MCAC Football All-America Selections Presented by Gopher Sport

MCAC Football All-America Selections Presented by Gopher Sport

Rochester, Mn- 

The National Junior College Athletic Association announced the 2017 NJCAA Football All-America teams on Tuesday, December 19. 

Selected by the NJCAA Football Committee, the All-America teams are comprised of 75 student-athletes who were the top vote-getters in the quest to earn the most prestigious honor available to football players competing at the two-year college level.  The All-America award process consists of First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention squads on Offense, Defense and Special Teams. 

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference stands as the only non-scholarship NJCAA football conference in the country and was represented by six honorees appearing among the nation's 75 elite football athletes.  MCAC representatives were tabbed in the First Team Offense, Second Team Defense and both Honorable Mention Offensive and Defensive teams. 

The MCAC Football All-America selections are presented by Gopher Sport, a Minnesota-based company which is proud to serve teachers, coaches, athletic directors, program directors, and athletes around the world.  For the complete NJCAA Football All-America press release, please visit this link. 

First Team All-America Offense: 



Malik Williams 

Wide Receiver 

Northland CTC



The 5'8" speedster amassed 15 touchdowns and averaged 120.3 yards per game in 2017 for the Pioneers.  A sophomore from Lakeworth, Florida, Williams was a favorite target of fellow NJCAA All-American Shannon Patrick.  Williams had 99 receptions on the year for a total of 1,323 yards over 11 contests.  His longest effort was a 91 yard touchdown haul. 

Williams and his NCTC teammates finished second in the MCAC Western Division regular season but elevated their game in the playoffs, marching to the MCAC State Championship Game.  At Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University, they dispatched Mesabi Range College, 68-35. 

Northland (9-3 overall / 9-2 MCAC) concluded their 2017 campaign with a 55-14 loss to Ellsworth Community College (4-8 overall) in the opening game of the Graphic Edge Bowl.  Williams accounted for both Pioneer touchdown receptions in that contest, including a 55-yard connection to open the scoring.


Second Team All America Defense:



Brandon Perce 


Rochester CTC 

Brandon Perce, a 6-0, 215 lb. linebacker who competed for Rochester Community & Technical College   racked up 56 solo tackles, had 72 assists and averaged 14.2 tackles per contest in 2017.  The Yellowjacket sophomore was a key component in the 6-3 season achieved by Rochester, leading the squad to a second-place finish in the MCAC Eastern Division. 

Perce, from West Allis, Wisconsin, will play at Bowling Green State University next fall, where he will have two seasons of eligibility.  The Falcons will get a linebacker who ranked first in the NJCAA in assists and was second in total tackles in 2017. 

Led by Perce, Rochester put together several standout defensive performances over the fall, including a 50-0 shutout of Itasca Community College in Week 7 of the MCAC slate.  RCTC held opponents to 14 points or less in four of their nine contests.      


Honorable Mention Offense: 


   Shannon Patrick


         Northland CTC           

Northland Community & Technical College signal-caller Shannon Patrick was the most prolific passer in NJCAA football in 2017, throwing for 43 touchdowns over the course of twelve games for the Pioneers. Patrick averaged 375.5 yards per game and tossed for over 4,500 yards on the season. 

The 6-2 sophomore from West Hollywood, Florida led NCTC to the MCAC State Championship Game held at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University. Down by a point at halftime to Mesabi Range College 28-27, Patrick orchestrated a 41-point second half effort as they defeated the Norsemen, 68-35 to claim the 2017 MCAC State Championship.

Patrick and Northland concluded their 9-3 season by participating in the opening game of the Graphic Edge Bowl, falling  Ellsworth Community College (4-8) by a 55-14 margin. Patrick connected for touchdowns twice with fellow All America Malik Williams in the season-ending contest; the two combined for 15 touchdowns over the course of th 2017 season. 

 Honorable Mention Offense: 


    Dakari Highsmith

 Tight End  

   Northland CTC

Dakari Highsmith (Tampa, FL) rounds out the trio of Northland Pioneers to be named to the 2017 NJCAA Football All-America teams, garnering Honorable Mention status on offense. 

The 5-10 sophomore added versatility to the Pioneer attack in a variety of ways.  Highsmith caught 85 passes for a total of 991 yards, translating to 11.7 yards per grab.  He found the endzone seven times in the air and had a longest reception of 70 yards.  On the ground, Highsmith rushed 35 times for three touchdowns, including a 42 yard effort. 

Dakari Highsmith and his NCTC squad finished atop the MCAC Football ranks, beating Mesabi Range College 68-35 in the  MCAC State Championship game.  Their season concluded with a 55-14 setback to Ellsworth (IA) Community College in the opening game of the Graphic Edge Bowl on December 3.

Honorable Mention Offense: 


James Newman


Dakota College


To say James Newman played a big role in the success of the Dakota College-Bottineau offense in 2017 would be an understatement. 

The 6-1, 300 lb. offensive lineman from Detroit's Loyola High School anchored a offense which produced one of the most balanced attacks in the MCAC this past fall.   

DCB running back Elijah Todd was near the top of the NJCAA rushers this fall with 1121 total yards while quarterback Jackson Argoe earned a 130.5 passing efficiency rating behind by the protection offered by Newman and his linemates.  The Dakota College squad won the Western Division regular season with a perfect 5-0 mark 

Newman and Dakota College-Bottineau went 8-2 on the year, including a victory over MCAC Champion Northland CTC 48-39 on Week 3 of the 2017 Minnesota College Athletic Conference campaign.


Honorable Mention Defense:



John McClure


       Ridgewater College          

Ridgewater College sophomore safety John McClure had an impressive season for the Warrior's in 2017 and has earned NJCAA All America honors for his efforts. 

The 6-2 Rockwood Summit (St. Louis, MO) product patrolled the secondary for Ridgewater in a manner that helped lead them to their second consecutive MCAC playoff appearance. 

McClure's three interceptions and 36 tackles helped set the tone defensively for Ridgewater, who used a 39-36 late season victory over Minnesota West and their potent passing attack to earn a trip to the MCAC post-season. 


The Minnesota College Athletic Conference would like to congratulate the aforementioned Football All America selections and thank Gopher Sport for their sponsorship of this important recognition.  In March, look for the Gopher Sport Winter Season Coaches-of-the-Year in Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Wrestling, as well as NJCAA All America team selections.  

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This release sponsored in part by Gopher Sport. 

Gopher Sport, based in Owatonna, is an industry leader in Physical Education, sports and fitness equipment.  Gopher Sport is dedicated to providing programs and departments with the products to improve fitness, develop skills, create fun and reach a high standard of learning and living. Gopher Sport has diligently served teachers, coaches and athletic directors around the world for over 65 years. 

About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system.  The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions.  The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.

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