WACO, TEXAS -- Seniors Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales), Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) and Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) continue to add to their postseason accolades by being named All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Carswell was tabbed as a first-team selection, while Winters and Barnett were both second-team picks. All three helped lead Trine to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and outright Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships. The Thunder also made a second straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament and fifth overall since joining the NCAA.
Carswell earns his first All-American award after leading the nation in rushing with 2,294 yards. His rushing total this season was a school single-season record and the MIAA Offensive "Most Valuable Player" also set single-season marks in rushing TDs (32), yards per game (208.5), all-purpose yards (2,319), all-purpose yards per game (210.8), total points scored (204) and total touchdowns scored (34; 32 rushing & two receiving). His 2,294 rushing yards this season currently leads all of NCAA Division III and his 208.5 yards per game average is also tops in the nation. He is currently second nationally in rushing TD (32) and scoring (18.5 points per game). Carswell also set a Trine and MIAA single-game record in rushing yards with his 359-yard performance against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College in the regular-season finale.
In all, Carswell ended his career with a combined 26 Trine career, season, single game and conference records that include being the program's all-time leader in rushing (5,364 yards), rushing TDs (74), rushing yards per game (137.5) and yards per rush (7.7).
So far this season, Carswell has amassed an impressive list of postseason accolades in addition to his All-American Award and MIAA Offensive "MVP" honors. He was a first-team All-MIAA selection for the second straight season, was a first-team All-Region selection, his first first-team recognition and second All-Region award overall. Carswell was also named one of four national finalists for the 2018 Gagliardi Trophy last week which recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service.
Winters has now earned second-team honors on defense in back-to-back seasons. Winters, who was named the MIAA Defensive "Player of the Year" for the second straight season in 2018, was part of a defense that ranked 11th in NCAA Division III in passing yards allowed per game at 147.5. Individually, Winters ended his senior campaign with 33 total tackles (24 solo and nine assists) and had three interceptions to go along with a blocked kick that came on an extra point attempt. Winters also etched his name in the Trine record books as the program's all-time leader in interceptions with 21 for his career.
Winters was also a threat on special teams as a punt returner with two punt returns for touchdowns and averaged 23.4 yards per return. He ends his career with three program all-time marks in punt return yardage with 622, return average (18.85 yards per return) and returns for TD with four.
In addition to being the MIAA Defensive "MVP," Winters earned first-team All-MIAA honors for the third consectutive season, as well as his third All-Region Award (first-team in 2018) and is a nominee for the Cliff Harris Award which is presented to the nation's top small college defensive player at the NCAA Division II, III and NAIA levels.
Barnett was named second-team All-American as an all-purpose player for his standout season returning kicks. Barnett was one of the top kickoff return threats in the nation who averaged 39.0 yards per return which ranks second highest among Division III schools. He also set Trine single-season records with three returns for touchdowns and kick return average (39.0). His three kickoff returns for TD currently rank as most recorded this season in the nation. In only 15 attempts, he racked up 585 yards which rank as the fourth highest in program history. In his career as a kick returner, Barnett holds the school record for kick returns for TD (five), return average (28.96) and ranks second all-time in number of return attempts (75) and total yards (2,172).
In addition to his role as a kick returner, Barnett was the top target for Trine quarterbacks with a team-high 35 receptions for 719 yards and four touchdowns this past fall. He averaged 20.5 yards per catch, which led the conference. Barnett posted two games of 100 or more receiving yards during his final season, highlighted by a season-high 147 yards against Olivet (Mich.) College. Also during the season, Barnett became the Trine all-time leader in receiving yards and ended his career with 2,907. In addition, he finished second all-time in receiving TDs with 22.
To go along with his All-American status, Barnett earned first-team All-MIAA honors as both a wide receiver and return specialist for the third straight season and earned his third All-Region honor (first-team in 2018) of his career.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. The AFCA's Division III All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's eight districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. 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.