By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
SALEM, Ore. -- Four Willamette University football players have been named to the Hampshire Honor Society class of 2018. Sponsored by the National Football Foundation, the Hampshire Honor Society, now in its 12th 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 2018 includes 1,251 players from a record-tying 302 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 last fall who are part of the Hampshire Honor Society class of 2018, are Jordan Fickas (Sr., WR, Gilbert, AZ/Campo Verde HS), Ikaika Hall (Sr., DB, San Francisco, CA/St. Ignatius College Prep), Ryan Knowlton (Sr., QB/P, Puyallup, WA/Emerald Ridge HS), and Kevin Martz (Sr., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Claremont McKenna College).
Since the spring of 2007, a total of 46 Bearcats have been chosen for the Hampshire Honor Society. The Bearcats have had at least one selection in 11 of the 12 seasons.
NFF Hampshire Honor Society Class of 2018
Jordan Fickas (Sr., WR) caught 35 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. He averaged 3.9 catches per game. Fickas also completed his only pass of the season for 17 yards, and returned one kickoff for 24 yards. He was named Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference in 2016 after hauling in 45 catches for 500 yards and two scores.
His totals over the past two seasons were 80 receptions for 822 yards and five touchdowns. He caught a career-high 11 passes versus Lewis & Clrk College on Oct. 29, 2016. He earned 109 receiving yards against Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 8, 2016. He was 2 for 3 passing in his career, including a 31-yard touchdown in 2015.
Fickas is majoring in Exercise Science at Willamette. He held a 3.29 cumulative grade point average after the 2017 fall semester.
Ikaika Hall (Sr., DB) provided the Bearcats with 33 total tackles this past season, including 21 unassisted tackles. He also broke up four passes. During his final three seasons with the Bearcats, he registered 31 unassisted tackles and 18 assists for 49 total stops. He had one tackle for loss, seven pass break-ups and one interception.
He returned his interception 48 yards for a touchdown against University of Puget Sound on Oct. 3, 2015. He recovered a fumble against Lewis & Clark as a freshman on Oct. 18, 2014.
Hall is majoring in Economics and is participating in Willamette's 3/2 MBA program through the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He has a 3.28 cumulative undergraduate GPA.
Ryan Knowlton (Sr., QB/P) completed 18 of 34 passes at quarterback in 2017 for 176 yards and two scores. He was the team's primary punter and averaged 32.6 yards per punt, with nine punts inside the 20-yard line. His longest punt covered 57 yards.
In his career, Knowlton played in 30 games. He connected on 323 of 574 passes for a 56.3% completion rate and 23 touchdowns. During the 2016 season, he was 189 of 330 (57.3%), while setting career highs with 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He passed for 281 yards against George Fox University on Nov. 14, 2015 and tossed four touchdown passes versus Lewis & Clark on Oct. 31, 2015. He punted 87 times during his career for 32.4 yards per punt. He placed 15 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Knowlton is majoring in Chemistry (Biochemistry track). He began the 2018 spring semester with a 3.63 cumulative GPA.
Kevin Martz (Sr., WR) grabbed 35 passes for 333 yards during the 2017 season. He earned 3.9 receptions per game. He caught seven passes against Rhodes College (Tenn.) on Sept. 2 and also hauled down another seven passes against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 21.
Martz played in 28 games for the Bearcats. He made 91 catches in his career for 836 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on a 71-yard pass from Knowlton against Whitworth University on Nov. 7, 2015.
At Willamette, Martz is majoring in Biology. He completed the 2017 fall semester with a 3.81 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
Daniel Abdie, WR
Nick Brickous, SS
Paimon Jaberi, ILB
Conner Olson, OLB
Trent Spallas, OLB
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