Rivers Tabbed Preseason First Team All-American: Alexander, Kennedy Also Garner Accolades

Derek Rivers was tabbed a preseason first-team All-American by STATS on Monday.
Derek Rivers was tabbed a preseason first-team All-American by STATS on Monday.

Youngstown State senior defensive end Derek Rivers was named a preseason first-team FCS All-American by STATS, Inc., the media outlet announced on Monday. Additionally, senior safety LeRoy Alexander was named to the second team and sophomore placekicker Zak Kennedy was tabbed third team.

Rivers, who was a third-team All-American in 2015 by STATS, already holds the school's career record for sacks with 26 entering his senior campaign. He is a two-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection. The last Penguin to be named first-team All-MVFC in three straight years was LB James Terry (2005-07). Only two other Penguins have been three-time first-team all-league honorees, Terry, Mychal Savage (2006-07, 2009) and Dwyte Smiley (1997-99).

Alexander was a first-team All-MVFC honoree in his first year with the Penguins in 2015. He finished second on the team with 67 tackles, including 39 solo stops. He led the Penguins with four interceptions.

Kennedy had an outstanding freshman season making a school-record 19 field goals. A finalist for the FCS Freshman-of-the-Year Award he was a first-team All-MVFC selection. He was the first freshman placekicker to be named first-team All-MVFC since 1992. Kennedy ranked third in the FCS making 1.73 field goals per game

The Missouri Valley Football Conference combined to have 16 players who were named to one of the three All-America teams.

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