Schroeder given one of of Division II’s highest honors

Published 4:57 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

WACO, Texas –Delta State University senior receiver/return specialist Chad Schroeder has been named to the American Football Coaches’ Association All-American Team, as released on Monday by the AFCA. Schroeder’s selection marks the third consecutive year the Statesmen have been represented on one of Division II’s most prestigious postseason teams. 

“I’m deeply honored by today’s announcement,” said Schroeder. “My season didn’t end exactly the way I had planned, but being named an AFCA All-American is a tremendous honor and one I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.” 

The senior from Demopolis, Ala., proved to be one of nation’s top all-purpose players this season. Schroeder, a 2008 Second Team All-GSC selection, finished the season with 1,208 all-purpose yards, and nine touchdowns. The speedster caught 61 passes for 654 yards and four scores, while rushing for an additional 247 yards and four touchdowns. 

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He made the most impact this season at punt returner, where he led the Gulf South Conference and ranked fourth nationally at 16.2 yards per return. In 19 returns, Schroeder totaled 307 yards and one touchdown. He returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown versus Harding and tallied six returns greater than 20 yards on the season. 

In four years as a Statesman, Schroeder helped guide Delta State to back-to-back GSC titles in 2007 and 2008, and three-straight NCAA DII playoff berths, including a trip to the 2006 national semifinals. He closed his career as the school’s sixth leading receiver with 123 receptions for 1,353 yards and five touchdowns in only two years on offense. He also ranks sixth all-time in punt return yardage with 307 yards. He totaled 17 career touchdowns and 2,297 all-purpose yards in 47 career games. 

Schroeder will participate this January in the Cactus Bowl, the NCAA Division II All-Star Game in Kingsville, Texas. 

“Chad was one of the most explosive players in the country over the last two seasons, and one of our main weapons,” added Statesmen head coach Ron Roberts. “Rarely will you find a player with a make-up like Chad. He’s always putting the team first and himself last. He did everything we asked of him as a player, student-athlete, and leader. Today’s announcement is most deserved.” 

The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves. 

The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively. 

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. 

The AFCA’s Division II All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s nine districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee.

The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.