Doughty and Birkel Head 11 Northern Colorado Selections to All-Great West Football Conference Media Poll
Dec. 2, 2005
GREELEY, Colo. - University of Northern Colorado football players Reed Doughty and Andy Birkel were each first-team selections in the 2005 Great West Football Conference Media Poll, released on Friday. Shaun Farner, Andre Wilson, Jake Duren, Greg Gebhardt and Patrick Ealy were all second-team selections while four other Bears earned honorable mention honors.
Doughty, a repeat selection from 2004, was one of four unanimous selections to the team that was determined by a vote of media that cover member institutions (UC Davis, Cal Poly, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State and Southern Utah). The other unanimous selections were Tony Kays of UC Davis and Chris Gocong and Kyle Shotwell of Cal Poly. The senior free safety Doughty also repeated as a first-team selection after leading both the conference and all of I-AA in tackles, registering 159 stops (14.45/game) during the season. Doughty also ranked in the top-10 in the conference in forced fumbles, fumbles recovered, passes defended and interceptions. He lost out to Cal Poly's Gocong for Defensive Player of the Year honors. Doughty was also a first-team selection in the coaches' all-conference team.
After being only an honorable mention selection on the coaches' team, Birkel was one of two first-team wide receivers in the media poll. Birkel led all Great West receivers in touchdowns (10), as he caught 50 passes (the 10th highest single-season total in school history) for 907 yards in his first year after transferring from the University of Nebraska.
Wilson, a first-team coaches' team selection, was a second-team media selection despite missing all or part of the final five games of the season with an injury. Wilson finished the year with 1,034 rushing yards, the seventh highest single-season total in school history. Wilson averaged 5.0 yards/rush and finished the season with six touchdowns. Prior to suffering his injury, he was fourth in the nation in rushing at 139.1 yards/game; he finished the year averaging 114.9 yards/game.
He was joined on the second team by Farner, a senior offensive lineman, who was a three-year starter for Northern Colorado. Defensively, the true freshman Duren earned second team honors after ranking second on the team in tackles (103) and recording 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack during the year. Gebhardt was third in the Great West Conference in interceptions (5), while also adding 35 tackles, three pass deflections and a fumble recovery in 10 games. He and Duren were both honorable mention choices in the coaches' poll. The final second-team selection was Ealy, a return specialist. Ealy led the Great West Conference in kick return yardage, averaging 21.3 yards per return. He returned a total of 23 kickoffs during the season with a long of 45 yards.