Jones Selected Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year

Jones Selected Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year

Three Bearcats are First Team All-NWC, Five are Chosen for Second Team

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior running back Dylan Jones (Santa Maria, CA/Ernest Righetti HS) from Willamette University has been named Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year in voting by the NWC head coaches. Jones and two other Bearcats were named First Team All-NWC, while five Bearcats were selected for Second Team All-NWC honors.

Jones was joined on the First Team by offensive guard Ryan Springer (Sr., Eureka, CA/Eureka HS) and inside linebacker Jack Nelson (Sr., Portland, OR/Jesuit HS).

Second Team All-NWC selections from Willamette on offense were wide receiver Ryan Foote (Jr., Sherwood, OR/Valley Catholic HS/Allan Hancock JC) and wide receiver Derek Traeger (Sr., Mount Angel, OR/John F. Kennedy HS).

Willamette players on the Second Team All-NWC defense were cornerback Wendell Galvan (Sr., Bothell, WA/Bothell HS), defensive lineman Benjamin Jahn (Fr., Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain HS) and inside linebacker Jimmy Roberts (Jr., ILB, Galt, CA/Galt HS).

Defensive lineman Alex Hoff from Linfield College was named NWC Defensive Player of the Year. Linfield's Joseph Smith was chosen NWC Coach of the Year.

A total of 28 players received First Team honors, with 28 players on the Second Team. An additional 16 players earned Honorable Mention.

Willamette finished the year with a 5-4 overall record, including 3-4 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats defeated archrival Linfield, 31-28, in McMinnville, Ore., on Nov. 1. During the season, the Bearcats averaged 31.9 points and 413.4 total yards per game. WU gained 258.9 rushing yards per game.

First Team All-Northwest Conference

Dylan Jones (Sr., RB) was chosen NWC Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-NWC after rushing 237 times for a school record 1,599 yards. He led NCAA Division III with 177.7 rushing yards per game. He scored 18 rushing touchdowns and ranked fifth in Division III by scoring 12.0 points per game.

He rushed for more than 120 yards in all nine games this season. He gained a school record 350 yards on 30 carries against Whitworth University on Oct. 11 and set another school record with a 98-yard touchdown run against Linfield.

Jones rushed 484 times during his career for 2,857 yards and 34 touchdowns. He finished just two yards away from the Willamette record of 2,859 career rushing yards. In addition to his rushing touchdowns, Jones also scored twice on pass receptions, giving him 36 total touchdowns and 216 career points.

This year, Jones was named NWC Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week three times. He received the award for his efforts against Whitworth, Linfield and University of Puget Sound.

He was named Second Team All-NWC in 2012 after rushing for 716 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. He received Honorable Mention All-NWC recognition in 2013 despite missing three of nine games due to injury.

Jones is one of 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division III each season. The trophy honors football excellence as well as academics and community service. The four finalists will be named on Dec. 9 and the winner will be announced during a banquet in Salem, Va., on Dec. 17.

Ryan Springer (Sr., G) was chosen First Team All-NWC for this first time. He earned Second Team All-NWC honors in 2013. This year, he started all nine game and helped the Bearcats gain 3,721 total yards, including 2,330 rushing yards. WU rushed for more than 200 yards in seven games.

Willamette's 258.9 rushing yards per game ranked 16th in NCAA Division III.

Springer also contributed to Willamette achieving 1,391 passing yards. The Willamette offense scored 27 touchdowns on the ground and 12 touchdowns through the air.

During his career, Springer played in 24 games for the Bearcats, including 23 games in the past three seasons. He started a total of 16 games as a junior and a senior.

Springer competed on Willamette teams that earned a combined record of 24-14 (.632). The Bearcats were 8-2 in 2012 and 7-2 in 2013.

Jack Nelson (Sr., ILB) led Willamette and the Northwest Conference with 104 total tackles, 63 solo tackles and 41 assists this season. He ranked 18th in NCAA Division III with 11.6 tackles per game and was 16th in the nation with 7.0 solo tackles per game. He was named First Team All-NWC for the third year in a row.

This year, he recorded at least nine tackles in each game. He achieved a career-high 17 tackles against Puget Sound on Nov. 15. He made 9.0 tackles for loss, with 3.5 quarterback sacks. He was named NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week for games against California Lutheran University, Lewis & Clark College and Linfield.

He led the Bearcats in tackles for three consecutive seasons. In 2012, he registered 72 total tackles (45 solo, 27 assists). During 2013, he contributed 112 total tackles (67 solo, 45 assists) and ranked ninth in NCAA Division III in tackles per game (12.4) and was seventh in solo tackles per game (7.4).

Nelson set a Willamette record with 315 career tackles. He attained 191 unassisted tackles and earned 124 assists. He was a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award in 2013 and has been nominated for the award this year. The Cliff Harris Award is presented to the nation's top small college defensive player.

During his career, Nelson recorded 25.0 tackles for loss, including 9.5 quarterback sacks. He intercepted four passes, broke up eight passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.

Second Team All-Northwest Conference

Ryan Foote (Jr., WR) missed the last three games of the season due to an injury, but still made a big impact and earned Second Team All-NWC honors for the first time. He caught 18 passes for 345 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also rushed 20 times for 132 yards and one score.

Foote caught a personal-best seven passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns against Whitworth. He hauled in four passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns in Willamette's win over Lewis & Clark.

Prior to joining the Bearcats, Foote was a defensive back at Allan Hancock Junior College in California. He played defensive back for Willamette in 2013, and earned 18 total tackles in eight games played.

Derek Traeger (Sr., WR) earned Second Team All-NWC recognition by leading the Willamette offense with 40 catches for 400 yards. He scored two touchdowns for the Bearcats. He also ran nine times for 36 yards and one touchdown this season.

His top games as a receiver this year was against Pacific University, when he caught nine passes for 73 yards, and against Pacific Lutheran University, when he grabbed six catches for 80 yards.

Traeger was named First Team All-NWC in 2013 after catching 67 passes for 808 yards and leading the conference with 11 touchdowns receiving. He caught a career-high 12 passes against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 19, 2013. He achieved a career-high 171 yards on 11 catches versus Whitworth on Oct. 5, 2013.

His career totals include 120 receptions for 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns. He gained 142 rushing yards and one touchdown on 26 carries. He also earned 267 yards on 34 kickoff returns for 1,826 all-purpose yards.

Wendell Galvan (Sr., CB) received Second Team All-NWC recognition as a strong pass defender. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions and broke up a team-high 14 passes.

He registered 17 passes defended in Willamette's nine games, placing him sixth in NCAA Division III with 1.9 passes defended per game.

Galvan also recorded 38 total tackles, including 30 unassisted stops. He earned two tackles for loss and block one kick. He contributed a career-high 14 tackles -- all unassisted -- against Whitworth.

After playing in all nine games in 2013 and 2014, he saw action in 37 games in his career. He accumulated 97 total tackles, including 71 solo tackles. He intercepted four passes and broke up 28 passes. He also returned 23 punts for 197 yards during his four years at Willamette.

Benjamin Jahn (Fr., DL) had an outstanding freshman season for Willamette this fall to achieve Second Team All-NWC honors. He placed third on the team with 39 total tackles with 21 unassisted stops and 18 assists.

Jahn led the Bearcats with 9.5 tackles for loss resulting in 44 yards lost by the opponents. He led the team with 6.0 sacks for 33 yards lost and tied for 21st in NCAA Division III with two blocked kicks. He also forced one fumble.

He recorded at least four tackles in five games. He provided a career-high seven tackles in Willamette's win over George Fox on Oct. 3.

Jimmy Roberts (Sr., ILB) was named Second Team All-NWC after playing in nine of 10 games in 2011 and every game in 2013 and 2014. He ranked second on this year's team with 51 total tackles. He started every game as a junior and a senior.

He recorded 23 solo tackles and 28 assists this season, with 5.5 tackles for loss and one sack. He registered a career-high 11 tackles against Pacific on Nov. 8.

In his career, he registered 96 total tackles, nearly evenly distributed between 46 unassisted tackles and 50 assists. He achieved 7.5 tackles for loss, earned 2.0 sacks and broke up two passes.

All-Northwest Conference
Football Team for 2014

Dylan Jones was chosen NWC Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for a school record 1,599 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns.