UND LB Rodgers named All-America
Pat Sweeney | Dec 19, 2019 AT 9:40 am
The player that North Dakota head football coach Bubba Schweigert once referred to as “the most underrated player” on his defense is in the spotlight now, as Donnell Rodgers has been named a STATS All-American on Thursday. This is the second All-America selection for the senior this season.
Rodgers, who was named to the third team by HERO Sports earlier this week, becomes only the seventh linebacker in program history to receive multiple All-America selections by different publications in the same season since it began being tracked in 1930. The Woodbury, Minn., native joins Jim LeClair (1971), Mike Mooney (1994), Tim Tibesar (1996), Eric Schmidt (2001), Travis O’Neel (2001), and Digger Anderson (2003, 2004, 2005) as players who have accomplished the feat.
The senior was all over the field, pacing the Fighting Hawks in assisted tackles, total tackles, and tackles for loss. His 74 assisted stops and 126 total tackles were both UND DI records, with the latter ranking fifth in the FCS. He became the first player since Tibesar in 1996 to break into the all-time program's top-10 mark for assisted tackles in a single season as well as the first since Anderson in 2003 to have over 120 total tackles in a single season.
His 123 career assisted tackles are second, the 241 total tackles are second, and his 118 solo stops are fifth in UND's DI career history. Those numbers sit just outside the program's top-10 mark, a list that includes nine former All-Americans.
Rodgers finished with double-digit tackles in eight of the 12 games this season, finishing as the leading tackler in 10 of those contests. His best game came against rival No. 1 North Dakota State, where he tallied a career-high 16 stops. The Woodbury, Minn., native also had 13 tackles and a sack in the win over No. 9 Montana State as well as 14 tackles in UND's playoff-clinching win vs. Southern Utah.
This is the second national postseason honor of Rodgers’ career.