BAY CITY, Mi. The Michigan Tech football team had 10 players receive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postseason honors, announced by the conference office on Tuesday. Junior wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick and senior punter Michael James were named to the All-GLIAC First Team while senior defensive lineman Garrett Ross and junior linebacker Marvin Wright earned spots on the All-GLIAC Second Team. In addition, six Huskies were picked as All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honorees.
Wenzlick, who hails from Meridian, Michigan, 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 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. He closed the 2018 campaign with 1,806 all-purpose yards and was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree following the 2017 season.
James, from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, earned a spot on the first 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.
Ross, a native of Waterford, Michigan, ended the year as one of the top defensive linemen in the GLIAC. 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.
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. There number were 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 an All-GLIAC Honorable Mentions selection following the 2017 campaign.
Graham Hubbell, Seth Malcolm, Jordan Ferguson, Ben Hartley, Xavier Ciardo, and Travis Tidwell were selected as All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honorees.
Hubbell, a senior linebacker 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.
Malcolm, a senior offensive lineman 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.
Ferguson, a sophomore fullback from Alpena, Michigan, played key roles on the offense in terms of lead blocking, grinding out first down runs in short yardage situations, and catching passes out of the backfield. Ferguson ran the ball 12 times and caught four passes for the Huskies in 2018 while clearing space for 1,307 total rushing yards for the Tech offense. Ferguson was also an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention selection following the 2017 season.
Hartley, a junior from West Branch, Michigan, had a breakout year for the Huskies in 2018. Hartley was second on the team in total receptions (44) and reception yards with 597. He shared the team lead in touchdown catches with Wenzlick as each player pulled down four this season. Hartley also completed three passes for 168 yards, with two of the completions going to the house for touchdowns. One of the TD's was a 67-yard strike to Wenzlick in the opener at Truman State. Hartley will go into his senior year in 2019 with 743 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches.
Ciardo, a junior from Kenosha, Wisconsin, had a breakout year as well, establishing a career high 41 tackles, two sacks, and seven tackles for a loss for the Huskies in 2018. Ciardo played in all 10 games and added a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and two pass breakups to his tackle totals.
Tidwell, a junior defensive back from Detroit, Michigan, was fourth on the team in tackles this season with 56 over the course of 10 games. Tidwell also posted 1.5 tackles for a loss, had four pass breakups and one interception; the fifth of his career. Tidwell now owns 197 career tackles, seven tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and 24 pass breakups in 31 games as a Husky. Tidwell was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention each of the past two seasons and was named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2016.