Mount Union Defensive Back Nick Driskill Named AP Little All-America and National Defensive Player of the Year

Mount Union defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) was named to the first team of the Associated Press Little All-America Team and the National Defensive Player of the Year. 

It's the fifth consecutive year a Purple Raider had made the AP Little All-America first team which includes players from NCAA Division II and II along with the NAIA.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, now playing for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, was a first-team selection in 2009 and 2010. Running back Nate Kmic was on the 2008 first team. Defensive back Matt Kostelnik was first team in 2007. There was no first-teamer in 2006, but the Purple Raiders had a first-team pick in 2005 (cornerback Ross Watson).

Driskill had 113 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, four interceptions, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and nine passes defensed for the nation's top ranked defense.

Driskill was also selected as National Defensive Player of the Year by and was one of five Mount Union players named All-American.

He was joined on the first team by senior offensive lineman Brett Ekkens (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) and junior defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region).

Also selected was senior offensive lineman Antonio Tate (Cleveland/Villa Angela St. Joseph) to the second team and senior defensive back Alex Ferrara (Independence/Walsh Jesuit) was named to honorable mention.

Ekkens and Tate were the anchors on an offensive line that had a 1,700-yard rusher, two quarterbacks combine for over 3,000 yards passing and allowed only 17 sacks in 15 games while the offense scored over 36 points per game.

Dieuseul had team-highs with 20.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles while he was third on the team in total tackles with 78.

Ferrara had 47 stops and three interceptions as the defense had 30 interceptions on the season.  He was also a finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy given to the top all-around football player in NCAA Division III.