Football All- Americans at Gannon


USA College Football All-America teams just got two new players. Gannon’s own Mike Zanders, a junior defensive back, was named to the first team, and Joshua Wiechelt, a redshirt senior linebacker, was named to the second team.
Both men earned a spot on the list for their performance on the field this past season. Zanders, a three-year starter, adds this first All-America award to his already packed resume.
The defensive back is a three-time all-region selection, having received the selection from the Don Hansen Football Gazette in his last two seasons, and he also landed a spot on the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA) All-Super Region One first team in December.
Zanders twice has been selected to the All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference first team. In addition, he is a first-team honoree on the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
This season alone Zanders posted 95 tackles, 43 of which were solo, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, five interceptions, seven pass break-ups and 12 passes defended. He returned one interception for a touchdown in a game at Seton Hill in the last 38 seconds to lock up a 43-28 victory.
Zanders led the PSAC in interceptions per game with .5, ranking him 22nd among all NCAA Division II players, ranked sixth in total tackles per game and hit double digits in tackles on three separate occasions this season.
Zanders now finds a home in Gannon’s all-time top five with his 10th career interception during the regular-season finale. He ranks seventh all-time at Gannon with 262 tackles.
This is also Wiechelt’s first All-America award after receiving his first all-conference accolades in November.
The linebacker from Depew, N.Y., led the Golden Knights in total tackles with 109 and tackles for a loss with eight. Wiechelt also posted four pass break-ups, one sack and a forced fumble.
Wiechelt also wound up with the sixth-highest single-season tackle total in the program’s history, coming within 11 of the school record.
On six occasions, the redshirt senior had double-digit tackles, including his season-high 16 during the opener at Southern Connecticut State. During his senior year, Wiechelt doubled his career total after laying down 111 tackles in his last three campaigns. He led the PSAC in tackles per game and ranked 34th among all NCAA Division II players.
In Gannon’s record books, Wiechelt ranks 15th all-time with 220 career tackles. His football resume includes 23 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, eight passes defended, one forced and recovered fumble each.
The team finished 6-5 overall, marking its third consecutive winning season and 13th overall in program history. This is a special season for Gannon because it is the football program’s longest streak of winning seasons since 1992-95, when they had four straight.
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