By Travis Morgan
(Sioux City, Iowa) – Morningside College's Joel Nixon, a 6-0, 205 lb. senior quarterback from Wakefield, Neb., has been named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Offensive Player of the Year to highlight the Mustangs' representatives on the 2012 All-GPAC Football Team as selected by the league's head coaches.
Nixon, a converted wide receiver, has excelled in his first season as the Mustangs' starting quarterback and was named the GPAC Offensive Player of the Week four times during the regular season. He is the NAIA national leader with a pass efficiency rating of 185.1 and is second in the nation with an average of 328.3 yards total offense per game and sixth with an average of 276.7 yards passing per game. He has completed 180 of 279 pass attempts (64.5 percent) for 2,767 yards and 37 touchdowns. His 2,767 yards passing is the sixth highest single-season total in school history and his 37 touchdown passes are four shy of the Morningside record of 41 TD passes in a season set by Craig Fobbe in 2005 and matched by Ian Gilworth in 2008. Aside from his passing exploits, Nixon is also the Mustangs' leading rusher with 516 yards in 94 attempts for an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
Northwestern's Jordan Carlson (Storm Lake, Iowa), senior defensive lineman, was named defensive player of the year. Seven Northwestern players were named to the first team and a total of 20 Red Raiders earned postseason honors.
Carlson, a 2011 NAIA/AFCA All-American and 2012 BSN preseason All-American, led the Red Raider defense with 59.5 tackles, including 38 solo stops and 18 for a loss of 73 yards. A repeat first-team all-GPAC selection, Carlson led the GPAC with nine sacks, ranking eighth in the NAIA, and forced five fumbles to go with 14 quarterback hurries. Carlson is the first Northwestern player to earn the top defensive honor since Nathan Jansen in 2008.
Position Name School Class Hometown
QB Joel Nixon Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
RB Brandon Smith Northwestern Sr. Mankato, Minn.
RB Josh Endres Dakota Wesleyan Sr. Ethan, S.D.
RB Theo Bartman Northwestern Jr. Rock Valley, Iowa
WR Bryce Harshman Briar Cliff Sr. Tucson, Ariz.
WR Tyrone Curry Doane Sr. Lincoln, Neb.
WR Kyle Schuck Morningside Jr. Cherokee, Iowa
SLOT Joel McCabe Morningside Jr. Jefferson, S.D.
TE Austin Klett Morningside Jr. Everly, Iowa
OL Nathan Nieuwendorp Northwestern Sr. Orange City, Iowa
OL Dillon Carmichael Doane Jr. Loomis, Neb.
OL Cole Albright Morningside Sr. Bronson, Iowa
OL Nathan Little Dakota Wesleyan Sr. Aberdeen, S.D.
OL Tanner Paxton Hastings So. Lincoln, Neb.
OL Wil Van't Hof Northwestern Sr. Alvord, Iowa
Position Name School Class Hometown
DL Jordan Carlson Northwestern Sr. Storm Lake, Iowa
DL Russell Walton Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. Franklin, Neb.
DL Marcus Smith Morningside Sr. Crete, Neb.
DL Phil Latimer Nebraska Wesleyan So. Broomfield, Colo.
DL Ethan Lensch Northwestern Sr. Glidden, Iowa
DB Jared Goforth Morningside Sr. Polk City, Iowa
DB Colby Henderson Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
DB Darnell Woods Concordia Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
DB Cody Eiler Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. O'Neill, Neb.
DB Nick Carlson Midland Sr. Tucson, Ariz.
LB Chris Calvillo Morningside Sr. Sioux City, Iowa
LB Aaron Jansen Northwestern Sr. Orange City
LB Brett Kaczor Nebraska Wesleyan Sr. Ewing, Neb.
LB Jeremy Wallace Doane Jr. Omaha, Neb.
LB Aaron Roberg Morningside Jr. Grand Island, Neb.
K Kenny Zoeller Concordia Sr. Houston, Tex.
P Kelby Vandenberg Nebraska Wesleyan Jr. David City, Neb.
KRS Colby Henderson Morningside Sr. Wakefield, Neb.
PRS Derek Blessing Concordia Jr. Ogallala, Neb.
Joel Nixon, Morningside (Quarterback)
Jordan Carlson, Northwestern (Defensive Lineman)
Steve Ryan, Morningside
Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Football Coach-of-the-Year:
Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Year:
Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Year:
GPAC Football First Team Special Teams 2012
GPAC Football First Team Defense 2012
GPAC Football First Team Offense 2012