Henderson & Wagenmann Named to Preseason All-America Team

By DAVE GUFFEY

The University of Montana’s Ellis Henderson and Zack Wagenmann were both named to The Sports Network’s 2014 preseason All-America second team, that organization announced today (Tuesday, July 1).

A 6-0, 185-pound junior from Portland, Ore., last season Henderson was named to the prestigious preseason team as an “all-purpose” player.  Last season he led the Grizzlies with team-highs of 43 receptions for 1,008 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, and was also ranked among the top return men in the FCS.

A year ago, Henderson was named second team All-Big Sky Conference at wide receiver and as a return specialist.  His 14 touchdown grabs were the third most in the FCS in 2013, and he was seventh in the nation in punt returns; 19th in all-purpose yards; and 39th in kickoff return average.

Ellis Henderson

Ellis Henderson. Photo courtesy of University ofMontana.

Last season, Wagenmann, a 6-3 ½, 255-pound senior defensive end from Missoula, was ranked among the Big Sky leaders in sacks (third, with 8.5) and tackles for loss (tied for third with 16.5).  He was ranked 27th in the FCS in tackles for loss, averaging 1.3 per game.  He was fifth on the team with 64 tackles.  He was a first team all-league selection for the second straight season.

The 2014 preseason All-America squad included 101 players from 59 different schools, and all 13 FCS conferences.

Zack Wagenmann

Zack Wagenmann. Photo courtesy of University ofMontana.

Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams, a junior who was the Walter Payton Award runner-up a year ago, was one of 33 2013 All-Americans to be selected to this year’s preseason team, and one of five from EWU, which tied for the most selections by a school with Fordham.

Seven players returned to the first team after receiving top postseason honors last season. They were EWU’s Cooper Kupp, South Dakota State senior running back Zach Zenner, Southern Illinois senior tight end MyCole Pruitt, Eastern Illinois senior offensive lineman Collin Seibert, Southeastern Louisiana sophomore kickoff returner Xavier Roberson, Norfolk State senior linebacker Lynden Trail and Missouri State senior safety Caleb Schaffitzel.

Zenner will pursue a third straight season with over 2,000 rushing yards, which hasn’t been done on the FCS level. He finished sixth in the 2013 Payton Award voting.

Other first-team selections on offense were Northern Iowa running back David Johnson; Towson fullback Emmanuel Holder; New Hampshire wide receiver R.J. Harris; offensive linemen Robert Booker of Missouri State, Antoine Everett of McNeese State, Max Holcombe of Jacksonville State and Jack Rummells of Northern Iowa; all-purpose selection Rob Hollomon of Central Connecticut State; and Southern Illinois senior place-kicker Thomas Kinney. All are seniors except Holder and Booker, a pair of juniors.

The first team on defense also consisted of defensive ends Zach Hodges of Harvard and Davis Tull of Chattanooga, defensive tackles O.J. Mau of Gardner- Webb and Troy Moore of Sacred Heart, linebackers Quinn Backus of Coastal Carolina and Tony Bell of UT Martin, cornerbacks Harlan Miller of

Southeastern Louisiana and Tye Smith of Towson, Tennessee State safety Daniel Fitzpatrick, Portland State punter Kyle Loomis, Illinois State long snapper Chris Highland and North Carolina Central punt returner Adrian Wilkins. Mau, Miller and Wilkins are juniors; the rest are seniors.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference, home to three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State, had the most first-team selections with eight, while its 13 overall selections tied with the Big Sky Conference for the second-highest total behind CAA Football’s 15.

Eastern Illinois and Southeastern Louisiana had four selections each, and eight other schools, including North Dakota State, collected three each.

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