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NAU ROUNDUP: Rey, Knapp win WAC awards

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Northern Arizona sophomores Maddy Rey and Victoria Knapp were awarded with the Western Athletic Conference swimmer and diver of the week accolades, respectively, for their performances over the weekend.

Knapp earned her fourth diver of the week award this season.

It follows a two-day dual meet at the University of Arizona, where once again the diver put up NCAA Zone qualifying scores on both the 1- and 3-meter boards.

Knapp placed fourth overall in the 1m dives, where she scored 285.68, and second in the 3m dives with a score of 294.38.

The Lumberjacks totaled five individual first-place results over the  weekend at Arizona, with Rey bringing in two golds herself. Marking the 15th-fastest time in the WAC this season, Rey finished first in the 400 individual medley, coming in at 4:31.83.

Rey added another first-place finish in the 200 freestyle race, finishing at 1:54.04, as well as a second-place finish for the Lumberjacks in the 500 free at 5:07.31.

Rey's swimmer of the week award marks the first of her Northern Arizona career.

Northern Arizona will now gear up to head to California and Utah, as the squads will split up for the weekend. The diving crew will be traveling to UCLA for the Bruin Diving Invitational, which will take place Friday through Sunday. The swimming squad will head to Dixie State to compete in a dual meet against the Trailblazers on Saturday.

Ben and Joe Raineri preview the Arizona Cardinals facing off against the Los Angeles Rams.


Led by a pair of freshman All-Americans, the Lumberjacks had nine players earn postseason honors from Phil Steele.

Named All-Big Sky First Team and the Big Sky Freshman of the Year, running back Kevin Daniels earned First Team Freshman All-American honors and Coleman Owen earned Third Team Freshman All-American honors in addition to his place on the conference's fourth team.

The teams were compiled by Phil Steele and, a leader in building a database and charting college football prospects.

Daniels finished the season third in the FCS at 114.6 rushing yards per game, ending the regular season with 1,146 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 185 carries across 10 games. Adding another 141 yards through the air on 25 catches, Daniels finished 13th in the FCS in all-purpose yards per game.

The Freshman All-American honor is the second of the postseason for Daniels after being named to the 2021 FCS Freshman All-American Team by Hero Sports. Daniels also earned All-Big Sky Second Team honors.

Owen, who was named an All-Big Sky Honorable Mention in November, finished with a team-high 43 receptions, 713 yards and six touchdowns for the fall. Owen's yardage total finished seventh in the Big Sky and his touchdown total landed third. Nearly at 1,000 career yards through 20 career games, Owen needs 53 yards next fall to become the 33rd Lumberjack to reach the mark.

Seven Lumberjacks earned All-Big Sky honors from Phil Steele.

Safety Morgan Vest earned second-team honors, finishing with 105 tackles, the fifth most by a Lumberjacks player in a single season since 1995. Vest landed 18th in the FCS and fourth in the Big Sky in tackles per game. The junior also finished with five interceptions, tied for sixth in the FCS and tied for the sixth most in a single season at Northern Arizona.

Long snapper Justin Hathoot was placed on the All-Big Sky Third Team, his fourth career honors from Phil Steele, with defensive end Carson Taylor also landing on the third team. Taylor recorded 6.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss in addition to three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles in his final season as a Lumberjack.

Also on the fourth team were quarterback RJ Martinez, offensive lineman Jonas Leader, linebacker Tristen Vance and punter DJ Arnson.

Throwing for 1,714 yards while completing 136-of-220 passes, Martinez earned freshman of the year from the Big Sky to become the first Lumberjacks quarterback to win the award since Case Cookus in 2015. Martinez finished with 14 passing touchdowns and another five on the ground to just two interceptions.

Right tackle Jonas Leader wrapped up his fourth season on the field for the Lumberjacks and extended his run of consecutive starts to 27 straight games this fall while blocking for Daniels and Martinez.

Vance finished with 86 tackles, with 5.5 going for a loss in all 11 games this fall, and added two pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Lastly, Arnson wrapped up his career with an average of 43.6 yards per punt with 21 landing inside the 20-yard line and 14 going for 50 or more yards. Setting a program record for games played at 49 with Vance and Luis Aguilar, Arnson also finished his career with a new program record of 11,041 punting yards.


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