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Johnson selected as College Sporting News National All-Star of the Week


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Jordan Johnson did something pretty special Saturday night, setting a school record when he blocked two kicks in Tech's 38-37 win over Indiana State.

On Sunday, he was named the OVC Special Teams Player of the Week.

On Monday, the Miami, Fla., senior defensive tackle added another honor when he was chosen as a College Sporting News All-Star, one of just five players to receive recognition in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

His first block came on an Indiana State PAT attempt after the Sycamores scored the first touchdown of the game. Johnson bulled his way through the middle of the line and knocked down the kick, leaving the visitors up, 6-0.

That single point would prove to be the difference in the one-point win.

Just as critical to the victory, Johnson followed the same route through the middle of the line to reject a 20-yard field goal try. The ball bounced to junior James Huguely, who took it 87 yards for a TD and a 10-6 Golden Eagle lead.

In addition to Johnson's recognition, the other four players to receive FCS All-Star status from College Sporting News were:

Timothy Flanders, Runningback, Sam Houston State, Senior, 5-9, 210, Midwest City, OK
Flanders ran for 280 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-34 victory over highly-ranked Eastern Washington.  The game was a rematch of last year's D-I tournament semifinals which was also won by the Bearkats.  Ironically, Flanders now has three games in his career rushing for more than 200 yards, two of which have come against Eastern Washington including last year in the playoffs.  SHSU was nursing a 28-20 halftime lead when on their third play from scrimmage in the 3rd it was Flanders who galloped 60 yards to paydirt.  Flanders later finished the SHSU scoring in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown of the day, taking it in from 12 yards out.

Cody Kirk, Runningback, Montana State, 5-10, 213, Senior, Frenchtown, MT
Kirk rushed for five touchdowns to lead Montana State to a 63-20 victory over North Dakota in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams. Kirk scored on runs of 7, 1, 19, 5 and 25 yards in the first two quarters which tied a school record. He had 99 yards at the intermission and finished with 104 net yards gained on 12 carries, also adding a reception for 16 yards. The five touchdowns extends his school career record to 39. The effort moved him to within 15 yards of becoming the second Bobcat in history to pass the 3,000-yard rushing mark.

Donald D'Alesio, Safety, Youngstown State, 6-0, 195, Junior, Youngstown, OH
D'Alesio had a career-high 15 tackles in the Penguins' 28-27 come-from-behind conference win at Southern Illinois. His previous high was 11 stops at Missouri State in 2010. Ten of his total were solo tackles, also a career-high. After a wild first half the Youngstown State defense held SIU to zero points and 120 yards of offense. YSU finally took a 28-27 lead with 1:55 remaining and with SIU driving in Penguin's territory, D'Alesio forced and recovered a fumble at the YSU 41 yard line that ended the SIU comeback bid.

Grant Olson, Linebacker, North Dakota State, 6-0, 228, Senior, Plymouth, MN
Olson, who had a team-high eight tackles and two sacks in the 20-0 win over South Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both teams. Including the pair of sacks for 14 yards, three of his tackles were solo and 2.5 for a loss of 14 yards. Stopping SDSU star runningback Zach Zenner for no gain on the first play of the game, Olson helped set the tone for a record-setting defensive performance by the Bison.  NDSU held SDSU to minus-32 yards rushing - the least by a Bison opponent in Division I football - to keep the Dakota Marker for a fourth straight season.