ST. LOUIS—South Dakota has a program-record six players on the all-Missouri Valley Football Conference Team announced Monday. The two teams, comprised of 61 individuals, were selected by the conference’s head coaches, sports information directors and members of the media.
Junior punter Brady Schutt (1st team), senior quarterback Austin Simmons (2nd team), senior defensive end Darin Greenfield (2nd team), junior linebacker Jack Cochrane (2nd team), junior wide receiver Caleb Vander Esch (2nd team) and junior tight end Brett Samson (2nd team) represent the Coyotes on the team. In addition, junior offensive lineman Mason Scheidegger, junior place-kicker Mason Lorber and junior safety Elijah Reed earned honorable mention.
South Dakota’s six selections are one more than it earned in 2017. This is the Coyotes’ eighth year as a member of the MVFC.
Schutt of Orange City, Iowa, is the Coyotes’ third first-team all-conference punter since 2011. He finished the regular season as the nation’s fourth-leading punter with a Valley-best 45.1-yard average. He had 19 punts of 50 yards or more with a long of 62. Schutt and the Coyotes led the Valley and ranked seventh nationally in net punting with a 40.1-yard average.
Simmons of Council Bluffs, Iowa, is a two-year starter and team captain. He is the second-leading passer in program history (6,487) and ranks third all-time in total offense (7,531). He conducted the Valley’s top passing attack and number two offense. Simmons led the Valley in several categories including passing yards (2,953), pass touchdowns (27), points responsible for (200) and total offense (295.1). He was also the second-leading rusher in Valley play with 481 yards and six scores on 7.0 yards per carry.
Greenfield of Sheldon, Iowa, is the Coyotes’ first three-time all-Valley honoree. The two-time all-American is the program’s all-time leader in tackles-for-loss with 52.0. He also ranks third all-time in sacks with 24.0. Greenfield led USD with 5.0 sacks and had 11.0 tackles-for-loss this season to go with 43 tackles. He also forced a fumble and led USD with seven quarterback hurries.
Cochrane of Mount Vernon, Iowa, is a two-year starter and 2019 team captain. He was the leading tackler in the Valley with 106 stops. He also led USD with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Cochrane had three sacks and seven tackles-for-loss. He had double-digit tackles three times including a career-best 17 against Southern Illinois, the third-most by a Coyote since 2000.
Vander Esch of San Jose, California, ranked fourth in the Valley in receiving yards (651) and touchdown catches (6) and had the sixth-most receptions (45). He was the Coyotes’ leading receiver in six consecutive games and in seven games overall. Vander Esch led USD with 14.5 yards per catch, and four of his six touchdowns were more than 20 yards.
Samson of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, was South Dakota’s third-leading receiver with 26 catches for 301 yards. He caught five touchdown passes over the final five games of the season. Samson aided a run game that had three 300-yard efforts and ranked 33rd nationally in rushing. He also finished with eight tackles on special teams.
Scheidegger of Fonda, Iowa, has started all 36 games over the last three seasons and is a 2019 team captain. He is the top lineman for a team that produced the third-most first downs in the nation, led the Valley in passing and had three 300-yard efforts on the ground. He anchored a group that ranked second in the Valley and 22nd nationally in total offense with 434 yards per game.
Lorber of New London, Iowa, was the highest scoring kicker in Valley play and 11 points clear of the field. He was also the most accurate kicker in Valley play, making all 35 extra points and going 7-of-8 on field goals. Overall, Lorber made 12 field goals and had 20 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs.
Reed of Denver, Colorado, finished as the Valley’s 10th-leading tackler with 86 stops including 56 solo tackles. He led the team with eight pass breakups and had a 38-yard interception return. Reed posted double-digit tackles four times including a career-high 14 stops against North Dakota State.