The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

June 25, 2012

Williams, Zerkel earn preseason All-American honors

Missouri Southern senior Brandon Williams and Landon Zerkel were named preseason first-team All-Americans on Monday by the Beyond Sports College Network.

The duo was among eight MIAA players honored, including Pittsburg State’s John Brown and Nate Dreiling, who were also first-team selections.

Zerkel, a Webb City native, earned All-American honors from two different organizations in 2011 after picking up a nod from Don Hansen and BSN. He was a first-team All-MIAA pick last year, finishing the season as the league-leader in receptions per game and in receiving yards per game.

Zerkel needs just 78 catches to tie Colin Bado for the top spot in school history and needs 690 to jump from third to first —past Rod Smith — on the school’s all-time receiving yards list.

Williams was named to five All-America teams while picking up All-Region honors. He was a unanimous first-team All-MIAA pick, finishing third in the league with eight sacks and second in tackles for loss.

He was 13th nationally in tackles for loss and 19th in sacks. He needs just two sacks to move into second and five to be the all-time sacks leader at MSSU.

Dreiling and Brown, both juniors, were first-team selections for Pitt State.

Dreiling is a two-time All-American at linebacker. Brown earned a first-team selection as a kick returner.

Pitt State’s Cody Holland, a junior from Neosho, earned honorable mention honors as an offensive lineman.

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