RICHMOND, IND. – The Defiance College football team had seven members named to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic All-Conference team announced Wednesday afternoon by the league office. Senior Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) headlined the nominees for Defiance as he garnered First Team honors.
Sophomore Cody Drumm-Turner (Homer, Mich.) and senior Casey Helton (Defiance/Tinora) earned Second Team honors, while senior Corey Bennett (Tampa, Fla./Blake), senior Cody Brown (Grass Lake, Mich.), and sophomore Jacob Vorce (Paw Paw, Mich.) were named Honorable Mention. Senior Nick Eberly (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) was named a member of the Chris Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship Team.
Nealy garners his second, First Team All-HCAC honor and third All-Conference accolade. The senior finished the season with a team-best 109 total tackles, including 65 solo tackles. He had five sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss and forced two fumbles. The linebacker also tallied four interceptions with five pass breakups. Nealy finished his career with 321 total tackles, 191 solo tackles, 15 sacks, six interceptions, and 11 pass breakups.
Drumm-Turner claims his second All-HCAC honor after appearing and starting all ten games for the Purple and Gold. The sophomore recorded a career-high four interceptions with 54 total tackles. He registered a game-high 10 tackles against Hope.
Helton earns his first All-Conference honor as an offensive lineman for the Yellow Jackets. The senior started all 10 games for DC with three tackles. He also recorded a forced fumble in the game against Mt. St. Joseph.
Senior running back, Bennett garners his second All-HCAC honor after being named First Team a season ago. He led the team with 753 rushing yards on 195 carries with three touchdowns. The senior ranked fifth among the league in yards per game at 75.3.
Brown earns his first All-HCAC honor after starting all 10 games for Defiance. The senior had 80 total tackles, including 47 solo attempts. He averaged 8.0 tackles per game as a starting linebacker with three pass breakups and seven tackles for loss.
Vorce, who appeared in and started all ten games as a wide receiver, captured his first All-Conference accolade. The junior had 39 receptions for 507 total yards. He averaged 3.9 receptions per game with four touchdowns. Vorce recorded a career best 59 yard reception this season against Conference foe Manchester.
Eberly rounds out the awards for the Purple and Gold as he was named a member of the Chris Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship team. The senior joined the active roster his junior season after serving as a student manager for two seasons. Eberly saw action in three games and tallied one tackle.
As a team, the Yellow Jackets averaged 12.2 points per game and forced 10 fumbles with 13 defensive interceptions.