Bears' Tight End named Gateway All-Conference First Team
Clay Harbor, who in 2007 turned in the best single season receiving totals of any tight end in school football history, is the lone Missouri State player on the 2007 Gateway Football Conference all-conference first team, as announced Tuesday by the league office.
Harbor, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore from Dwight, Ill., was voted to first team status while Bears’ teammates David Arkin and Nathan Stokes were named to the second team. Arkin is a redshirt freshman offensive guard and Stokes, a senior, was selected to the second team as a punter and was also on the honorable mention list as a placekicker. The Bears’ other three honorable mention picks included defensive backs Marcus Colbert and Roger Wright and tailback Gerald Davis.
The all-conference teams are selected through voting of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives from each of the seven Gateway cities.
Harbor, who grabbed six passes for 73 yards and one touchdown as a Missouri State freshman in 2006, had a breakout year in 2007 with 45 receptions, 647 receiving yards and three touchdowns. His receptions total is the seventh best single season figure on record at MSU and his yardage total ranks 10th but everyone ahead of him on both lists was a wide receiver and there’s not a tight end in the top 15 seasons in either category. After catching one pass in each of the Bears’ first two games this past season, Harbor had three or more receptions in each of the last nine games, including seven against Southern Illinois and six each vs. Illinois State and Southeast Missouri State. His top yardage outing came against Indiana State when he had 106 yards receiving, and he topped 50 yards in eight of the last nine games.
Stokes repeated his second team selection as a punter, finishing as runner-up in the league in that department in 2007 after leading the league’s punters in 2006. The senior from Ozark, Mo., set a new MSU career record for punting average at 42.3 through this year. He tied the single season MSU record with 49 PAT conversions and added eight field goals for 73 total points. Arkin, a product of Wichita, Kan., was the Gateway Offensive Lineman of the Week twice during the season, was the Bears’ top-graded blocker in eight of 11 weeks and is the first Missouri State freshman to gain any type of all-conference selection in the Gateway since LB Corky Martin in 1997.
Colbert and Gerald Davis were two of the Bears’ four co-captains in 2007 and Davis set new MSU single season records for touchdowns rushing and total touchdown as he scored 19 times while leading the Bears in rushing with 830 yards.
The 2007 Bears finished with a 6-5 record in Terry Allen’s second season at Missouri State and tied for fifth in the Gateway. Two league schools--Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois--will be competing this weekend in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.