South Dakota State University offensive lineman Mitch Erickson has earned a spot on The Associated Press Division I-AA All-America Third Team.
A 6-foot-6, 290-pound junior from Hutchinson, Minn., Erickson has started every game in his Jackrabbit career. He has earned all-Great West Football Conference first-team honors each of the last two seasons, splitting time between guard and tackle during the 2006 season.
Erickson anchored an offensive line which allowed the Jackrabbits to average 342 yards of total offense a game. SDSU finished the season with a 7-4 record, including a runner-up finish in the Great West Football Conference.
Erickson's selection marks the third consecutive season a Jackrabbit player has earned All-America honors at the Division I-AA (now Championship Subdivision) level. Linebacker Chris Coauette earned second-team recognition from Don Hansen's Football Gazette in 2004 and kicker Parker Douglass was a third-team selection by both The Sports Network and Football Gazette in 2005.
Associated Press All-America First Team Offense
Quarterback - Tyler Thigpen, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, senior, Coastal Carolina.
Running Backs - Marcus Mason, 5-9, 215, senior, Youngstown State; Arkee Whitlock, 5-10, 195, senior, Southern Illinois.
Wide Receivers - David Ball, 6-2, 200, senior, New Hampshire; Alex Watson, 5-10, 180, junior, Northern Arizona.
Tight end - Ben Patrick, 6-4, 270, senior, Delaware.
Offensive Linemen - Kerry Brown, 6-6, 285, junior, Appalachian State; Matt Isenhour, 6-1, 275, senior, Appalachian State; Ed McCarthy, 6-5, 300, senior, Yale; Alex Miller, 6-2, 290, junior, Massachusetts; Brennan Carvalho, 6-1, 310, junior, Portland State.
Kicker - Dan Carpenter, 6-2, 211, junior, Montana.
All-Purpose - Steven Whitehead, 5-8, 170, junior, McNeese State.
Associated Press All-America First Team Defense
Defensive Linemen - Marques Murrell, 6-2, 245, senior, Appalachian State; Matt King, 6-3, 240, senior, Maine; Bryan Smith, 6-3, 217, junior, McNeese State; Edgar Jones, 6-5, 250, senior, Southeast Missouri State.
Linebackers - Justin Durant, 6-2, 230, senior, Hampton; Cameron Siskowic, 6-2, 225, senior, Illinois State; Adam Hayward, 6-0, 235, senior, Portland State.
Defensive Backs - Jeremy Wiggins, 5-9, 190, senior, Appalachian State; Dre Dokes, 5-9, 162, senior, Northern Iowa; James Ihedigbo, 6-1, 202, senior, Massachusetts; Jonathan Barsi, 6-1, 205, senior, UC Davis.
Punter - Breck Ackley, 5-10, 165, senior, Southern.
Second Team Offense
Quarterback - Jason Murrietta, senior, Northern Arizona.
Running Backs - Steve Baylark, senior, Massachusetts; Pierre Rembert, senior, Illinois State.
Wide Receivers - Terrell Hudgins, freshman, Elon; Jerome Simpson, junior, Coastal Carolina.
Tight End - Patrick Bugg, senior, Eastern Kentucky.
Offensive Linemen - Ryan Jewell, senior, Youngstown State; Chad Rinehart, junior, Northern Iowa; Nate Safe, junior, North Dakota State; Jon Reuter, junior, Eastern Illinois; Brad Poston, senior, Coastal Carolina.
Kicker - Rob Zarrilli, senior, Hofstra.
All-Purpose - Derrick Harris, senior, Sam Houston State.
Second Team Defense
Defensive Linemen - Kory Biermann, junior, Montana; Brian Johnston, junior, Gardner-Webb; Kevin Winston, senior, James Madison; Mike Murphy, senior, Montana.
Linebackers - Akeem Jordan, senior, James Madison; Chad Nkang, junior, Elon; Kyle Shotwell, senior, Cal Poly.
Defensive Backs - Stacey Thomas, senior, Texas Southern; Quinton Teal, senior, Coastal Carolina; Tony LeZotte, junior, James Madison; Jason Perry, senior, Youngstown State.
Punter - David Simonhoff, senior, Southeast Missouri State.
Third Team Offense
Quarterback - Josh Johnson, junior, San Diego.
Running Backs - Justise Hairston, senior, Central Connecticut; Kevin Richardson, junior, Appalachian State.
Wide Receivers - Maurice Price, junior, Charleston Southern; Bruce Hocker, junior, Duquesne.
Tight End - Daniel Bettis, senior, Appalachian State.
Offensive Linemen - Corey Davis, senior, James Madison; Jackie Skipper, senior, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Mitch Erickson, junior, South Dakota State; Alex Atkins, senior, Tennessee-Martin; Mike Saint Germain, senior, Lafayette.
Kicker - Blake Bercegeay, sophomore, McNeese State.
All-Purpose - Nick Ruhe, senior, Dayton.
Third Team Defense
Defensive Linemen - Eric Bakhtiari, junior, San Diego; Tory Collins, senior, Northwestern State; Roy Ravenell, senior, Furman; Chris White, senior, Cal Poly.
Linebackers - Zak DeOssie, senior, Brown; Mike Gallihugh, junior, Colgate; Chris Hunsaker, senior, Northern Arizona.
Defensive backs - Codera Jackson, senior, Youngstown State; Tristan Burge, senior, Eastern Illinois; Keldrick Holman, senior, Stephen F. Austin; Kenny Chicoine, senior, Cal Poly.
Punter - Benjamin Dato, junior, Fordham.