After a record-setting debut for the Eastern Washington University football team, junior quarterback
Gubrud was joined on the preseason all-conference list by senior defensive end
Gubrud, who was named NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus last year, is EWU’s player representative at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Park City, Utah, with new head coach
“I couldn’t accomplish any of this without great teammates and coaches,” said Gubrud. “A big part of it are the players around me – they are the main reason I have had so much success. It’s an honor and I thank the Big Sky for the preseason award, but now I have to go out and prove them right. I always have something to prove and the team has something to prove, and we’re going to go out and do that.”
A former linebacker, Havili had 61 tackles with five sacks from his defensive end position in 2016, with two passes broken up and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. Entering his final year as an Eagle, Havili has 148 tackles in his 42-game Eastern career and was a 2013 graduate of Federal Way.
Fettig, a 2014 graduate of Olympia HS, had 97 tackles to rank third on the team a year ago – tops among returning players. He had four interceptions and five passes broken up as a sophomore, and is a candidate for Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year accolades in 2017.
“He’s a good player to have back,” said Best. “He has a year under his belt and over-achieved last year – he belongs in the EKG (Eastern Kind of Guy) family. Nobody, including myself, would have said after a year of starting he would be where he is at.
“But now that the bar has been raised, now you have to raise it even higher,” Best continued. “He’s put that stress on himself, and we love that. We like the challenge of competing at a higher level, and now the challenge is doing it in a leadership role on the field and in the locker room.”
Preseason All-Conference list
Offensive Player of the Year: Gage Gubrud, QB, Eastern Washington
Defensive Player of the Year: Cole Reyes, S, North Dakota
Quarterback: Gage Gubrud, Eastern Washington
Wide Receivers: Emmanuel Butler, Northern Arizona (Consensus); Keelan Doss, UC Davis; Jerry Louie-McGee, Montana
Offensive Tackles: David Reese, Montana; Randin Crecelius, Portland State
Offensive Guards: Tyler Shank, Northern Arizona; Demon Taylor, North Dakota
Center: Joey Kuperman, Cal Poly
Tight End: Andrew Vollert, Weber State (Consensus)
Running Backs: John Santiago, North Dakota (Consensus); Brady Oliveira, North Dakota
Fullback: Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly
Defensive Tackle: Robert Torgerson, Southern Utah; Anthony Del Toro, Portland State
Defensive End: Albert Havili, Eastern Washington; Ben Sorensen, Sacramento State
Outside Linebackers: Mike Needham, Southern Utah; Josh Buss, Montana
Inside Linebackers: Mac Bignell, Montana State; Landon Stice, Weber State
Cornerbacks: Deion Harris, North Dakota; Taron Johnson, Weber State
Safeties: Cole Reyes, North Dakota; Mitch Fettig, Eastern Washington
Placekicker: Griffin Roehler, Northern Arizona
Return Specialist: John Santiago, North Dakota
Punter: Jacob DeMaio, Weber State
Special Teams: Hakeem Deggs, Northern Colorado
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