Student Princes Blackiston, Steckel named AFCA All Americans

WACO, Texas – Two Heidelberg University football players were named to the Division III American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American team. Seniors Branden Steckel and Zach Blackiston both received second-team honors. 

Zach, who played a hybrid linebacker/defensive lineman position, finished his senior campaign with 14 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss and is now the all-time leader in sacks at Heidelberg. He also was the recipient of the Paul Hoernemann Award given to the top defensive lineman in the OAC. 

Branden, Heidelberg's kicker, capped off a career year setting several program records, including most field goals in a game (five), longest field goal (53 yards) and career field goals (33).  

This is the second time Heidelberg has landed two AFCA All-Americans, joining 2019 (Tramon Wiley and Brad Wienhold).  

The AFCA's Division III All-America Selection Committee is made up of head coaches representing each conference from each of the AFCA's seven districts. 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. Blackiston and Steckel were two of six OAC players on the AFCA list.  

The Associated Press Little All-America Team and the All-America Teams will be announced soon.  

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