VERMILLION — South Dakota placed a District 6-high five on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Team announced Thursday. No other team in District 6, which includes programs from 11 states, had more than three honorees.
The Coyotes were represented by linebacker Jack Cochrane (Mount Vernon, Iowa), wide receiver Caleb Vander Esch (San Jose, Calif.), kicker Mason Lorber (New London, Iowa), punter Brady Schutt (Orange City, Iowa) and long snapper Dalton Godfrey (Cedar Falls, Iowa). All five advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot. First- and second-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced in mid-December.
Cochrane and Schutt have earned all-district honors for the second time. Lorber, Vander Esch and Godfrey are first-time honorees.
Cochrane is a Valley Defensive Player of the Year candidate who leads South Dakota’s highly-touted defense with 83 tackles including 8.0 for loss. He also leads the Valley with four interceptions and has five pass breakups. Cochrane just recorded his 300th career tackle, and is one of seven players in program history to reach that milestone.
Vander Esch has the fifth-most receptions in program history and is knocking on the door of the Coyotes’ top-10 list for receiving yards. He has 122 catches for 1,388 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is USD’s second-leading receiver this season with 29 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He had eight catches for 92 yards and a score in a win against nationally-ranked North Dakota earlier this season.
Lorber is the fourth-leading scorer in program history. He has made 37 field goals and 121 extra points in his four seasons. He made 10 consecutive field goals this season and is 11-for-14 on 3-pointers on the year. In addition, he has produced 38 touchbacks on 54 kickoffs (70 percent).
Schutt has the best punting average in program history at 43.0 yards per boot. He has ranked fourth in the FCS for average in each of the last two campaigns, and helped South Dakota lead the nation in net punting this past spring. He currently has the 12th-best average in FCS, but consider that half his 50 punts have been pinned inside the 20-yard line and he has just three touchbacks.
Godfrey has served as long snapper for Lorber and Schutt for the last four seasons. He is a preseason all-American who has played in 34 games. He has totaled seven special teams tackles, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles during his career.
Among the other Division I honorees was South Dakota State offensive lineman Wes Genant. Genant, a graduate student from Parkston, has a 3.90 grade point average in human biology.