HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Tech football program recently announced the 2018 team awards at the annual postseason meeting. Headlining the list of honorees is junior wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick, who was named the Alan Bovard Most Valuable Player, Offensive Back of the year, and Outstanding Offensive Player.
Wenzlick, who hails from Meridian, Michigan, was recently named First Team All-GLIAC following an outstanding 2018 season. Wenzlick led the Huskies with 872 receiving yards while ranking fourth in the GLIAC this season. He shared the team lead in touchdown receptions with four, ranked third in the conference in receiving yards per game (87.2), and was second in the GLIAC in receptions per game (5.2). Wenzlick completed the season with 52 receptions, including a season long 67-yard touchdown catch in the 2018 opener at Truman State.
Wenzlick also caused havoc for opponents on special teams with his ability to return kicks. Wenzlick led the conference in both combined kick return yards (873) and in all-purpose yards per game at 180.60. His combined yardage total was third best in all of NCAA Division II while the all-purpose numbers ranked fourth in the nation. Wenzlick broke a single season school record for kickoff return yardage with 819 this season. The previous record was 778 which was set by Robert Haynes in 2007. He closed the 2018 campaign with 1,806 all-purpose yards and was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree following the 2017 season.
In the classroom, Wenzlick has been a GLIAC All-Academic Excellence/Academic Team honoree in each of the last three seasons. Wenzlick is majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech. For his combined performance on the field and in the classroom, Wenzlick was selected to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District® Football Team in NCAA Division II Super Region 3, picked by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
For the second year in a row, junior linebacker Marvin Wright was chosen for the Fred Baird Memorial Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Wright, who hails from Lansing, Michigan, registered over 95 tackles for the third consecutive season thanks to a team high 98 stops in 2018. Wright ranked second in the GLIAC in total tackles and tackles per game average at 9.8. The number was the 34th highest in NCAA Division II. Wright was also second in the conference in solo tackles per game at 4.5 and fifth in the GLIAC in tackles for a loss (1.3) each time he took the field. Wright's full stat line from this season included four sacks, a team high 12.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, four pass breakups, and one blocked punt.
Wright currently ranks sixth in the Tech record books with 296 career total tackles. The school record currently stands at 405, which is held by Nick Sturm who competed for the Huskies from 1995 to 1999. Wright will enter his senior season with 6.5 career sacks, 26.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, four interceptions, eight pass breakups, and two blocked kicks. Wright was a 2nd Team All-GLIAC honoree in 2018 and was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention selection following the 2017 campaign.
Senior Garrett Ross was named the Defensive Lineman of the Year after a solid 2018 season. Ross, a native of Waterford, Michigan, ended the year as one of the top defensive linemen in the GLIAC leading to a spot on the All-GLIAC 2nd Team. Ross powered the Huskies with six sacks and ranked second on the team in tackles for a loss with 12. He tied for third in the GLIAC in total sacks and tied for seventh in the statistical rankings for the conference in tackles for a loss. Ross racked up 39 total stops for the Huskies in the 2018 and in addition had a pair of pass breakups. Ross wrapped up his career at Tech with 82 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 26 tackles for a loss.
This year's Defensive Back of the Year honors went to senior Graham Hubbell for the second consecutive season. Hubbell, a senior from Plainwell, Michigan, ranked second on the team and third in the GLIAC in total tackles (80) and tackles per game (8.0). Forty of those total stops were of the solo variety. Hubbell also produced a half sack, 4.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in 2018. For his career, Hubbell accumulated 158 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, and eight pass breakups in 30 career contests. Hubbell was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention selection following the 2018 campaign.
Michael James was the recipient of the Daniel Dopp Memorial Outstanding Special Teams Player Award. James, a senior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, earned a spot on the All-GLIAC 1st Team as one of the top kickers in the conference and the nation. James had two punts travel over 60 yards in 2018 and averaged 40.8 yards per punt, the highest single season average in school history. He was second in the GLIAC and 35th in NCAA Division II during the regular season in average yards per punt. Following this past Saturday's game against Northwood, his career average is a school best 39.1 yards per kick over 106 kicks. Ryan VanGoethem is next with a 38.2 yards per kick average on 123 total punts.
In addition to the yardage totals, James landed 17 punts inside an opponent's 20-yard line which was second most in the GLIAC. He also forced returners to make six fair catches and only had three punts go into the end zone for touchbacks. James had 32 career punts settle inside the 20-yard line and he never had a punt blocked in 106 total tries.
Seth Malcolm was selected as the Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2018. Malcolm, a senior from Sterling Height's, Michigan, helped anchor a Michigan Tech line that scored 20.4 points and averaged 328.6 yards per game. The Huskies were fourth in the GLIAC in passing yards per contest at 197.9 and fourth in fewest tackles for a loss allowed per game (5.70). In the running game, Malcolm opened lanes for the backs who combined to rack up over 200 yards in the three games and 119 yards or more in six of the 10 contests in 2018. The Huskies averaged 130.7 yards per game rushing this season.
Senior Cody Goldsworthy was chosen as this year's Iron Man Award winner. Goldsworthy, a defensive lineman from L'Anse, Michigan, had his season cut short after two games due to injury. Goldsworthy helped guide the Huskies to a pair of wins over Truman State and Hillsdale to start the year, logging seven tackles, a half tackle for a loss, and one pass breakup. Goldsworthy wrapped up an outstanding career at Tech with 113 total tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss.
Running back Jared Smith was picked as the Freshman of the Year for 2018. Smith, who hails from Westphalia, Michigan, appeared in all 10 games for the Huskies, leading the ground attack with 577 yards and three touchdowns. Smith averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 57.7 yards on the ground each time he took the field. Smith had a season high 198 yards on 26 carries in a 23-20 win over Wayne State at home on October 13th.
Offensive lineman Jeremy Bell was picked for this year's Ted Kearly Award. The Ted Kearly Award goes to a player who exhibits passion, pride, and integrity on and off the field. Bell, a native of Negaunee, Michigan, had his 2018 season cut short due to injury, but will return for the 2019 campaign. Bell helped anchor a Michigan Tech line that scored 20.4 points and averaged 328.6 yards per game.
Senior offensive lineman Aaron Curtiss was this year's Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award honoree. Curtiss joined Malcolm and Bell to help anchor a Michigan Tech line in 2018. The Huskies were fourth in the GLIAC in passing yards per contest at 197.9 and fourth in fewest tackles for a loss allowed per game (5.70).
Senior running back Andrew Rose garnered the Omer LaJenunesse Award for Scholastic Achievement while the Offensive Scout Players of the Year were Matt Winter and Emmett Boehler. Samuel Kinne was the Defensive Scout Player of the Year for 2018.
Michigan Tech wrapped up the year 4-6, but claimed the Miner's Cup for the ninth straight season with a 35-33 victory at rival Northern Michigan in week nine of the season. The Huskies are now on the recruiting trail and making preparations for the 2019 campaign.