The third level of major college football — NCAA Division II — was home to quite a few area players in 2017-18.
The fourth annual All-First Coast Division II team features former Potter’s House and Union County stars who played for a national championship, and several players who are repeat visitors on the local D2 team. A total of 108 players from the Times-Union’s coverage area — four more than last year’s number — were on D2 rosters this season. Sports writer Clayton Freeman picks the top players on the 2017 Times-Union All-Division II squad.
QB Jacob Mezera, Jr., Orange Park, Fort Hays State, Completed 238 of 362 passes (65.7 percent) for 2,824 yards and 23 touchdowns with six interceptions; second-team All-MIAA; multiple time selection to local D2 team.
RB Demitri Saulsberry, Jr., Camden County, Carson-Newman, Carried 56 times for 294 yards and 2 TDs.
WR Ka’Ron Ashley, Fr.*, Potter’s House, West Florida, Caught 36 passes for 478 yards and six touchdowns.
WR Daniel Bender, Fr., Sandalwood, Shaw, Played in nine games with 29 catches for 346 yards and team-high four TDs.
WR Demetrius Frazier, Gr., Brunswick, Florida Tech, Led team with 39 catches for 522 yards, 8 TD and also served as punt returner.
TE Gary Breuklander, Fr., Bartram Trail, Tusculum, Touchdown threat took three of his seven catches to the end zone, gaining 124 yards.
OL Nick George, So., Clay, Central Oklahoma, Won center job and played 11 games.
OL Christopher Shuman, So., Sandalwood, Shaw, Played in all 10 games at center.
OL Blake Stone, Gr., Atlantic Coast, Florida Tech, Won starting center spot and played in eight games; another multi-time all-local D2 selection.
OL Stokes Rowe, Sr., Bolles, Carson-Newman, Right guard played nine games for Eagles.
OL Toa Lavatai, So., Creekside, Valdosta State, Appeared regularly at right tackle for Blazers; two-time selection to local team.
ATH De’Sean Blair, Sr., Sandalwood, Valdosta State, Caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
DL Austin Dukes, So.*, Union County, West Florida, Played in 15 games and made 42 tackles, four for loss, with two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
DL Deandre Gardenhire, Fr.*, Camden County, West Georgia, Made quick impact with 42 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles in 13 games.
DL Jimmy Hinel, Jr., Creekside, Florida Tech, Made 53 tackles and three sacks in 11 games.
DL Cordarro Stoute, Jr., Glynn Academy, West Georgia, Made 28 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 11 games; second time on local D2 team.
LB Brycen Gagnon, Sr., Yulee, Southwest Baptist, Made 89 tackles, 11 for loss, while playing in all 10 games; second-team All-GLVC; multiple times on local D2 team.
LB Xavier George, Fr., First Coast, Benedict, Led team with 48 tackles in nine games; added 7.5 TFL, two sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
LB Cannon Thomas, Sr., Glynn Academy, Fort Valley State, Made 52 tackles, six for loss, in 10 games, plus two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
LB Jacari Williams, Jr., Brunswick, Mars Hill, Played in 10 games with 36 tackles and a forced fumble.
DB Malik Goodman, So., Raines, Tusculum, Made 61 tackles, a sack and an interception while playing all 10 games.
DB Tevin Hall, So., Camden County, Southwest Baptist, Played in all 10 games, starting two, with 21 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
DB Kevin Williams, Sr., Ribault, Livingstone, Intercepted a team-high three passes and made 11 tackles in seven games.
ATH Anthony Mitchell, So., Trinity Christian, Lincoln (Mo.), Played in eight games with 15 tackles and a sack.