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Kasper Headlines Titans' Six All-America Selections

Kasper Headlines Titans' Six All-America Selections

Quarterback Brett Kasper was named Offensive Player of the Year while linebacker Derrick Jennings Jr. and guard Tyler Powers were also selected to the First Team as UW-Oshkosh had six players chosen to the All-America Teams.

UW-Oshkosh's Ty Summers was chosen to the All-America Second Team at center, and Titans wide receiver Sam Mentkowski and return specialist Dom Todarello were named to the Third Team.

Each of the six Titans earned their first All-America recognition. Twenty-three UW-Oshkosh players have received a total of 24 All-America honors from since the website began its national awards program in 1999.

Kasper is the second Titan to win's Offensive Player of the Year and first since quarterback Nate Wara in 2012.

Kasper, the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy winner as the most outstanding Division III football player, capped his senior season with a school-record 34 touchdown passes while becoming the third Titan to surpass 3,000 passing yards. He completed 186 of 285 passes for 3,025 yards with just six interceptions.

Kasper ranked second in the nation with a 189.6 passing efficiency rating and third with 10.61 yards per pass attempt. The Two Rivers High School graduate also listed fifth in the country with 16.26 yards per completion and seventh in touchdown passes.

Kasper, a two-time WIAC Offensive Player of the Year, was also named's West Region Offensive Player of the Year this season. He tied the school record with six touchdown passes against North Central College (Ill.) during the second round of the NCAA postseason on Nov. 25. Kasper tossed multiple touchdown passes in 10 games this season, including four against both UW-La Crosse and UW-Stevens Point and three scoring passes on four other occasions.

Kasper, who concluded his career with a 40-6 record as a starter, set program marks with 9,786 passing yards, 89 touchdown passes and a WIAC-record 161.8 passing efficiency rating. His touchdown total ranks second in WIAC history and his passing yardage amount third.

Kasper is the fourth player to win both the Gagliardi Trophy winner and's Offensive Player of the Year. UW-Whitewater running back Justin Beaver accomplished the feat in 2007 while quarterbacks Brett Elliott from Linfield College (Ore.) and Kevin Burke from University of Mount Union (Ohio) claimed both honors in 2005 and 2013, respectively.

Jennings Jr. led UW-Oshkosh with five interceptions and one fumble recovery while finishing fourth on the team with 63 tackles, including 9.5 for loss. The junior contributed 2.5 sacks for a defense that allowed 17.4 points per game and created 27 turnovers.

Jennings Jr., an All-WIAC and All-West Region first team honoree, made a career-high nine tackles in the season opener against John Carroll University (Ohio) on Sept. 3. The DeForest High School graduate had seven tackles, including a season-best two sacks, against UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 7.

Jennings Jr. was named the WIAC Defensive Player of the Week and selected to the Team of the Week after collecting two interceptions against UW-La Crosse on Oct. 21. He also recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass against UW-Whitewater on Sept. 30.

Powers and Summers helped lead a UW-Oshkosh offensive line that ceded just 13 sacks on the year and paved the way for 16 Titans to average 5.7 yards per carry and rush for 3,118 yards and 34 touchdowns.

With Powers and Summers starting each game on the interior line, the Titans ranked second in the nation by allowing 3.69 tackles for loss per game while listing 12th with 484.5 yards per game and 21st with 239.8 rushing yards per contest.

Powers, a junior from Hortonville High School, is the second UW-Oshkosh offensive lineman to achieve All-America first team recognition and the first since Sam Versnik in 2015. Powers was also named All-WIAC First Team and All-West Region First Team this season.

Summers, a senior from Lakes Community High School (Ill.), was named to the Associated Press Division III Little All-America First Team this season after collecting All-WIAC First Team and All-West Region First Team honors.

Mentkowski, the first UW-Oshkosh wide receiver to earn All-America laurels from, finished his senior season with 67 receptions for a program-record 1,477 yards and 13 touchdowns. His receiving yardage led the country while his 22.04 yards per catch ranked 17th nationally. Mentkowski had 23 receptions that gained at least 20 yards this season, including 11 of his touchdown catches.

Mentkowski, a Whitnall High School graduate, was named the WIAC Offensive Player of the Week and chosen to the Team of the Week after recording a career-high 10 catches for 207 yards and two touchdowns, including a school-record 96-yard score, against UW-Whitewater.

Mentkowski caught at least one touchdown in 10 games this year and had eight 100-yard receiving games, including two scores and more than 100 yards against both North Central College and UW-La Crosse.

Mentkowski, an All-West Region second team pick, ended his career as the program's all-time leader with 180 catches, 3,141 receiving yards and 27 touchdown grabs.

Todarello is the first Titan to receive All-America honors as a return specialist. The Hartland Arrowhead High School graduate is one of four Division III players to return both a kickoff and punt for touchdowns this year. Todarello had a school-record 98-yard kickoff return for a score against UW-River Falls on Oct. 28 en route to earning WIAC Special Teams Player of the Week. He also returned a punt for a 61-yard touchdown against Virginia University of Lynchburg on Sept. 9.

Todarello, the WIAC Special Teams Player of the Year, ranked sixth in the country with 946 combined kick return yards, including a program-record 820 kickoff return yards. He listed 18th nationally by averaging 26.5 yards per kickoff return and averaged 14 yards on nine punt returns this season. Todarello gained more than 60 yards on three of his 31 kickoff returns, including a 68-yard effort against University of Mount Union and a 61-yard return against UW-Whitewater.

Todarello was named All-West Region First Team as a return specialist. He also received All-WIAC first team honors as an all-purpose back after contributing 32 receptions for 419 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 38 carries for 309 yards for a total of 1,674 all-purpose yards on the year.

UW-Oshkosh compiled a 12-1 record this year, including a 7-0 mark in the WIAC for the program's sixth unbeaten league season in its 123-year history. The Titans, who entered the NCAA postseason ranked third in the nation, advanced to the semifinal round of the Division III Championship after reaching the title game in 2016 and the quarterfinal round in 2015.

The Titans, who hosted four NCAA postseason games for the first time this season, concluded the year with a program-best 36 passing touchdowns while finishing second in the country with a 189.11 passing efficiency rating. UW-Oshkosh also ranked second nationally in yards per kickoff return (26.56), seventh in first downs (302), and 10th in scoring offense (41.8) and interceptions gained (21).

UW-Oshkosh, which recorded a pair of shutouts on the year, won its first three NCAA tournament contests by a combined 143-48 score before having its 15-game home winning streak snapped with a 43-40 setback to eventual national champion University of Mount Union during the semifinal round on Dec. 9.'s All-America selections include a First Team, Second Team, Third Team and Honorable Mention Team. Each of the four teams are comprised of 11 offensive and defensive players – one at each position – along with a placekicker, punter, return specialist and special teams player. An all-purpose player was added to this year's First Team, and the Honorable Mention Team did not include a special teams player, for a total of 104 All-America selections.

Berry College (Ga.) senior defensive end Mamadou Soumahoro was named the Defensive Player of the Year while University of Mount Union's Vince Kehres was tabbed Coach of the Year.

The Titans, who had three All-Americans last year, boasted a program-record seven selections in 2012.

The All-America Team was chosen from the online organization's All-Region Teams that were released on Dec. 5. A total of 1,037 players were nominated by Division III sports information directors for All-Region recognition.

2017 All-America Teams