ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Nine Navy football players have been named to the 2013 FBS All-Independent Team it was announced on Wednesday, including Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds (Antioch, Tenn.) who was named the 2013 FBS All-Independent Offensive Player of the Year. In addition to Reynolds BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy (Defensive Player of the Year), Idaho placekicker/punter Austin Rehkow (Special Teams Player of the Year) and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith (Freshman of the Year) were the recipients of major awards.
In just his second season at Navy, Reynolds is well on his way to rewriting the school and national record books, establishing an NCAA single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 29 this season, tying the NCAA record for most touchdowns in a game against an FBS opponent (7 vs. San Jose State), scoring a program-best 42 points against San Jose State, breaking a nearly 100-year-old season scoring mark at Navy with 176 points (174 by Bill Ingram in 1917) and smashing the school record for points responsible for in a season with 224. Reynolds heads into the Dec. 30 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State ranked No. 1 in the country in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game, No. 1 in rushing touchdowns with 29 and No. 2 in rushing yards by a quarterback with 105.0.
Joining Reynolds on the All-Independent First Team are junior offensive lineman Bradyn Heap (South Jordan, Utah), senior linebacker and co-captain Cody Peterson (Olympia, Wash.) and junior safety/cornerback Parrish Gaines (Smyrna, Tenn). Honorable mention selections for the Midshipmen include junior punter Pablo Beltran (Humble, Texas), freshman cornerback Brendon Clements (Miami, Fla.), junior outside linebacker Chris Johnson (Cape Coral, Fla.), senior kick returner Marcus Thomas (Baton Rouge, La.) and junior offensive lineman Jake Zuzek (Brookhaven, Pa.).
Navy’s defense has held seven of its 12 opponents below their scoring average for the season, including bowl-bound Pitt and Service Academy rivals Air Force and Army. Peterson, who leads the Mids with 135 tackles this season, stands No. 2 in the nation in tackles per game, averaging 11.3, while his 7.7 solo tackles per game is also the second best in the country. Clements, who has started nine games for the Mids, is coming off perhaps his best performance of his career, forcing three Army turnovers (2 forced fumbles, 1 interception) in last weekend’s 34-7 victory. Johnson, meanwhile, owns a team-high tying three interceptions to go along with his 78 tackles which rank third on the team.
Beltran stands No. 2 all-time in career punting average at Navy, averaging 41.3 yards per punt and heads into the bowl ranked fifth on Navy’s single-season punting list where he has averaged 42.0 yards per punt this season.
Thomas has enjoyed a spectacular career returning kicks for the Mids and will graduate as the program’s leader in career returns (101) and return yardage (2,240). He is the only player in school history to top the 2,000-yard mark for yards, as well as the only player to return more than 80 kicks.
2013 FBS ALL-INDEPENDENT TEAM
QB Keenan Reynolds (So.) Navy
RB Terry Baggett (Jr.) Army
RB Jamaal Williams (So.) BYU
WR Dezmon Epps (Jr.) Idaho
WR TJ Jones (Sr.) Notre Dame
TE Troy Niklas (Jr.) Notre Dame
OL Michael Kime (Sr.) Army
OL Michael Yeck (Jr.) BYU
OL Bradyn Heap (Jr.) Navy
OL Zack Martin (Sr.) Notre Dame
OL Chris Watt (Sr.) Notre Dame
DL Eathyn Manumaleuna (Sr.) BYU
DL Louis Nix III (Sr.) Notre Dame
DL Stephon Tuitt (Jr.) Notre Dame
LB Uani ‘Unga (Sr.) BYU
LB Kyle Van Noy (Sr.) BYU
LB Cody Peterson (Sr.) Navy
LB Dan Fox (Sr.) Notre Dame
DB Daniel Sorensen (Sr.) BYU
DB Parrish Gaines (Jr.) Navy
DB Davis Cazares (Sr.) New Mexico State
DB Bennett Jackson (Sr.) Notre Dame
PK Kyle Brindza (Jr.) Notre Dame
P Austin Rehkow (Fr.) Idaho
KR Adam Hine (So.) BYU
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
QB Keenan Reynolds Navy
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LB Kyle Van Noy BYU
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PK/P Austin Rehkow Idaho
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
LB Jaylon Smith Notre Dame
Army: PK Daniel Grochowski (So.), OL Ryan Powis (Jr.), OL Stephen Shumaker (Jr.)
BYU: DB Craig Bills (Jr.), QB Taysom Hill (So.), WR Cody Hoffman (Sr.), KR JD Falslev (Sr.), PK Justin Sorensen (Sr.)
Idaho: DL QuayShawne Buckley (Sr.), DL Maxx Forde (Jr.), LB Marc Millan (Jr.), OL Mike Marboe (Jr.), DB Trey Williams (Sr.)
Navy: P Pablo Beltran (Jr.), CB Brendon Clements (Fr.), LB Chris Johnson (Jr.), KR Marcus Thomas (Sr.), OL Jake Zuzek (Jr.)
New Mexico State: OL Andy Cunningham (So.), WR Austin Franklin (Jr.), LB Trashaun Nixon (Sr.), OL Davonte Wallace (Sr.)
Notre Dame: KR George Atkinson III (Jr.), OL Nick Martin (Jr.), QB Tommy Rees (Sr.), CB KeiVarae Russell (So.), LB Prince Shembo (Sr.)