Nov. 30, 2011
Academic All-MVFC Release (PDF)
ST. LOUIS -- Three Missouri State football standouts have been named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team, the league announced Wednesday (Nov. 30).
Jordan Chiles (Sr., P, Hillsboro, Ill.), Matt Thayer (Jr., TE, Bellevue, Neb.) and Austin Witmer (So., K, Grand Island, Neb.) have earned academic all-conference honors for the Bears. A total of 40 players were recognized league wide with Chiles being named as one of 14 players on the first team, while Thayer earned second-team honors, and Witmer was recognized as one of the 12 honorable-mention selections.
Chiles and Thayer were both named to the All-MVFC team on Monday, both as honorable-mention picks.
An Exercise & Movement Science major with a 3.46 GPA, 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 and 2011 All-MVFC honorable mention honoree and is now a three-time Academic All-MVFC pick.
Thayer has a 3.36 GPA in Criminology and 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 full season as starting place kicker for the Bears, Witmer averaged 61.9 yards on 43 kickoffs, including 12 touchbacks. He converted 25-of-26 extra points and made five field goals. His best game of the 2011 season came in the finale at Youngstown State where he was 5-for-5 on extra points with four touchbacks on seven kickoffs and a key 29-yard field goal. Witmer has a 3.79 GPA in Accounting and ranks fifth in the MVFC in field goals (0.45) and 20th in scoring (3.64).
Including the three MVFC All-Academic honorees, MSU received 11 postseason football honors from The Valley this week. Joining Chiles and Thayer on the All-MVFC team were first-team pick Jermaine Saffold (Sr., WR, Grandview, Mo.), second-team selections Jimmie Strong (Sr., CB, Texarkana, Texas) and Mikel Ruder (Sr., DE, Lawrence, Kan.), and fellow honorable-mention pick Trevor Wooden (So., QB, High Springs, Fla.). The Bears also landed a pair of redshirt freshman on the MVFC All-Newcomer team in Andrew Beisel (ILB, Fenton, Mo.) and Mike Crutcher (S, Wentzville, Mo.).
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.