Two Bearcats Named Preseason All-America by USA Football Network

By Brandon Chinn, Student Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. – After a highly successful 2012 campaign in which the Bearcats finished with an overall record of 8-2 (4-2 in NWC), two returning members of the Willamette University football team have been named as USA College Football Division III Preseason All-Americans.

Josh Dean (Sr., QB, Dana Point, CA/Dana Point HS) was one of five quarterbacks throughout the country given First Team All-America status by the USA Football Network while Tyson Giza (Sr., CB, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) was named to the third team.

In total, 83 athletes were named First Team All-America.

Dean was also one of two quarterbacks to be named Third Team All-America by the Beyond Sports Network, joining Tim Reynolds of Ferrum College (Va.).

Josh Dean

Josh Dean was named the 2012 starting quarterback just one week before opening day and quickly assured first-year Head Coach Glen Fowles that he was the right man for the job.

In the Bearcats opening game against Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), Dean threw for six touchdowns to tie the Willamette school record for most touchdown passes in a single game. He also gained 468 yards through the air, just five short of the school record (473).

In just his first year as the starting quarterback, Dean went on to break each and every one of Willamette's single season passing records.

He finished the season completing 64.7% of his attempts (273 for 422) while ranking third in all of NCAA Division III with 3,345 yards passing. 

Dean also notched 34 touchdown passes and scrambled for six more while he limited himself to a mere 12 interceptions in ten games for Willamette. Due to his commanding performance and all of his accolades during the regular season, Dean was named Second Team All-Northwest Conference.

Tyson Giza

Tyson Giza comes away with second team preseason All-America honors by the USA Football Network after a 2012 season in which he was named Second Team All-Northwest Conference.

He finished the year with 25 tackles, 18 of them unassisted, and intercepted opposing passers four times. Giza surely served as a nuisance in the secondary as the senior broke up a team-high seven pass attempts.

Giza's speed was also utilized in the return game, as he averaged 21.0 yards per kickoff return to rank third in the Northwest Conference.

Giza has remained consistent in his three years as a member of the Willamette football team. He has played in 28 games throughout his career, having notched a total of 68 tackles to go along with 13 interceptions.

As a sophomore in 2011, Giza earned Honorable Mention All-NWC after coming away with four interceptions, four pass-breakups and 29 total tackles.

Bearcats Open Season with a Pair of Home Games

With August right around the corner and the new turf at Ted Ogdahl Field already in place, members of the Willamette football team are eager to report back to camp and prepare to build on what was a successful 2012 season.

After beginning last year on the road, the Bearcats will open up the 2013 season with two consecutive home games. Opening night will be on Friday Sept. 6 against Hardin-Simmons University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (PDT)

Willamette will then host Sewanee:  University of the South on Sept. 14 with the start time slated for 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

Preseason All-America Teams
USA Football Network
Beyond Sports Network
After a stellar offensive output in 2012, Josh Dean has been named as a preseason All-American by multiple networks.

After a stellar offensive output in 2012, Josh Dean has been named as a preseason All-American by multiple networks.