ABILENE - ACU senior defensive end Aston Whiteside has been named an NCAA Division II all-America by two different outlets, capping a sensational Wildcat football career.
Whiteside has been named a first team all-America by the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) and was voted second team all-America on the Daktronics team.
The Wildcats have now had a player selected to the AFCA all-America team in four straight seasons and six of the last eight seasons. Only one player per school is allowed to be named to the AFCA team.
Danieal Manning was named to the team in 2004 as a return specialist and 2005 as a defensive back. Bernard Scott was named to the team as a running back in 2008, followed by offensive lineman Tony Washington in 2009 and wide receiver Clyde Gates in 2010.
Each of those players is now playing on the professional level with Manning playing with the Houston Texans, Scott with the Cincinnati Bengals, Gates with the Miami Dolphins and Washington with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Whiteside was one of just two players from the Lone Star Conference to earn AFCA all-America honors with Midwestern State offensive lineman Amini Silatolu also earning AFCA accolades.
Whiteside finished his career by earning first team NCAA Division II all-America honors from the American Football Coaches' Association, first team Super Region IV honors and Region Defensive Player of the Year honors from Daktronics, first team all-Lone Star Conference honors, and LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2011. He's also an NFL prospect at linebacker, fullback or tight end.
Whiteside finished his four-year career with 31.5 sacks, which is good for second on ACU's all-time list, and he also finished with 57.5 tackles for loss (totaling 341 yards in losses).
As a senior in 2011, Whiteside faced constant double-teams each week from his defensive end spot, but it didn't stop him from racking up a career-high 40 tackles to go along with 6.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss.
Whiteside was voted the 2008 and 2010 LSC South Division Defensive Lineman of the Year, 2010 first team all-Super Region Four by Daktronics and Don Hansen's Football Gazette, and Daktronics' 2010 second team all-America and Super Region Defensive Player of the Year.
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