Economics. He entered the spring semester with a 3.34 cumulative GPA.
Paimon Jaberi (Sr., ILB) competed in 24 games as an inside linebacker in his final three seasons with the Bearcats, including starts in all 10 games in 2016. His career totals included 52 unassisted tackles, 42 assists and 94 total tackles. He registered 3.5 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and recorded one fumble recovery. He broke up two passes, was credited with two quarterback hurries and had one quarterback sack.
As a student, Jaberi majored in Economics/Management and participated in Willamette's 3/2 MBA program through the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He began the spring with a 3.38 cumulative GPA.
Conner Olson (Sr., OLB) saw action in 24 games at Willamette, including all nine games in 2015 and eight games in 2016. He started every game during his junior season.
Olson finished his career with 42 total tackles as an outside linebacker. He earned 20 unassisted tackles and 22 assists. He made 4.0 tackles for loss and broke-up two passes. He recorded 2.5 quarterback sacks.
At Willamette, he majored in Chemistry on the Biochemistry track. He held a 3.81 cumulative GPA through the fall semester of 2016.
Trent Spallas (Sr., OLB) was a quarterback for three seasons before playing outside linebacker as a senior. He played in 23 games overall. As a quarterback, he completed 149 of 302 passes (49.3%) for 1,844 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On defense, he recorded 25 total tackles, with 22 in 2016, when he earned 11 unassisted tackles and 11 assists. In addition, he broke up two passes and recovered a fumble.
Spallas majored in Economics/Management at Willamette and participated in the 3/2 MBA program. After the fall semester, he owned a 3.28 cumulative GPA.
Qualifications for the NFF Hampshire Honor Society
In order to qualify for the Hampshire Honor Society a football player must be a starter or significant substitute completing his last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III or NAIA college or university. He must have earned at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout undergraduate study, and must have met all NCAA progress-toward-degree requirements.
Willamette Football Players in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society
Joseph Blanc, DL
Hans Lehndorff, DL
Matt Holder, DL
Jack Nelson, ILB
Daley Smith, CB
Ryan Springer, OG
Shawn Wong, WR/KR
Wyatt Briggs, DE
Kyle Davey, DE
Josh Dean, QB
Kyle Derby, PK
Joseph Harman, WR
Cuyler Hudson, OL
Ryan Johnston, WR
T.J. Matsumoto, FS
Matt Parr, ILB
Jake Knecht, WR
Tommy Laird, PK
Matt Millar, DE
Cody Pastorino, S
Jake Turner, WR
Wes Wenzel, ILB
Zane Wise, OG
Harmon Bruno, OLB
Ben Kittelson, OT
Kenny Miller, C/OG
Luis Guerra, OT/OG
Scott Schoettgen, WR
Dennis Plzak, OG
Jack Bevins, ILB
Matt Bicocca, PK
Justin Cole, OG
Ben Fennimore, FS
Stephen Shamus, LS
Kevin Whipps, QB
Kevin Dean, FB
Ben Weyerhaeuser, ILB