Pair of MSU Grid Newcomers Named to National All-Freshman Team
Jan. 20, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Two Missouri State football Bears, Zack Cooley (RFr., OT, Lebanon, Mo.) and Mike Crutcher (RFr., S, Wentzville, Mo.) are part of the first College Sports Journal All-Freshman Team, the CSJ released this week.
The squad of 40 newcomers were selected for making significant national-scale contributions in their first year of playing college football. The 2011 team was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of FCS experts put together by College Sports Journal executive editor David Coulson and CSJ publisher and managing editor Chuck Burton.
Cooley -- a 6-5, 284-pound offensive lineman -- started all 11 games at left tackle for the Bears in 2011. He had an assignment grade of 98 percent for the season and an execution grade of 75 percent. His overall season grade of 82 percent was highlighted by 57 knock-down blocks. Cooley was named MSU Offensive Lineman of the Week on Oct. 22.
Crutcher -- a 6-2, 198-pound safety -- also started all 11 games this season. He was one of 22 finalist for the Jerry Rice Award presented to the FCS National Freshman of the Year and finished 14th in the season-end voting. He finished his freshman season with 83 total tackles, including team-high 45 solo stops. Crutcher also had one sack, one interception and broke up three passes. He finished 13th in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in total tackles (7.54) and had at least 6 tackles in 9-of-11 games. Additionally, he was named MSU Media Player of the Week on Sept. 3 for his efforts against Arkansas in the season opener.
Missouri State finished 2-9 in 2011, but ended the season with wins in two of its final four games, in addition to a double-overtime loss in that span. MSU was 2-6 in the MVFC to tie for seventh place.