Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:57 am | Author: Mark Potts, Sports Information Director
Derek Elliott's record-breaking season earned the Valley City State senior an early Christmas present Wednesday from the American Football Coaches Association.
2013 NAIA All Americans
After breaking or tying at least 13 school records, and finishing second in the NAIA in regular-season rushing yards, Elliott was named an AFCA-NAIA First Team All American by the nation's coaches Wednesday.
The 25-person team selected by the AFCA is the official NAIA All American Team. Elliott is the first Viking to earn the honor since wide receiver Chauncey Calhoun was named an All American in 2008.
"This is a tremendous honor for Derek and our program," said Valley City State head coach Dennis McCulloch. "Only two running backs in the nation receive this prestigious award, and for him to be named All American is a great recognition of the record-breaking season he had."
A native of Valley City and graduate of Valley City High School, Elliott broke records left and right this season with his rare combination of power and speed out of the backfield. The senior running back finished with 1,873 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns in 10 games. He averaged 7 yards per carry and 187 rushing yards per game.
Elliott led the NAIA in all purpose yards per game (232), rushing yards per game (187) and scoring per game (14.1). He was second in the nation in all-purpose yards (2,318) and regular season rushing yards.
Elliott set new school records in 11 categories, including single season rushing yards (1,873), career rushing yards (3,489), career rushing touchdowns (36), single season rushing touchdowns (20) and single season total touchdowns (23) – a mark that was previously held by Calhoun and wide receiver Steve Battle.
He also set new records in single season all-purpose (2,318) and career all-purpose yards (5,958). Elliott recorded the longest rush from scrimmage in school history (95 yards), set the mark for most rushing touchdowns in a single game (5), and broke a school record when he scored 31 points in a single game.
His season average of 187.3 rushing yards per game shattered the old record of 139.9, and he tied two more school records with 286 rushing yards in a single game and five total touchdowns in a game.
Elliott topped 100 yards rushing in all 10 games, and three times he rushed for at least 260 yards –including Sept. 7 when he rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns against then No. 1-ranked Morningside College. On Nov. 9, Elliott rose to the occasion as VCSU clinched a share of the North Star Athletic Association championship with a 37-12 victory over Mayville State. In that game, Elliott went for 286 yards and two touchdowns. He capped off the season a week later with 260 rushing yards and three touchdowns at Menlo College.
"Derek is a rare type of player," said McCulloch. "Week in, week out, what he gave us on the field was something special."