WACO, TEXAS -- Trine University's junior football player Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) has been selected second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
The 2017 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year adds to his postseason awards having already earned first-team All-Conference and second-team D3football.com All-North Region accolades. He is now a two-time All-MIAA and All-Region award winner.
Winters helped lead a Trine defense that was not only one of the top in the MIAA, but also in all of NCAA Division III as the Thunder still currently leads the nation in total turnovers with 37 (23 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries), third in turnover margin (1.50) and ranked 55th in total defense (315.3 yards allowed per game). Trine's 23 total INTs ranked in a tie for fifth nationally with Winters recording six INTs alone. For the season, Winters made 26 tackles (20 solo and six assists), including a half tackle for loss, in addition to a forced fumble. In addition to his role on defense, Winters was also the team's leading punt returner who averaged 16.8 yards per return for 218 yards and one return for a TD.
The Thunder finished the regular season 10-0 (11-1 overall) and were the MIAA Champions. It marked the third time in program history that Trine posted an undefeated regular season (2017, 2010, 2008) and fourth MIAAChampionship (2008, 2009, 2010, 2017).
The AFCA's Division III All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's eight districts. 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.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen.
From 1967 through 1971, two teams – University Division and College Division – were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II.
In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — Division I-A and Division I-AA.
In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. The AFCA began selecting an NAIA-only team in 2006. Also in 2006, the Division I-A and Division I-AA teams were renamed Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), respectively.
From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. In 2016, the AFCA added a second team All-America.