More All-America honors for Tommie Football

Photo by Chico LaBarbera
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UST's Matt Christenson leaps for a TD reception in Saturday's victory.
Photo by Chico LaBarbera -- UST's Matt Christenson leaps for a TD reception in Saturday's victory.

D3Football.com news release

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St. Thomas had three seniors -- TE Matt Christenson, Austin Jochum and Isaac Seering -- among 53 named to the D3Football.com All-America team announced Friday night.

Over the last three seasons, the trio helped the Tommies win three conference titles (25-0 against MIAC opponents) and build a 37-4 overall record.

In 10 seasons under Glenn Caruso, Tommie Football now has had 20 players who have combined to receive either All-America or Academic All-America distinction a total of 33 times.

The Tommies won 10 consecutive games after their 1-1 non-conference start and recorded an 8-0 MIAC finish for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. UST's win streak came to an end with a 24-10 loss to No. 1 ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor on the road Dec. 2 in the national quarterfinal round of the playoffs -- a game tied 10-10 early in the fourth quarter.

 

 Austin Jochum

  • Foley, Minn., native, also AFCA All-America;
  • First-year starter at nose tackle, has made dramatic gains physically in both football and track and field during his college career;
  • 2017 MIAC Mike Stam Award winner as league's top offensive or defensive lineman, also first-team All-Region and first-team All-MIAC;
  • Had 33 tackles, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble, 15.5 tackles for loss (6.5 sacks) this season;
  • In 35 games over the last three seasons helped team record a 38-4 record and collected 30.5 tackles for loss (11.5 sacks) among 56 tackles;
  • Had one solo sack and two half sacks against St. John's in this year's 20-17 win, a sack and forced fumble against Concordia, and a sack among two tackles for loss at unbeaten Mary Hardin-Baylor;
  • Was Tommies' first line of defense against the run, and that unit allowed just 21.9 rushing yards per game, a total no NCAA team at any level has matched in the last 16 seasons;
  • UST defense allowed 0.7 yards per rushing attempt and held eight of 13 opponents to 15 or less rushing yards;
  • Also an accomplished thrower in track and field, he helped Tommies win three MIAC team titles in both the 2016 and 2017 calendar years;
  • Had 2017 throwing bests as a junior of 184-5 in the hammer (outdoors), which ranked 21st in D-III (11th among non seniors), and 58-8 1-2 in the weight throw (indoors), 17th in D-III (10th among non seniors);
  • Academic all-conferece honoree, has 3.52 grade-point average in Exercise Science.

 

Isaac Seering

  • Green Bay, Wis., native, also made first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America for 2017;
  • Received first- or second-team all-conference honors each of last three seasons a starting safety;
  • Over his four-year career, finished with 159 tackles; four interceptions (one touchdown); two forced fumbles; one recovered fumble; 13 pass break-ups; and 6.5 tackles for loss;
  • Helped the 2017 Toms post an 11-2 record and advance to the national playoff quarterfinal round;
  • Was part of a defensive unit that led all 660 NCAA teams in fewest yards allowed, fewest rushing yards allowed and fewest first downs allowed, and also ranked in the top seven in pass efficiency defense and scoring defense;
  • Has a 3.92 grade-point average, with a major in Marketing Management and a minor in Spanish. He's been voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team three times and wil make the conference All-Academic team three times.

 

Matt Christenson

  • Nicollet, Minn., native, All-MIAC, All-Region, three-year starter, excellent blocker;
  • Had 29 catches for 421 yards and six touchdowns this season, including 31-yard TD reception against St. John's;
  • Had 13 postseason catches in last three seasons, one TD;
  • Career: 36 receptions, 504 yards, nine TD catches;
  • Helped the Tommie offense average more than 47 points a game and score 75 offensive TDs, tied with the Oklahoma Sooners for third most among all 660 NCAA teams; UST offense had an impressive balance with 258 passing yards and 208 rushing yards per contest, plus 23 first downs a game.
  • St. Thomas led all Division II and III teams in offensive plays (1,015), including a school-record 97 in a playoff win over previously-unbeaten Berry (Ga.);
  • UST held the ball for nearly 39:00 of 60:00 in the Target Field win over top-10 ranked St. John's, and more than 41:00 against Berry.
  • The Toms led all NCAA teams in fourth-down conversions (34); and was second by one in fourth-down conversion attempts with 57.