Arkin and Wilkinson Named to Sports Network All-America Grid Team
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - For the first time since 2004, Missouri State has landed two players on The Sports Network Division I FCS All-America Football Team. David Arkin (Sr., OT, Wichita, Kan.) earned a spot on the first team, while Antoine Wilkinson (Sr., ILB, Magnolia, Miss.) was named to the third team, the organization announced Wednesday (Dec. 22).
Nine players, including three on the first team, from the Missouri Valley Football Conference were selected to The Sports Network's elite list.
For Arkin, the announcement completes the sweep of first-team All-America honors. He has already been named to the Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation and American Football Coaches Association All-America squads for his outstanding senior performance. He is just the third MSU player to run the gauntlet and claim first-team All-America honors by all four organizations, joining Bill Walter (DT, 1991) and Wayne Boyer (K, 1996).
In 2010, Arkin earned first-team All-MVFC laurels for the second straight year after grading out at 87 percent for the season with 82 knock-down blocks. He started all 44 games of his college career and is just the third MSU player to earn All-MVFC honors four times, also claiming second-team all-conference honors in 2007 and 2008. He also was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America second team and claimed his fourth Academic All-MVFC honor this season.
Arkin is ranked as the No. 10 draft-eligible offensive guard by CBS Sports.com. He was a six-time MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week and earned the MVC State Farm Good Neighbor Award during the fall semester of 2008. He helped the Bears average 425.5 yards total offense, 214.2 rushing yards and 30.4 points per game this season, all of which ranked in the top 24 nationally. He graduated last week with a 3.72 GPA in construction management.
Wilkinson was also a first-team All-MVFC performer this season for Terry Allen's Bears. The 2009 MVFC Newcomer of the Year became a two-time MVFC first-team all-conference pick this fall after registering 101 total tackles with eight for loss and five sacks. The transfer from Southwest Mississippi Community College was also a 2010 Buck Buchanan Watch List honoree for FCS national defensive player of the year.
The standout linebacker was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for the team's win over No. 17 North Dakota State in the season finale (Nov. 20) after he recorded 15 tackles in the win over the eventual national quarterfinalists. He became the first MSU player since P.J. Jones (2000-01) to notch back-to-back 100-tackles seasons after leading the 2009 Bears with 113 total tackles.
The Bears will depart with 20 seniors from a 5-6 squad that finished 4-4 in the MVFC to tie for third place in the nine-team league. MSU was 5-0 at Plaster Field this season to post its first unbeaten home season since 1992 and defeated three ranked opponents in 2010, including two NCAA Division I playoff qualifiers.