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Varmah Sonie
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
Varmah Sonie
Ten Panthers Named All-MVFC; Six Receive First-Team Honors
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Tuesday 11/28/2011

Six University of Northern Iowa football players were named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team, the league announced Monday. Senior quarterback Tirrell Rennie, senior offensive tackle Jay Teply, sophomore kicker Tyler Sievertsen, senior defensive tackle Ben Boothby, senior linebacker L.J. Fort and junior cornerback Varmah Sonie were UNI's representatives on the first team.

Senior linebacker Jordan Smith was a second-team selection. Honorable mention picks included senior defensive end Darren Branch, freshman running back David Johnson and senior return specialist Jarred Herring.

Boothby is now a two-time first-team honoree after also being named to the first team in 2010. Rennie and Fort were second-team selections last season.

Branch (2010) and Herring (2008) were previous honorable mention selections.

For Teply, Sievertsen, Sonie, Smith and Johnson, this is the first All-MVFC honor of their careers.

UNI takes on Wofford in the second round of the FCS Playoffs on Sat., Dec. 3, at 4:05 p.m. in the UNI-Dome.

UNI All-MVFC Selections:

#10 QB Tirrell Rennie, UNI, 6-0, 201, Sr., North Lauderdale, Fla., Coconut Creek HS, Ellsworth CC

Started 10 games, missing one due to injury ... third in the MVFC in total offense ... 127-of-213 passing (59.6% completion) for 1642 yards ... 11 passing touchdowns, only 2 interceptions, and 9 rushing TDs ... leads the team with 739 rushing yards ... averaging 5.4 yards per carry ... passed for 181 yards and rushed for 127 yards at Iowa State (9/3) ... three games this year with 140+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards ... four passing TDs at SDSU (10/15) ... 2010 MVFC Newcomer of the Year ... 2011 and 2010 runner-up for MVFC Offensive Player of the Year.

#72 OT Jay Teply, UNI, 6-7, 328, Sr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Xavier HS

Started all 11 games at left tackle for the Panthers ... 31 career starts ... only senior starter on the offensive line ... helped UNI to an average of 169 yards rushing per game and only 18 sacks allowed on the season ... MVFC All-Newcomer in 2008.

#38 PK Tyler Sievertsen, UNI, 6-2, 185, So., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kennedy HS

Top-scoring kicker in the MVFC ... 17-of-18 on field goal attempts and a perfect 34-of-34 on PATs ... only kicker in the MVFC to have 100 percent success rate on PATs ... eight FGs of 40 yards or longer ... leads the team with 85 points ... made a season-long 48-yard FG on three different occasions ... made a 40-yard game-tying field goal with five seconds left to force overtime and made a 36-yard game winner in 2OT at No. 14 Illinois State (11/19).

#43 DT Ben Boothby, UNI, 6-0, 280, Sr., Clinton, Iowa, Clinton HS

Leads UNI with 7.5 sacks and 15.5 TFLs ... leads the MVFC in TFL ... 63 total tackles from a defensive tackle position ... one fumble recovery ... played the entire game and posted eight tackles against SIU (10/22), only five days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee ... first-team preseason All-American by The Sports Network ... first-team All-MVFC in 2010 ... three-time first-team Academic All-District selection.

#24 LB L.J. Fort, UNI, 6-1, 232, Sr., Waynesville, Mo., Waynesville HS

MVFC Defensive Player of the Year ... tied for No. 2 in the nation in total tackles and tackles per game with 151 stops in 11 games ... MVFC leader in tackles ... posted at least 10 tackles in every game ... tied for No. 2 in the nation with six forced fumbles ... one fumble recovery ... 7.5 TFL ... 22 stops at No. 14 Illinois State (11/19) ... 17 tackles at SDSU (10/15) and 15 tackles at NDSU (10/29) ... second team All-MVFC pick in 2010.

#4 CB Varmah Sonie, UNI, 5-9, 166, Jr., Burnsville, Minn., Apple Valley HS

Started all 11 games ... No. 7 on the team with 62 total tackles ... 3 interceptions and 6 pass break-ups ... one forced fumble ... 3.5 TFLs ...12 tackles at No. 16 Stephen F. Austin (9/10) ... 10 tackles against SIU (10/22) ... also leads the team with 138 punt return yards, averaging 9.2 per return ... No. 2 in the MVFC in punt return average.

#46 LB Jordan Smith, UNI, 6-2, 223, Sr., Humboldt, Iowa, Humboldt HS

Ranks No. 2 on UNI and No. 5 in the MVFC with 109 total tackles ... tied for the team lead with four interceptions ... one fumble recovery ... recorded 16 tackles against both No. 16 Stephen F. Austin and Missouri State ... 15 tackles at No. 14 Illinois State ... seven games of at least 10 tackles.

#5 WR/RS Jarred Herring, UNI, 5-9, 170, Sr., Burlington, Iowa, Burlington HS

Second on the team with 421 receiving yards and tied for second with 27 receptions ... averaged 15.6 yards per catch on the season ... three touchdown receptions, including an 80-yarder at South Dakota State ... 14 kick returns for 353 yards on the season - an average of 25.2 yards per return ... CoSIDA first team Academic All-District selection ... named honorable mention All-MVFC and All-Newcomer in 2008.

#7 RB David Johnson, UNI, 6-3, 214, R-Fr., Clinton, Iowa, Clinton HS

MVFC Freshman of the Year runner-up ... seventh in the MVFC in rushing yards and scoring, while being the top freshman in each category ... second on UNI with 730 rushing yards ... leads the team with 30 receptions ... 11 total touchdowns ... 8 rushing TDs, 3 receiving TDs ... 30 catches for 409 yards, an average of 13.6 yards per catch ... leads the team with 1139 all-purpose yards ... recorded 100 or more all-purpose yards in seven games ... rushed for 132 yards against WIU (9/24) and 114 against MSU (10/1) ... 10 receptions for 114 yards at NDSU (10/29) ... 80-yard go-ahead TD reception in the fourth quarter at Iowa State (9/3).

#90 DE Darren Branch, UNI, 6-2, 266, Sr., Twinsburg, Ohio, Twinsburg HS, Bowling Green

Second on UNI with 5.5 sacks ... 27 total tackles ... 6.0 TFL ... three pass break-ups and three QB hurries ... three-year starter at DE ... started all 11 games this season.

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