FERRIS STATE'S JAKE VISSER PICKS UP CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE HONOR
Junior Standout Earns GLIAC Recognition After Season-Ending Triumph
For the fifth time this season, a Ferris State University football player has been honored as a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Player of the Week as junior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) received the league's weekly defensive award in an announcement made by the conference office on Monday (Nov. 12).
Visser led the Bulldogs' defensive charge with an outstanding individual performance in Saturday's (Nov. 10) exciting 17-13 victory over Wayne State in the regular-season finale at Adams Field in Detroit, Mich. The 6-2 Visser finished with a game-high tying 11 tackles (eight solo) and added 2.5 tackles for loss resulting in a negative 12 yards. He also had one quarterback sack for a loss of nine yards, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery as the Bulldogs posted their fourth winning season in the last five years.
Visser's performance helped the FSU defense limit Wayne State's powerful running attack to only 113 yards on the ground. He registered his sack on the Warriors' last offensive play of the contest to end any hopes of a Wayne State comeback.
This season, Visser tallied the squad's second-highest tackles figure (106) and led the squad in tackles for loss with 14.5 for minus 62 yards, which ranked fifth in the conference. He also had a team-best nine quarterback hurries along with 5.5 sacks for a loss of 41 yards.
In 34 career contests, Visser has compiled 290 tackles (154 solos) with five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and four pass deflections. He also has 38.5 tackles for loss resulting in a negative 165 yards. Visser is presently seventh on Ferris State's all-time pass sacks leaders list with 20.0 total for a negative 125 yards. He received 2006 first-team All-Northwest Region accolades by Daktronics, Inc., and last week was honored as a 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV First Team selection. Along with placing fifth among this season's league leaders in tackles for loss, Visser also currently is ranked sixth in total tackles (9.6 tpg.).
A 2006 second-team All-Northwest Region pick by Don Hansen's Football Gazette, Visser racked up a squad-high 16.0 tackles for a loss of 74 yards last year (2006), which included a conference-leading 10.5 pass sacks for minus 62 yards. His season's sacks total in 2006 tied for the sixth-highest ever total among the Bulldogs' all-time single-season leaders. He also finished 30th among last season's NCAA Division II statistical leaders in solo tackles (4.7 avg.) and 35th in tackles for loss (1.5 avg.) a year ago.
Visser, who was tabbed as both a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America First Team selection and D2football.com Preseason All-America Second Team pick along with being named to the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview All-Division II Preseason All-America Second Team, was a 2006 honorable mention All-America selection by both D2Football.com and Don Hansen's Football Gazette. The 2006 All-GLIAC First-Team lineman finished second among Ferris' 2006 tackles leaders with 86 stops (52 solos) as an 11-game starter. The two-time (2005-06) FSU Most Valuable Defensive Lineman also finished ninth nationally last season in pass sacks per game (1.0 avg.).
Visser is one of four different Bulldog players to receive GLIAC Player of the Week honors this year as senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) picked up the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week Award following FSU's season-opening home triumph over Kentucky State (Sept. 1). Senior defensive end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) was recognized as the defensive player of the week after his performance in a 48-14 league road win over Gannon (Oct. 13). Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) received the special teams honor twice this year following a game-winning field goal versus Hillsdale (Sept. 22) and after converting a game-tying field goal near the end of regulation as the Bulldogs topped Northwood 48-41 in overtime last week (Nov. 3) at Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs' 6-5 overall record this season represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under head coach Jeff Pierce and marks the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. FSU was an even 5-5 in GLIAC action this campaign as the Bulldogs won their final two games of the season in thrilling fashion.