Kidder Named Preseason All-American

By ERIC TABER

The accolades keep piling up for Montana senior defensive end Caleb Kidder. The Big Sky Conference preseason Defensive Player of the Year was named to the STATS FCS preseason All-America second team Monday, Aug. 1.

He is one of only nine players from the Big Sky to earn a preseason All-America nod, one of only three defensive players representing the league on the list, and the only Grizzly among nearly 100 FCS standouts to make the first, second or third team.

“It’s an honor. It’s pretty humbling to be compared to players around the nation, and I couldn’t be more excited,” says Kidder, who was also named the most feared defender in the Big Sky over the summer by Athlon Sports.

Always reaching for more, Kidder looks at his place on the second team as motivation to improve.  “I’m grateful to be on that list, but you always want to be at the top no matter what. I’ve just got to go out there are prove myself every day.”

Caleb_Kidder_UM_Football

Caleb Kidder – UM Football. Photo Courtesy ofGoGriz.com

Kidder, Montana’s leading returning tackler from 2015 and guardian of Griz legacy number 37, moves to defensive end from the defensive tackle position, where he finished 2015 as UM’s fourth-leading tackler, accounting for a massive 82 tackles at DT, 23 of which were solo tackles.

A product of Helena Capital High School, Kidder tallied a statistic in nearly every defensive category in 2015, including eight tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, three pass deflections, a fumble recovery and an interception.

Other players from around the Big Sky to earn preseason All-America honors include Eastern Washington receiver Cooper Kupp, who was paired with Kidder as the league’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year. North Dakota sophomore running back and kick returner John Santiago also earned a special teams nod after an outstanding freshman year campaign. Both Kupp and Santiago landed on the first team All-America list.

Joining Kidder on the second team are quarterback Case Cookus and receiver Emmanuel Butler of Northern Arizona, fullback Joe Protheroe of Cal Poly, linebacker Mike Needham from Southern Utah, and Ellis Onic II of Northern Colorado, who earned a special teams spot.

Wrapping up the Big Sky’s All-America representation is senior DB Xavier Coleman out of Portland State.

All told, seven opponents in Montana’s 11-game schedule will feature a preseason All-American.

The Griz open play at home on September 3 against Saint Francis, who feature two second team players in senior kicker Lance Geesey and senior kick returner Lorenzo Jerome.

UM then travels to face perennial FCS power Northern Iowa on Sept. 10. The Panthers are represented on the first team All-America list by senior defensive lineman Karter Schult.

Tickets for the upcoming Grizzly football season are now available. For more information, visit griztix.com.

STATS FCS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE
QB – Eli Jenkins, senior, 6-2, 205, Jacksonville State
RB – Chase Edmonds, junior, 5-9, 196, Fordham
RB – Kade Harrington, senior, 5-9, 190, Lamar
FB – Tyler Renew, senior, 5-11, 217, The Citadel
WR – Cooper Kupp, senior, 6-2, 210, Eastern Washington
WR – Jake Wieneke, junior, 6-4, 210, South Dakota State
TE – Eric Saubert, senior, 6-4, 242, Drake
OL – Erik Austell, junior, 6-3, 285, Charleston Southern
OL – Julie’n Davenport, senior, 6-7, 315, Bucknell
OL – Casey Dunn, senior, 6-3, 285, Jacksonville State
OL – Zack Johnson, senior, 6-4, 329, North Dakota State
OL – Corey Levin, senior, 6-5, 305, Chattanooga
DEFENSE
DL – Keionta Davis, senior, 6-4, 260, Chattanooga
DL – P.J. Hall, junior, 6-1, 280, Sam Houston State
DL – Derek Rivers, senior, 6-5, 255, Youngstown State
DL – Karter Schult, senior, 6-2, 265, Northern Iowa
LB – Andrew Ankrah, junior, 6-4, 234, James Madison
LB – Dylan Cole, senior, 6-1, 236, Missouri State
LB – Nick DeLuca, senior, 6-3, 245, North Dakota State
LB – Christian Kuntz, senior, 6-1, 220, Duquesne
DB – Casey DeAndrade, senior, 5-11, 212, New Hampshire
DB – Dee Delaney, junior, 6-1, 191, The Citadel
DB – David Jones, senior, 6-1, 187, Richmond
DB – Donald Payne, senior, 6-1, 217, Stetson
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK – Nick Dorka, junior, 6-0, 180, William & Mary
P – Chris Fraser, senior, 6-2, 211, Cornell
LS – Joshua Appel, senior, 6-2, 250, Indiana State
KR – Willie Quinn, graduate, 5-5, 145, Southern
PR – Khris Gardin, junior, 5-7, 158, North Carolina A&T
AP – John Santiago, sophomore, 5-9, 170, North Dakota

SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE
QB – Case Cookus, sophomore, 6-4, 200, Northern Arizona
RB – Kendell Anderson, senior, 5-9, 200, William & Mary
RB – Tarik Cohen, senior, 5-6, 173, North Carolina A&T
RB – De’Angelo Henderson, senior, 5-8, 205, Coastal Carolina
FB – Joe Protheroe, junior, 6-0, 225, Cal Poly
WR – Josh Barge, senior, 6-1, 178, Jacksonville State
WR – Emmanuel Butler, junior, 6-3, 210, Northern Arizona
WR – Justin Watson, junior, 6-3, 210, Penn
TE – Dallas Goedert, junior, 6-5, 245, South Dakota State
OL – Mitch Kirsch, senior, 6-6, 300, James Madison
OL – Javarius Leamon, senior, 6-7, 310, South Carolina State
OL – Brandon Parker, junior, 6-7, 279, North Carolina A&T
OL – Mark Spelman, senior, 6-3, 280, Illinois State
OL – Anton Wahrby, senior, 6-5, 300, Wofford
DEFENSE
DL – Pat Afriyie, junior, 6-2, 235, Colgate
DL – Anthony Ellis, junior, 6-1, 245, Charleston Southern
DL – Caleb Kidder, senior, 6-5, 265, Montana
DL – Tanoh Kpassagnon, senior, 6-7, 275, Villanova
DL – Greg Menard, junior, 6-2, 240, North Dakota State
LB – Kourtney Berry, senior, 6-0, 215, Alabama State
LB – Omar Howard, senior, 6-0, 231, Richmond
LB – Mike Needham, junior, 6-4, 210, Southern Utah
LB – Folarin Orimolade, senior, 5-11, 240, Dartmouth
LB – James Rentz, senior, 6-2, 245, Sacred Heart
DB – LeRoy Alexander, senior, 6-0, 195, Youngstown State
DB – Mike Basile, junior, 6-1, 200, Monmouth
DB – Trey Robinson, senior, 6-1, 212, Furman
DB – Tremon Smith, junior, 6-0, 185, Central Arkansas
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK – Lance Geesey, senior, 5-10, 180, Saint Francis
P – Keith Wrzuszczak, junior, 5-11, 194, Eastern Kentucky
LS – Joseph Smith, senior, 6-3, 200, Charleston Southern
KR – Lorenzo Jerome, senior, 6-0, 195, Saint Francis
PR – Ellis Onic II, junior, 5-6, 163, Northern Colorado
AP – Darius Hammond, senior, 5-10, 192, Charleston Southern

THIRD TEAM
OFFENSE
QB – KD Humphries, senior, 6-3, 225, Murray State
RB – Corey Avery, junior, 5-10, 190, Sam Houston State
RB – Derrick Craine, senior, 5-10, 205, Chattanooga
RB – Darius Victor, senior, 5-8, 227, Towson
FB – Lorenzo Long, senior, 5-9, 210, Wofford
WR – Brian Brown, senior, 6-1, 198, Richmond
WR – Brendan Flaherty, senior, 6-2, 200, Holy Cross
WR – Anthony Warrum, senior, 6-2, 190, Illinois State
TE – Phazahn Odom, graduate, 6-8, 245, Fordham
OL – Kyle Avaloy, senior, 6-5, 330, Illinois State
OL – Armando Bonheur, senior, 6-3, 300, Samford
OL – Sam Ekwonike, senior, 6-2, 350, Coastal Carolina
OL – Justin Lea, junior, 6-4, 295, Jacksonville State
OL – Timon Parris, junior, 6-5, 310, Stony Brook
OL – Bret Treadway, senior, 6-3, 280, Lamar
DEFENSE
DL – Isaiah Golden, junior, 6-2, 335, McNeese State
DL – Javancy Jones, senior, 6-2, 230, Jackson State
DL – Ebenezer Ogundeko, junior, 6-3, 255, Tennessee State
DL – Patrick Ricard, senior, 6-3, 285, Maine
LB – Sam Denmark, junior, 6-1, 230, Abilene Christian
LB – Chad Geter, graduate, 6-2, 253, Gardner-Webb
LB – Darius Leonard, junior, 6-3, 200, South Carolina State
LB – Nakevion Neslie, senior, 5-11, 220, Chattanooga
LB – Brett Taylor, junior, 6-2, 230, Western Illinois
DB – Jamerson Blount, senior, 6-0, 180, Samford
DB – Xavier Coleman, senior, 5-11, 190, Portland State
DB – Jihaad Pretlow, senior, 5-11, 195, Fordham
DB – Taylor Reynolds, senior, 6-0, 190, James Madison
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK – Zak Kennedy, sophomore, 6-0, 160, Youngstown State
P – Alex Knight, senior, 6-1, 199, Southeast Missouri
LS – James Fisher, junior, 6-2, 212, North Dakota State
KR – Devin Brown, senior, 5-8, 170, Coastal Carolina
PR – Christian Searles, junior, 5-9, 178, Dayton
AP – Martez Carter, junior, 5-8, 175, Grambling State
AP – Justice Shelton-Mosley, sophomore, 5-10, 170, Harvard