SOU's Myers, Baldwin haul in awards

Southern Oregon's Jordan Myers has been named to the 2009 American Football Coaches Association NAIA All-American team, the AFCA announced Wednesday.

Myers was a four-year starter for the Raiders at left tackle, making 37 straight starts and playing every snap of the last two years.

"Jordan is the most deserving guy on our team," SOU head coach Steve Helminiak said. "It's very satisfying to see a guy who is this deserving get honored by the AFCA. Nobody exudes Raider football like Jordan. He's a great representative for SOU as a student, a person and a football player."

Myers' teammate, running back Brandon Baldwin, also received some prestigious recognition Wednesday when he was named the all-independent offensive player of the year. Baldwin, a sophomore, and Myers joined nine of their teammates on the all-independent squad.

Myers had 130 knockdowns as an offensive lineman over his four years and has played with a 1,000-yard rusher each of the past two years.

Myers is the first Raider to be named All-American since 2003 and just the fourth SOU offensive lineman to earn the honor.

The AFCA's NAIA All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's nine districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. 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.

Baldwin joined offensive linemen Trent Henson and Buddy Tuamasaga, defensive lineman Sunni Ali and defensive back Damilyn Tanner on the All-Independent first team. Fullback Brent Koontz, Myers, defensive lineman Will Watson, defensive back Thomas Sandoval, kicker Tyler Crowley and returner Vance Beach were all named All-Independent second team.

Baldwin burst on the scene for the Raiders in 2009. The transfer from Shasta College rushed 272 times for 1,191 yards and six touchdowns. He ranked third in the NAIA in rushing yards per game at 132.3 and also caught seven passes for 74 yards.

The blocking of Henson, Tuamasaga, Koontz and Myers all played a big role in Baldwin's success.

Ali finished second on the squad in tackles-for-loss with eight and also finished third on the team in tackles with 46. Tanner finished fourth on the squad 44 tackles and led the team with three interceptions.

Watson turned in an impressive senior season, leading the team with 10 tackles-for-loss and also 31/2 sacks. His 42 tackles ranked fifth on the team. Sandoval led the Raiders, who finished 2-7, in tackles with 56, including a team-best 34 solo stops.

Crowley made 9 of 15 field goals for the Raiders, including a perfect 6-for-6 from under 30 yards.

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