30 Iowa Conference titles
PELLA—Central College defensive end Danny Samson (senior, Baxter, CMB HS) is extending his career for two more weeks as he’s been selected to appear in a pair of Division III all-star games.
The Iowa Conference defensive player of the year was tabbed to play in the D-III Senior Classic Friday at 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Salem, Va., site of next week’s NCAA Division III championship game, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
Samson will then journey from Virginia to Monterrey, Mexico to begin workouts for the fifth annual Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars), which will be staged Dec. 21. Samson and Dutch teammates Jason Breon (senior, Anamosa), a defensive back, linebacker Mike Young (senior, Country Club Hills, Ill., Hillcrest HS) and offensive lineman Travis Hook (senior, Grundy Center) will play there for Team Stars and Stripes, a Division III all-star team coached by Dutch defensive coordinator Don De Waard. They’ll take on a team of all-stars from a national conference of Mexican private colleges.
“It’s an honor to be invited to two all-star games,” Samson said. “It’s great to be recognized, both individually and as a member of the Central College football team. It will be challenging to play in Virginia and then travel to Mexico and play again, but it will be nice to be with my teammates, coaches and support staff at the second game.”
The D-III Senior Classic was first held in 2009. The game features 53 of Division III’s top players. More than 80 percent of the players on the all-star rosters each year are all-America honorees. Samson will play for the South squad—which includes players from Division III’s South and West regions.
“It’s a neat honor,” said coach Jeff McMartin. “It’s really exciting that Danny was chosen. He was a dominant player in the conference on defense and we’re thrilled that he’s representing Central College and the Iowa Conference in this game.”
Samson, who is under consideration for all-America distinction, Tuesday was named a first-team all-West Region selection by D3football.com. He led the league with 11.5 sacks over 10 games (1.15 per game) for 73 yards lost, and in tackles for loss with 21.5 for 96 yards lost. He also tied for second in fumbles recovered with two and recorded three of Central’s 11 blocked kicks—the second most blocks by an NCAA team. Samson was twice named to the D3football.com team of the week (Oct. 2, Oct. 23) and as conference defensive player of the week (Sept. 29, Oct. 20).
“Danny had an outstanding year and made a lot of big plays,” McMartin said. “We’re excited to see him play against the other top Division III players and see where that takes him.”