Findlay Picks Up 14 All-Conference Selections | Five Named to First Team
Indianapolis, Ind. – On Friday, Nov. 18, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) announced its' football all-conference awards following the conclusion of the 2022 season. The University of Findlay, after a 7-4 (6-2 G-MAC) record this season, received 14 all-conference selections including five first-team selections, two second-team selections, and seven third-team selections. The Oilers have now earned 124 all-conference selections since joining the G-MAC in 2017 for an average of 21 selections over six seasons.
First Team All-Great Midwest
Earning his third all-conference award of his career, senior Michael Jerrell has picked up a spot on first-team for the second time in his three seasons of action. Jerrell, an Indianapolis, Ind. native, entered the 2022 campaign as one of the highest-graded offensive lineman in the country, earning a spot on the D2Football.com Preseason Top 100 list. He has started 29 consecutive games on the line including all 11 at right tackle this season. Jerrell was the anchor of an offensive line that helped Findlay to 28.3 points per game and 340 yards of total offense.
A native of Arcade, New York, junior Mike Rigerman has also earned first team all-G-MAC honors this season, his third consecutive season earning distinction as the league's top tight end. Also a D2Football.com Preseason Top 100 player, Rigerman had 37 catches for 478 yards, both the best among tight ends in the conference. He also hauled in three touchdowns on the year and posted a season-high 105 yards receiving on Sep. 17 against Southwest Baptist.
Picking up his second consecutive first team honor is junior Grey Brancifort who has again established himself as one of the premier linebackers in the conference. This season, Brancifort, a Pickerington, Ohio native, led the Oilers with 84 tackles which ranked fourth in the Great Midwest. He made double-digit tackles in four games this season including a season-high 13 stops in the season-opener at Ohio Dominican. Brancifort also had 3.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles-for-loss this season to go along with his first career interception which came on Oct. 15 against Kentucky Wesleyan.
One of the longest tenured players in program history, graduate senior Kijana Caldwell wraps up his career at UF with yet another all-conference award, his third straight. This is his second first team honor as he earned first team in the spring of 2021 and second team in the fall of 2021. From his spot at safety, Caldwell was a blanket defender on the back end of a stingy Oilers defense. The Oswego, Ill. Native tied for the league lead with five interceptions this season, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also posted a career-high 56 tackles to go along with one tackle-for-loss, which was a sack, and one fumble recovery. Caldwell finishes his career with nine interceptions, 13 pass breakups, and 137 tackles in 46 games played.
Wrapping up his third season with Findlay, sophomore kicker Austin Snyder rounds out Findlay's first-team selections with his third consecutive all-G-MAC honor and first appearance on the first-team. Snyder, a Groveport, Ohio native, proved to be the best kicker in the conference this season as he drilled a G-MAC record 15 field goals this year and was a perfect 38-of-38 on extra points. Of those 15 field goals, seven came from 40 yards or more giving him the most makes of 40+ yards in a single-season in program history.
Second Team All-Great Midwest
Sophomore Garret Clark has continued to perform at a high level and, with a second-team pick this year, has now earned three consecutive all-G-MAC honors after being named third-team in the fall of 2021 and second-team and Freshman of the Year in the spring of 2021. This year Clark led the league in rushing for much of the season, ultimately finishing third. He carried the ball 185 times for 923 yards and seven touchdowns, all of which established new career-bests. He put together one of the best single-game rushing performances in program history on Sep. 24 at North Greenville when he rushed 35 times for 252 yards, the eighth-most rushing yards in a game in program history.
Senior Ben Farrar picks up second-team all-G-MAC in 2022, his third all-conference award after being named first-team in the spring and fall of 2021. Farrar has started 29 consecutive games for the Oilers and has become a staple for one of the top offenses in the conference. Like Jerrell, Farrar did the dirty work in the trenches, aiding Findlay to 28.3 points per game and 340 yards of total offense.
Third Team All-Great Midwest
The Oilers' offense had a pair of selections on the all-conference third-team as both Derek Lynch and Tanner Schroeder have been picked. Lynch, now a three-time all-conference selection, had 55 carries for 305 yards and four rushing touchdowns to go along with 13 receptions for 231 yards and two scores through the air. He also recorded 11 kick returns for 229 yards, giving him the most kick return attempts in program history.
Schroeder was the team's leading wide out as he made 47 catches for 545 yards and a touchdown, his second consecutive season with more than 500 yards receiving. This is the first all-conference selection for the McComb, Ohio native who has done everything for Findlay including time as a wide receiver, punter, punt returner, and holder.
Rockhold was a mainstay on Findlay's defensive line this year and put together a breakout season, starting all 11 games for the Oilers this year. He made 52 tackles including 3.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles-for-loss, sixth-most TFL in the G-MAC. He also forced a league-best four fumbles including two in the season-finale against Tiffin.
Harris made 66 tackles this season, a new career-high, and added six tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks. The Cleveland, Ohio native also tallied a pair of forced fumbles, an interception, and a team-high seven pass breakups.
In his first campaign with the Oilers, Findlay native Sam Weihrauch put himself in position for a starting role midway through the season due to injuries on the defense. He took advantage of that opportunity and finished the season with 60 tackles including four tackles-for-loss from his linebacker position. His name quickly spread following a Week 6 victory against Northwood where he made a season-high 14 tackles and had a forced fumble, earning him G-MAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Defensive back Jeremiah Jackson picks up his second consecutive third-team all-G-MAC award this season after another solid season on the Oilers defense. Jackson, who was named Defensive Player of the Week after the season-finale against Tiffin, made 52 tackles this year and had 2.5 tackles-for-loss. He also had a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 87 yards for a touchdown, and three interceptions.
The final third-team award has been earned by sophomore return specialist Dominic Bennett. The Bradenton, Fla. Native became the team's main return specialist with four weeks to play and changed the dynamic of Findlay's special teams. His return ability was critical to the Oilers' six-game winning streak. He ended the year with nine kick returns for 158 yards and eight punt returns for 178 yards including an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown against Walsh.