Named to squad released by Phil Steele Publications, Eagle linebacker ranked 31st in FCS with 136 tackles
Junior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin is the sixth Eastern Washington University football player to earn NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America honors from the 2012 season, as he was named a fourth team selection by Phil Steele Publications.
Besides Hamlin, wide receiver Brandon Kaufman and senior kicker Jimmy Pavel were both first team All-America picks by Phil Steele Publications, which annually produces the FCS Preview Magazine.
Twice a Big Sky Conference Player of the Week in the 2012 season, Hamlin ended the year as a first team All-BSC selection. He had 136 tackles in 2012 to rank fifth in school history, and his average of 9.71 per game ranked 31st in FCS and fourth in the Big Sky.
He had four performances of at least 11 tackles, including 15 in Eastern’s 27-24 win at Big Sky co-champion Montana State on Oct. 13. He also had a key interception in that game to earn Root Sports Defensive Player of the Week as selected by the Big Sky and national FCS recognition as one of four College Sporting News National All Stars.
Hamlin was also honored by the Big Sky as player of the week after finishing with eight tackles and a pass broken up in a season-opening 20-3 victory over Idaho.
A 20-game starter for the Eagles, Hamlin has 221 tackles already in his 24-game EWU career to rank 22nd in school history.
After having his first two seasons (2009 and 2010) wiped out because of knee injuries, Hamlin will eventually apply to the NCAA to receive his sixth year. In anticipation of that appeal, he will be listed as a junior again on EWU’s roster in the 2013 season.
There were nine All-America teams announced in 2012, and Eastern had players on eight of them. Kaufman and Pavel earned recognition from seven of the nine squads. The All-America teams include the American Football Coaches Association, The Sports Network, Associated Press, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, College Sporting News, College Sports Journal, Beyond Sports College Network, Phil Steele Publications and College Sports Madness.
EWU All-America Honors in 2012 . . .
Six Eagles received All-America accolades in the 2012 season, plus three redshirt freshmen were honored for their outstanding debut seasons at EWU. First team All-America honors were won by junior wide receiver Brandon Kaufman, senior offensive tackle Will Post, senior kicker Jimmy Pavel and junior cornerback T.J. Lee. Senior defensive end Jerry Ceja earned second team accolades and junior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin was a fourth team pick.
Post was honored by the American Football Coaches Association (first team), Associated Press (first team) and Beyond Sports College Network (second team), and was also on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” squad.
Kaufman was selected to All-America teams picked by College Sports Journal (first team), College Sports Madness (first team), Beyond Sports College Network (first team), Phil Steele Publications (first team), The Sports Network (second team) and Associated Press (second team), and was also on CSN’s “Fabulous 50” team.
Pavel was also a “Fabulous 50” pick by CSN, and earned additional All-America honors from College Sports Journal (first team), Beyond Sports College Network (first team), Phil Steele Publications (first team), The Sports Network (second team), Associated Press (third team) and College Sports Madness (third team).
Lee was honored by The Sports Network (second team) and was on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” squad. Ceja was on the College Sports Madness All-America squad (second team) and Hamlin was honored by Phil Steele Publications (fourth team).
In addition, College Sporting News included quarterback Vernon Adams as FCS Freshman of the Year on its “Fabulous 50” list. The College Sports Journal also selected a Freshman All-America team, and Adams was joined on that squad by safety Jordan Tonani and return specialist Shaquille Hill.
More on Brandon Kaufman . . .
As he prepares for the NFL Draft in April, Brandon Kaufman will train in Orlando, Fla., along with fellow Eagle wide receiver Greg Herd, who was a senior in 2012. Kaufman is just 20 credits shy of graduating from EWU, and will continue to take classes this winter online. Kaufman and Herd are being represented by Cameron Foster and the Foster Easley Sports Management Group of Seattle. Kaufman, who is from Denver, Colo., and is a 2009 graduate of Heritage HS, finished his 42-game career with 221 catches (third in school history, seventh in Big Sky history) for 3,731 yards (second all-time at EWU, fourth in the Big Sky and 19th in FCS) and 33 touchdowns (second in school history). He earned the 2012 FCS Wide Receiver Award from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), and was selected to seven All-America teams picked by College Sports Journal (first team), College Sports Madness (first team), Beyond Sports College Network (first team), Phil Steele Publications (first team), The Sports Network (second team) and Associated Press (second team), as well as the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” A-A squad. An All-American in 2010 as well, Kaufman was a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection in both 2012 and 2010. Kaufman broke the FCS record for single season receiving yards in EWU’s 45-42 loss in the FCS Playoffs to Sam Houston State on Dec. 15. He finished the season with 1,850 yards (93 receptions and 16 TD) to break the record of 1,712 previously held by Eddie Conti of Delaware in 1998. Kaufman averaged 19.9 yards per catch with a long of 93 yards, and ranked second in FCS in receiving yards per game (132.1) in 2012. Kaufman finished the Sam Houston State game with nine catches for a career-high 215 yards and three touchdowns, with his yardage ranking fifth in school history. A week earlier, Kaufman broke the Big Sky Conference record for single season receiving yards during EWU’s 51-35 victory over Illinois State. He finished with nine catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns, and his 17-yard TD catch in the third quarter gave EWU a 38-17 lead and broke the previous Big Sky record of 1,525 set by Weber State’s Tim Toone in 2008. Earlier in the game, Kaufman broke the school record of 1,453 set by Eric Kimble in 2004. On single season lists, Kaufman’s 93 catches ranks second in school history (behind the school-record 95 that teammate Nicholas Edwards had in 2011), fifth in the Big Sky and 28th in FCS. His 16 touchdowns are third all-time at EWU and his average of 19.9 yards per catch was fifth in EWU history. In his last four games of the season, Kaufman had 37 catches for 741 yards (20.0 per catch) with six scores. Kaufman went over the 100-yard mark 11 times in the 2012 season and 19 times in his career. Because of hand and knee injuries requiring surgery, Kaufman received an injury redshirt in the 2011 season after playing in the first four games of the year. He caught 76 passes for 1,214 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010 to help EWU to a 13-2 record and the NCAA Division I Championship.
More on Jimmy Pavel . . .
Senior kicker Jimmy Pavel was selected to seven All-America teams in 2012 after earning first team All-Big Sky Conference accolades. He was a “Fabulous 50” pick by College Sporting News, and earned additional All-America honors from College Sports Journal (first team), Beyond Sports College Network (first team), Phil Steele Publications (first team), The Sports Network (second team), Associated Press (third team) and College Sports Madness (third team). An impressive 17-of-19 kicking field goals in the 2012 season, Pavel ranked 25th in FCS with an average of 1.21 field goals per game. His .895 percentage was the best in FCS among kickers with at least 14 attempts. He made a 20-yard field goal against Illinois State on Dec. 8 to earn sole possession of EWU’s single season school record with 17 for the season. His 45-yard field goal against UC Davis on Nov. 10 equaled the record of 16 set one season earlier by Mike Jarrett. Pavel made kicks of 45 and 23 yards against Southern Utah on Oct. 27 to improve to 13-of-13 on the year, but missed his first attempt of the season on a 37-yarder that would have broken a 27-27 tie with 2:51 left in the game. His other miss was a 32-yarder in the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs against Sam Houston State on Dec. 15. Pavel, who handled kickoff duties in 2011 after transferring from Boise State University, took over placekicking duties from Jarrett, who made a school-record 16 field goals in just 18 attempts as a senior in 2011. Pavel missed his only attempt in the 2011 season, a 52-yarder. Thus, including a field goal Kevin Miller made earlier in the 2012 season, the Eagles have made 34 of 39 field goal attempts the last two seasons for 87.2 percent. Pavel, who is from Molalla, Ore., and graduated from Central Catholic High School in 2008, also assumed part of EWU’s punting duties the final four games. He finished with a 41.2 average on 20 punts with three downed inside the opponent 20-yard line.