Eight MTU Football Players receive conference honors

Huskies fare well on First Tesm Defense
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 3:04 PM EST
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WLUC) - Eight members of the Michigan Technological University football team have been named all-conference by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference office announced on Thursday. Defensive linemen Sam Kinne and Nate LaJoie garnered First-Team All-GLIAC, while Braxton BlackwellMichael Bates Jr.Jordan JanssenMarvin WrightHayden Huttula, and Drew Wyble were named to the Second Team at their respective positions.

Honorable mention all-GLIAC players included quarterback Will Ark, defensive back John Paramski, wide receiver Darius Willis, defensive lineman Austin Schlicht, and wide receiver Hunter Richards. The Huskies finished 6-4 overall, including 5-2 in conference matchups in 2021.

Last season, LaJoie (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) led the GLIAC in sacks (8.5) and was an All-GLIAC First Team selection as well as Don Hansen All-Super Region 3 and Division II All-American. This season as a senior, LaJoie returned to his post as starting nose tackle and had another strong campaign. In 10 games, LaJoie made 29.0 tackles (10 solo), 5.5 sacks, six tackles for loss (for 19 opponent yards lost), and forced two fumbles. He averaged 2.9 tackles per game.

Kinne (Metamora, Michigan) started all 10 games as a sophomore. After recording 31 tackles as a freshman, Kinne posted 43 tackles (15 solo) for 4.3 tackles per game. He also made 3.0 sacks for 19 lost yards and 4.5 tackles for loss for 26 yards. Kinne also broke up one pass and forced one fumble.

Defensive back Braxton Blackwell (South Lyon, Michigan) finished second on the team in total tackles (74.0) and first in solo tackles (32) in his junior campaign. Blackwell posted 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, broke up eight passes (team high), and recovered one fumble. Blackwell also picked up one interception and returned it 11 yards.

Bates Jr. (Dearborn, Michigan) patrolled the middle of the field and captured a team-leading four interceptions for the Huskies. Bates Jr.’s most memorable interception for a touchdown went for 100 yards after a deflection against Northwood University. He finished seventh in total tackles (44.0) with 2.5 tackles for loss, and five passes broken up. He also made one fumble recovery.

Janssen (Kimberly, Wisconsin) was Ark’s most frequent passing target this season. He made 44 receptions for 524 yards and four touchdowns and averaged 11.9 yards per catch. Janssen also started all 10 games and had a season-long 43-yard reception.

Wright made 73 tackles (third on the team) in a triumphant return this season for MTU. The senior averaged 7.3 tackles per game with 4.5 tackles for loss (15 yards). Wright also managed a pair of sacks for 12 lost yards and one blocked kick.

Huttula (Hartland, Michigan) garnered second-team honors after remaining the Huskies rock under center again this season. Huttula, a team captain helped the Huskies pass for 281.4 yards per game and pick up 17.1 first downs per outing. Huttula was a First Team All-GLIAC player in 2019 after the Huskies averaged 140.9 yards rushing and 216.8 yards through the air.

Wyble (Marquette, Michigan) was one of the conference’s best kickers as a freshman this season. In 10 games, he converted 9 of 11 field goals (82-percent) with a season-long 35-yard strike against Wayne State. Under pressure, Wyble split the uprights on a 22-yard field goal to lift the Huskies over the Warriors in Detroit on the final play of the game. Wyble also made 23 of 24 extra points (96-percent), earned GLIAC special teams player of the week, and averaged 34.3 yards on 36 punts with five punts landing inside the 20 yard line.

Among honorable mention players, freshman Austin Schlicht tied for second in the conference in sacks and quarterback Will Ark passed for 14 touchdown and 7 interceptions for 1,715 yards as a junior. John Paramski led the team with 78.0 total tackles with a pair of sacks, four tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries.

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