The Buffs had the most in the Lone Star Conference as senior defensive end Ethan Westbrooks was picked fourth, senior quarterback Dustin Vaughan was 23rd, while senior wide receiver Torrence Allen was 67th and senior kicker Sergio Castillo, Jr., was 70th. The complete poll can be found at D2Football.com.
In all, the LSC had eight selections as Texas A&M-Kingsville wide receiver Robert Armstrong was 100th which began the countdown. Angelo Stateâ??s senior defensive tackle Joey Searcy was 60th, while Midwestern Stateâ??s senior running back Keidrick Jackson was 46th. Tarleton Stateâ??s senior cornerback Dashaun Phillips was 12th.
Along with the four LSC opponents, the Buffs also face two other players in the top 100 in Chadron Stateâ??s senior safety Trelan Taylor and senior running back Glen Clinton. Taylor was 93rd in the rankings and Clinton was 44th.
In all, 61 schools were represented in the top 100 as defending national champion Valdosta State led the way with six. Bloomsburg (Pa.) had five selections, while the Buffs were third with four. Seven schools had three selections each and 13 had two honorees.
Westbrooks, a native of Oakland, Calif., was named LSC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year earlier this summer. He had an outstanding first season in a Buffalo uniform as he spearheaded the top pass rush in NCAA Division II as he recorded a school-record 19.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss. The 6-4, 275-pound defensive lineman was named the Ron Lenz Daktronics Division II National Defensive Player of the Year and Super Region Four Defensive Player of the Year. He was named Don Hanson All-Super Region Four Defensive Player of the Year and earned first team honors and he was the Lone Star Conference's J.V. Sykes Defensive Player of the Year honors, while totaling 60 total tackles. His 28 tackles for loss were for 139 yards and his 19.5 sacks accumulated 116 yards.
In the poll, which was compiled by Josh Buchanan, said about Westbrooks, â??There is no more physically imposing and dominant player in D2. He is a big body who could play three technique or be a 4-3 or 3-4 end. He was the Lone Star Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 with 28 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, and 19 quarterback hurries on his way to first-team All-America honors.â??
Vaughan, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, earned LSC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors in July and had a record-setting year both on and off the field in 2012. He played and started in all 15 games as the Buffs reached the NCAA Semifinal for the first time in school history with a 12-3 record and a share of the LSC title. He threw for 4,712 yards which was the third-most in school history in a season and tossed 45 touchdowns which were second-most in school history in a season. Vaughan was named Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year and LSC Academic Player of the Year. In addition, he was named Capital One/CoSIDA Academic Player of the Year for Division II Football and was a Harlon Hill Final Eight selection. Vaughan earned multiple all-America accolades, including second team Daktronics and third team BSN Sports.
Buchanan said of Vaughan â??While Vaughan needs to improve his consistency and accuracy he has size arm strength and flashed with 4712 yard and 45 touchdowns to earn Lone Star Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2012. Heâ??s a two-time All-Lone Star selection and two-year starter.â??
Allen, a native of Meridian, Texas, has played in 36 games with 16 starts. He has 108 career receptions for 1,832 yards which ranks him 10th in school history in career receiving yards. He needs just 25 receptions to move into the top 10 all-time in career receptions.
He led the team with 87 catches for 1,430 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He averaged 102.1 yards per game and 16.4 yards per catch. His 1,430 yards were third-most in a season in school history and had a career-high 185 yards and three touchdowns at Ashland (Ohio) in the NCAA Playoffs. He earned first team all-conference honors and was Co-Receiver of the Year. Allen was a second team Daktronics all-region selection.
â??He has just one year of major production but it was a big year with 1,430 yards and 12 touchdowns to earn Lone Star Co-Wide Receiver of the Year honors in 2012,â?? Buchanan said.
Castillo hails from La Joya, Texas, and has made 38 of 49 field goals with a long of 56 in his career. He has converted 174 of 177 extra-points and is third in school history in scoring at 288 points. He set the school-record for field goals made in a season with 20 in 2012 and owns the school-record for career field goals with 38.
He tied for ninth nationally in field goals per game in 2012 and went 69 of 70 in extra-points, while setting the school-record for 64 consecutive extra-points made during the season. Castillo earned first team all-conference honors and earned Daktronics First Team All-America accolades. He also earned D2Football.com honorable mention all-America honors and was a Beyond Sports Network First Team All-America selection.
Buchanan said about Castillo, â??He earned All-America honors, hitting 20 of 23 field goals (87%) and a long of 56 yards. He was 69-of-70 on extra-point attempts last year.â??