Six Bears Honored As All-MVFC Performers
Nov. 28, 2011
2011 All-MVFC (PDF)
ST. LOUIS -- Six Missouri State Bears have been selected to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference squad, the league announced Monday (Nov. 28) with its first round of postseason award releases.
Earning All-MVFC honors for Coach Terry Allen's Bears were first-teamer Jermaine Saffold (Sr., WR, Grandview, Mo.), second-team selections Mikel Ruder (Sr., DE, Lawrence, Kan.) and Jimmie Strong (Sr., CB, Texarkana, Texas), as well as honorable-mention picks Jordan Chiles (Sr., P, Hillsboro, Ill.), Trevor Wooden (So., QB, High Springs, Fla.) and Matt Thayer (Jr., TE, Bellevue, Neb.).
Saffold ranks 25th nationally in receiving yards per game (83.0) and grabbed 4.09 catches per game en route to breaking Missouri State's season (913) and career (2,221) yardage records for a receiver. He was a preseason All-MVFC pick this year after earning All-MVFC second-team distinction as a junior. As a senior, he finished with 45 catches for 913 yards and matched a school record with 8 receiving TDs. He set an MSU record with nine career 100-yard receiving games and was ranked in four conference categories, including scoring and all-purpose yards. He had nine catches of 20 or more yards this season, including six over 50 yards with a 207-yard game against Illinois State on Oct. 8.
Ruder ended his career with 33 consecutive starts, including all three defensive line spots, and was MSU's top tackler on the defensive line in 2011 with 48 total stops. He notched 17 solo tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. He was an honorable mention pick for College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts against Southern Illinois on Sept. 24 and also claimed MSU Media Player of the Week honors for his efforts against the Salukis.
Strong had the game-winning 91-yard interception return at Western Illinois to give MSU its first win of the season on Oct. 22. He finished 14th in the league in interceptions and 15th in the MVFC in passes defended. He capped his senior campaign with 23 total tackles and finished No. 2 in program history in interception return yardage.
Chiles ranks 31st in the nation and fourth in the MVFC in punting average (40.6). He is the MSU career leader in punting yards (8986) and second in MSU history in total punts (229). He earned Preseason All-MVFC honorable mention distinction his senior season and claimed CFPA National Punter of the Week honorable mention honors twice (Sept. 3 and Oct. 15). He had eight punts of 50 yards or more this season with 21 downed inside the 20 and 12 fair caught. He was on the 2008 MVFC All-Newcomer Team, 2009 All-MVFC honorable mention and is a two-time Academic All-MVFC pick.
Thayer finished fourth among MVFC tight ends in receiving yards (22.45) and receptions per game (22.45). He ranks 24th in the league overall in yardage (247) and 26th in catches (20), finishing second and third, respectively on the MSU squad in those categories this season. He averaged 12.4 yards per catch with three touchdowns. Thayer also earned CFPA National TE of the Week honorable mention honors on Oct. 29 for his game against South Dakota State in which he caught a pair of touchdowns and racked up a career-high 50 yards.
In his first season as starting quarterback, Wooden turned heads around the league and led the MVFC in total offense (242.0). He ranks 16th in the nation in pass efficiency (149.66), 27th in total offense and 100th in rushing (56.70). He was a two-time MVFC Offensive Player of the Week in leading the Bears to road wins at Western Illinois (Oct. 22) and Youngstown State (Nov. 19). His 61.9-percent completion percentage ranks second in MSU history among passers with 100+ attempts. In 10 games this season, Wooden was 138-for-223 for 1,853 yards and 17 touchdowns and became the first quarterback to lead the Bears in rushing (150 attempts for 567 yards) since 1993. He accounted for 24 of team's 30 touchdowns and was second in MVFC in points responsible (14.8).
The MVFC will announce its All-Newcomer Team on Tuesday, followed by its Academic All-Conference release on Wednesday.
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.
The team’s annual recognition banquet will take place on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union Ballroom. Tickets are $20 per person and can be reserved by calling (417) 836-5343 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.