Valparaiso University punter Greg Wood (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) has earned Preseason First Team All-Pioneer Football League honors while tight end Kevin Becker (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson H.S.), offensive lineman Ferdinand Velez (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick H.S.), and linebacker Cody Gokan (Round Lake, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) were named Preseason Second Team All-PFL in Phil Steele’s 2011 FCS College Football Preview.
“It is exciting for the individual players to receive this honor,” head coach Dale Carlson said. “I am excited for them as we move forward into my second year with the program at Valparaiso.”
Wood, a junior, set a new school record last season averaging43.6 yards per punt for the Crusaders. He earned First Team All-PFL accolades one year ago after booming 14 kicks of 50 yards or more, including a career-best 71 yard boot. Wood also landed 17 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
Becker, a sophomore, finished third on the team with 34 receptions in 2010. He finished the year with 353 yards receiving and hauled in two touchdown passes. Velez started all 11 games at center last season and also served as the team’s long snapper on special teams. The senior garnered Honorable Mention All-PFL honors one year ago.
Gokan also was an Honorable Mention All-PFL pick last season. A redshirt-junior, he finished second on the team with 69 tackles in just nine games. He had three tackles for loss, including a quarterback sack, recovered a fumble, and broke up a pass.
Valpo will open the 2011 season on September 3 hosting Frankling in a 7 p.m. contest at Brown Field as part of Communiversity Day on campus.