GREENVILLE, S.C. – The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) has honored four McMurry University players on its recently-released All-NCCAA Football Team for the 2013 season. The War Hawks are in their second year as an NCCAA member institution, during the transition to full NCAA Division II membership.
McM had two offensive and two defensive squad members recognized, all on the second team lists. Offensively, junior wide receiver Greg Livingston and freshman quarterback Gabe Rodriguez were tabbed. Defensively, junior linebacker Jonathan Blair and junior defensive back Desmond Guy were recognized on the NCCAA’s post-season honor roll.
In his third season with the program, Livingston had a career year. Livingston set McMurry school season records for both receiving yards (1,273) and touchdown receptions (17). He had 87 catches, averaging 14.6 yards per reception. He also set an McM single game record with 232 receiving yards versus NCAA Division I FCS foe Incarnate Word. He also became the school’s all-time receptions leader (now at 202) and ranks No. 2 in career receiving yards (2,523).
“Greg had a great year,” McM head coach Mason Miller said. “In my option, he is at all-American status and was near the top in the nation in several categories. He is a great kid.”
Despite not moving into the starting role until game No. 4, Rodriguez piled up some amazing statistics during what is, arguably, the best season ever by a freshman quarterback at McMurry. Rodriguez was 257 of 415 (61.9 percent) for 3,237 yards and 43 touchdowns. He set freshman records for completions, TDs and passing yards, while also eclipsing the overall school single season TD standard (previously 35 in 2010 by former all-American Jake Mullin). In his first collegiate start, Rodriguez tied a school record with seven touchdown throws (vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State), as he earned the NCCAA’s national “Player of the Week” honor.
“Gabe had an outstanding year as a true freshman,” Miller recounted. “He had eye piping numbers and did so with only starting nine games.”
Blair was second on the team in total tackles (94), but led the unit with 15.0 tackles for loss (totaling 56 lost yards). Blair was also tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks, to go along with four pass break-ups and two interceptions. He had four games with double-figure tackle totals, including a season-best 11 at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“John Blair embodies everything we look for in our student-athletes,” Miller praised. "We are proud of everything he accomplishes for our program.”
Guy - a sophomore who came to McM via Sam Houston State - topped the War Hawks in total tackles with 96, 66 of which were solo. Guy also had one interception and one fumble recovery, along with five pass break-ups. Guy had five games with double figures in tackles, improving upon his own personal best three times. He had a team season - and personal - high of 18 tackles versus nationally-ranked Midwestern State University.
“Desmond became a great leader for us throughout this transition,” Miller said. "He had to switch positions due to injuries (this season) and still filled in at a high level.”