St. Thomas rising senior center Matt Beck is among 25 players named to the 2018 D3Football.com Preseason All-America team announced Monday.
As a junior, Beck was among 50 honored as Associated Press Division III Little All-America for 2017. That was the 11th on-field All-America award for a Tommie offensive lineman (seventh for a center) in the 10-year Glenn Caruso era.
Beck and his offensive line mates helped the Tommies 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. He helped the 2017 Toms post an 11-2 record and advance to the national playoff quarterfinal round.
Despite first-year starters at quarterback and wide receiver -- plus an injury that knocked out All-America running back Jordan Roberts -- the Tommie 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.
The Toms start on-field practices Aug. 13 and start their season Sept. 1 against Trinity (Ill.) International.