Jordan Herdman (left) vs South Dakota School of Mines. Photo credit: Ron Hole

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Herdman named GNAC Defensive Player of the Year; 10 players selected All-Conference

November 20, 2014
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The honours keep rolling in for Simon Fraser University linebacker Jordan Herdman who has been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The sophomore, who was also unanimously voted a first-team all-star, set the GNAC single game and single season records for tackles in 2014, and finished second in the NCAA Division II in tackles this regular season, averaging 15.0 per game.

His single season tackle total of 165 was 66 more than the closest GNAC competitor and 37 more than the previous record of 128 set by Caleb Jessup of Western Washington in 2008.

The previous single-game record of 25 tackles also stood since 2008, as Herdman made 27 tackles against South Dakota School of Mines to take the crown from HSU’s Bubba Reynolds.

Herdman, who also headlined the GNAC Academic All-Conference team with a 3.99 GPA in Biomedical Physiology, out of a possible 4.33, was a two-time GNAC Player of the Week in 2014 and finished the 11-game season with 67 solo tackles, 98 assisted tackles and 14 tackles-for-a-loss.

Nine more SFU players named to GNAC All-Conference teams

Nine other SFU players joined Herdman on the GNAC All-Conference teams, including three first-team honourees, six second team-honourees and one honourable mention.

Senior receiver Lemar Durant and junior offensive lineman Michael Couture joined Herdman on the first team; Durant for the third consecutive season, while Couture’s selection was a first.

Durant, who scored a team-high five touchdowns in 2014, was the conference leader in receptions per game, averaging 6.9 receptions each contest. He averaged 85.6-yards receiving, with a long of 60, and rushed an average 8.5 yards per game.

Couture anchored an offensive line that was a third in the conference in sacks-against (28). He also helped propel the Clan rushing offence, averaging 98.0 yards-per-game. The junior stepped into the center role this season following the departure of Matthias Goossen, starting all 11 games for the program in 2014.

Selected to the GNAC second-team were offensive lineman Felix Gacusana, kick returner Earl Anderson, defensive linemen Jamie Puffer and Quinn Horton, linebacker Mitchell Barnett and punter Nikolai Karpun, while wide receiver Bobby Pospischil was selected as an honourable mention.

In his sophomore season Gacusana earned a starting position with the Clan, starting in all 11 of the Clan’s games, and was an important presence on the offensive line, limiting the Clan’s sacks-against in 2014. It is his first selection to the conference all-star team.

Anderson established himself as the first player in GNAC history to record 100 returns and over 2,000 career yards.  He averaged 19.7 kick-off yards per return and finished third in the conference in punt returns and punt return yards, returning 14 on the season for 192 yards (13.7 per game). He had a long of 61 yards that resulted in a punt-return touchdown, becoming only one of five GNAC athletes to do so in 2014. Anderson was SFU’s leader in all-purpose yards, averaging 106.8 per game; 108 yards receiving, 192 yards punt returning and 886 yards kick returning.

Puffer finished second in the conference in tackles for loss, earning 15 solo and six assisted for a total of 63 yards lost. He was the Clan’s leader in sacks with five on the season, and earned a total of 42 tackles in 11 games.  Horton had a total 38 tackles in his junior season, earning 19 solo and 19 assisted.  He had 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks this season, and started 11 games for SFU. Both linebackers are first-time all-conference honourees.

Barnett finished fifth in the GNAC in tackles in his junior season, earning 37 solo and 50 assisted tackles in 2014 for a total of 87 (7.9 per game). He also recorded five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, picked off a pass and recovered two fumbles.

In his first selection to the all-conference team, Karpun was third in the conference in punting in 2014 with 60 punts for average 40.0 yards. He had 10 punts over 50 yards, including one of 58 yards.

Pospischil was ninth in the conference in receptions in his senior season, averaging 11.5 per game for an average of 48.2 yards. He scored two touchdowns for the Clan in 2014 and had a game-high 10 receptions against Western Oregon.

Of the ten 2014 GNAC All-Conference honourees, seven will return for the 2015 season. Spring Training Camp will begin in March, 2015.