By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Alec Stevenson (Jr., ILB, Malibu, CA/Calabasas HS), who led Willamette University in total tackles for the second year in a row, has repeated as a Second Team All-Northwest Conference selection for the 2018 season. He also earned Second Team All-NWC recognition in 2017. Jeremiah James (Gr./Sr., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Chemeketa CC) and Chris Mann (Jr., OL, Eugene, OR/Mission Hills HS, CA) were named Honorable Mention All-NWC. James received Honorable Mention at wide receiver this year after earning Honorable Mention as a kick returner in 2017. Mann received All-NWC honors for the first time.
A total of 81 players were selected to the 2018 All-Northwest Conference Football Team. Linfield College running back Chidubem Nnoli was named NWC Offensive Player of the Year. Defensive lineman Chad Wilburg from Whitworth University and defensive back Duke Mackle of Linfiield were chosen NWC Co-Defensive Players of the Year. Colten Chelin, a defensive back from Whitworth, was selected NWC Freshman of the Year. Head Coach Rodney Sandberg of Whitworth was voted NWC Coach of the Year.
Second Team All-Northwest Conference
Alec Stevenson (Jr., ILB) repeated as a Second Team All-NWC play by recording 76 total tackles this fall. He registered nine or more tackles in seven game, including 10 or more tackles three times. In addition to leading the Bearcats in total tackles, he also ranked first on the team with 53 unassisted tackles and 23 assists. He tied for fourth in the NWC with 8.4 total tackles per game. He earned 6.0 tackles for loss, including 3.5 quarterback sacks. He forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble.
In 2017, he topped Willamette with 99 total tackles, including 56 unassisted tackles and 43 assists. He was second in the NWC in total tackles and in tackles per game (11.0). He recorded 8.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks, while achieving one pass break-up and one quarterback hurry. Stevenson was credited with 13 or more tackles in five games last year, with a career-high 17 tackles against Pacific University on Nov. 4, 2017.
As a Bearcat over the past three seasons, Stevenson has played in 27 of 28 games. He has supplied Willamette with 181 total tackles, with 113 solo stops and 68 assists. His career statistics also include 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 quarterback sacks.
Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference
Jeremiah James (Gr./Sr., WR/KR) was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC for the second year in a row after leading the Bearcats with 41 catches, 545 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 13.3 yards per catch and 60.6 yards per game. He hauled in an 80-yard touchdown pass against Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 20. He returned five punts for an average of 13.3 yards and brought back 18 kickoffs for an average of 18.8 yards.
As a junior in 2017, James returned 24 kickoffs for an NWC-leading 590 yards. He averaged 24.6 yards per kickoff return, which ranked second in the NWC. He set a Willamette single game record with 162 kickoff return yards on 5 returns against Linfield College on Oct. 7, 2017.
On offense a year ago, he caught 25 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. In four seasons at WU, James caught 110 passes for 1,294 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 36 times for 205 yards (5.7 avg.).
James set Willamette career records with 77 kickoff returns and 1,753 kickoff return yards. He averaged 22.8 yards per return. Including his receiving yards, rushing yards, kickoff return yards and 105 punt return yards, he completed his career with 3,357 all-purpose yards. He played in 36 games and averaged 93.2 all-purpose yards per game, including more than 100 all-purpose yards per game during each of his final three seasons.
Chris Mann (Jr., OL) earned Honorable Mention All-NWC recognition for the first time. His blocking contributed to Willamette's offense gaining 2,521 total yards this season, including 1,926 passing yards. The Bearcats completed 52.3% of their passes. Willamette amassed 512 total yards against University of Puget Sound on Oct. 27 and registered more than 345 yards in three other games.
At Willamette, Mann has seen action in 25 games, including 19 starts. He started all 10 games as a freshman and started eight games this year. He missed one game this season due to injury. During his three seasons, the Bearcats have gained 9,315 total yards, including 3,515 rushing yards and 5,800 passing yards. The Bearcats have achieved 485 first downs in the 28 games since the start of the 2016 season.