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GWC Lands Four on The Sports Network/ All-America Team

Cal Poly's Jake Romanelli

Cal Poly's Jake Romanelli

Dec. 19, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Great West Conference had four football athletes named to the 2011 The Sports Network/ All-America team, released on Monday. Cal Poly fullback Jake Romanelli was named to the second team, while South Dakota's Tom Compton, Cal Poly's Asa Jackson and Southern Utah's Austin Minefee received third team honors.

Romanelli, a senior fullback from Templeton, Calif., was named to the second team after surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 2011. He was a three-time All-Great West Conference selection and was the lone unanimous selection on the GWC All-Conference team chosen by the media. Romanelli was also named Great West Offensive Player of the Year by College Sports Madness.

Surpassing the 100-yard mark in rushing in four consecutive games, Romanelli was one shy of the school record, and picked up No. 5 with his career-high 36 carries and 179 yards against Eastern Washington on Nov. 12. He finished with six career 100-yard games at Cal Poly, and was No. 1 in the Great West and No. 35 in the FCS averaging 92.27 yards a contest, while scoring seven rushing touchdowns.

After receiving Associated Press All-America third-team honors last week, Asa Jackson earned third-team accolades from The Sports Network for the second straight year. The senior cornerback from Sacramento, Calif., was named Great West Freshman of the Year in 2008 and claimed all-conference first-team honors four times and was the first player in the history of the league to be honored four times on the first-team defense. In addition, he was two-time GWC Defensive Player of the Year.

A preseason Buck Buchanan Award candidate, Jackson notched 199 tackles in four seasons with the Mustangs along with eight interceptions (two in each season) and 32 pass breakups. In his senior campaign, Jackson had 54 tackles (31 solo) with two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns (52 and 100 yards), and seven pass breakups. He also was among the nation's leaders in punt returns this fall, averaging 18.0 yards on eight returns with a long of 41 yards.

Compton, who was honored last week as an Associated Press first-team All-America selection, was a three-time All-Great West Conference honoree at offensive lineman. The senior from Rosemount, Minn., was a fourth team All-America selection last season and he earned GWC Offensive Lineman of the Year honors according to the media in 2011.

Rounding out the GWC honorees was Minefee, who claimed All-America honors as a kick return specialist. The senior running back from Cedar City, Utah, was a two-time first-team All-Great West Conference selection at running back and this year's GWC Special Teams Player of the Year. He finished the regular season ranked seventh in the nation in both kickoff return yards and all-purpose yards.

He returned 25 kickoffs for 731 yards and two touchdowns and finished the season with a 29.2 yards-per-return average. He also finished the season with 1,751 all-purpose yards. Minefee led the Thunderbirds in rushing (625 yards) and scoring (13 TDs) this past season.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries selected The Sports Network/ All-America Team following the regular season.