Youngstown State junior tailback Tevin McCaster and senior offensive tackle Justin Spencer were named first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference the league announced on Monday. Overall 10 Penguins were received all-conference accolades for the 2017 season.
Earning second-team accolades were junior linebacker Armand Dellovade, senior cornerback Billy Nicoe Hurst, junior center Vitas Hrynkiewicz and junior offensive guard Gavin Wiggins. Honorable-mention All-MVFC honorees were senior tight end Kevin Rader, senior linebacker Lee Wright, senior safety Jalyn Powell and junior long snapper Steven Wethli.
McCaster becomes the sixth YSU tailback to earn first-team All-MVFC honors joining Martin Ruiz (2016), Jamiane Cook (2011), Marcus Mason (2006), P.J. Mays (2001, 2002) and Jake Andreadis (1997). In 2017, McCaster rushed for 1,066 yards on 221 carries and 13 touchdowns. In conference play, he had 803 yards on 171 attempts and scored 10 times.
It marks the third straight year that Spencer earned all-league honors, but it is the first time he received first-team accolades in his stellar four-year career. He is the first YSU offensive tackle to be named first-team all-league since Brad Samsa in 2007. Spencer started all 50 games during his YSU career at various spots along the offensive line.
Dellovade earned second-team honors for the second straight year. In 2017 he finished second on the team with 76 total tackles, 60 of which came in MVFC play. Hurst earned second-team honors for the first time in his career. In his first year at cornerback, Hurst had 25 tackles and a team-best nine pass breakups. Joining Spencer as all-league selections were Wiggins and Hrynkiewicz. Both Wiggins and Hrynkiewicz started all 11 games on the line for the Guins in 2017.
The honorable-mention selections featured first-time all-league recipients Rader, Powell and Wethli. Wright was a second-team all-league honoree in 2015. Rader caught a career-high 22 passes for 272 yards, Powell led the team in tackles with 81 stops and Wright finished with 74 total stops.
#37 TB Tevin McCaster, YSU, Junior, 5-10, 195, New Castle, Pa. (New Castle)
McCaster rushed for 1,066 yards on 221 carries and scored 13 touchdowns in starting all 11 games…in MVFC contests, he had 803 yards on 171 attempts and 10 touchdowns...in the eight MVFC games he averaged 100.4 yards per game…had four 100-yard games – 183 vs. South Dakota State, 181 vs. Missouri State, 158 at Southern Illinois and 101 vs. Central Connecticut…had touchdowns in nine games, including four at South Dakota and two vs. Missouri State…had 22-plus carries on six occasions with a high of 35 vs. SDSU.
#61 OT Justin Spencer, YSU, Senior, 6-5, 300, Indiana, Pa. (Indiana Area)
Started all 11 games at left tackle…in career started every game finishing with 50 consecutive starts…YSU averaged 222.5 yards rushing per game for the season and 200.5 in MVFC games…Penguins finished with 28 rushing touchdowns…YSU had six 240-yard plus rushing contests, including four in MVFC play…best performance overall was 496 vs. CCSU, best league game was 310 vs. South Dakota State on 63 attempts.
#60 OG Gavin Wiggins, YSU, Junior, 6-3, 30, Philadelphia, Pa. (Roman Cathloic)
Started all 11 games at left guard…has started 31 straight games…YSU averaged 222.5 yards rushing per game for the season and 200.5 in MVFC games…Penguins finished with 28 rushing touchdowns…YSU had six 240-yard plus rushing contests, including four in MVFC play…best performance overall was 496 vs. CCSU, best league game was 310 vs. South Dakota State on 63 attempts.
#70 C Vitas Hrynkiewicz, YSU, Junior, 6-4, 300, Somerset, N.J. (Immaculata)
Started all 11 games at center…Penguins had three different starting quarterbacks during the year for second straight season…started all 27 games the past two years…YSU averaged 222.5 yards rushing per game for the season and 200.5 in MVFC games…Penguins finished with 28 rushing touchdowns…YSU had six 240-yard plus rushing contests, including four in MVFC play…best performance overall was 496 vs. CCSU, best league game was 310 vs. South Dakota State on 63 attempts.
#42 LB Armand Dellovade, YSU, Junior, 6-2, 215, Imperial, Pa. (West Allegheny)
Started all 11 games at linebacker…finished second on the team with 76 total tackles, including 40 solo stops…had 5.5 TFLs and three sacks…in MVFC play had 60 tackles, including 32 solo stops…had six-or-more tackles on seven occasions…had a career-best 15 stops at UNI…had 11 tackles against Illinois State, including 10 solos…had nine tackles at Pittsburgh…at Indiana State registered eight stops…finished with seven tackles against NDSU…had six stops against Missouri State and South Dakota…had two sacks vs. USD and one vs. MSU…intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter vs. South Dakota State.
#17 Billy Nicoe Hurst, YSU, Senior, 6-0, 190, San Pablo, Calif. (Vanden)
Started all 11 games at cornerback…finished with 25 total tackles, including 14 solo stops…finished with a team-high nine pass breakups…in MVFC games had 19 tackles, 12 of which were solos…had six PBUs vs. MVFC foes…had eight tackles, including five solos against Illinois State…had breakups in seven games…YSU's pass defense allowed just 143.7 yards per game and a 46.7 completion percentage.
Started all 11 games at linebacker…posted 74 total tackles, which included 37 solos and 37 assists…had six pass breakups…in MVFC play had 53 tackles, including 27 solo stops…had five-or-more tackles in nine games…had a season-high 11 stops at South Dakota…credited with 10 tackles against Pittsburgh and UNI…had eight stops at Indiana State, including seven solos…finished with seven tackles against Illinois State…had six tackles against Robert Morris and North Dakota State.
Led the Penguins in tackles with 81 stops, including a team-high 55 solo stops…in MVFC games finished with 61 total tackles, including 42 solos…had 14 tackles at Pittsburgh, including nine solo stops…had 11 tackles at South Dakota and 10 against UNI and Illinois State…had nine stops (eight solos) against Missouri State and Southern Illinois (six solos)…had an interception against Indiana State…had five breakups… YSU's pass defense allowed just 143.7 yards per game and a 46.7 completion percentage.
Rader caught 22 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns…in MVFC games he had 14 receptions for 156 yards and a score averaging 11.1 yards per reception…had receptions in 10 of 11 games…at Pittsburgh caught six passes for 100 yards…at South Dakota caught four passes for 47 yards…had touchdown catches against Robert Morris and North Dakota State…had 19 career catches entering the 2017 season.
#57 LS Steven Wethli, YSU, Junior, 6-0, 230, New Castle, Pa. (New Castle)
Has been a three-year starter as long snapper on punts and placement kicks…YSU was a perfect 43-of-43 on PAT kicks (first perfect season since 2009) and 8-of-13 on field goals…on punts, YSU averaged 40.2 yards per kick on 43 attempts…on 98 snaps, had one that wasn't perfect.