Franta All-MIAC selection
Eleven Saint John’s University football student-athletes earned All-MIAC honors, including nine on the first team, and head coach Gary Fasching was named the Co-John Gagliardi MIAC Coach of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
Senior linebacker David Franta (Winnebago, Blue Earth Area), was among those who were named to the first team.
The Johnnies had a first team All-MIAC player at each level of the defense, which ended the regular season second in the league (conference games only) in scoring defense (8.6 ppg.), passing defense (119.5 ypg.) and total defense (208.9 ypg.). The defense also had one of its best seasons in recent memory. The 119.5 passing yards allowed per game was the lowest since 2004 (112.0 ypg.) and the 8.6 points allowed per game was the lowest since 1998 (6.1 ppg.).
Nationally, SJU’s defense ended the regular season ranked in the top 12 in NCAA Division III in a number of categories: second in total defense (196.5 ypg.), scoring defense (8.3 ppg.) and pass-efficiency defense (82.17); third in passing defense (121.7 ypg.); fourth in first downs allowed (115); fifth in third-down defense (21.5 percent); ninth in defensive touchdowns (4); and 12th in rushing defense (74.8 ypg.).
Franta moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker this fall and led the team with 73 tackles (45 solo) and three forced fumbles. He tied for fourth in the MIAC with 33 solo tackles in conference play. All-MIAC honorable mention last season, Franta was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Campbell Trophy and earned College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District honors last week.