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Bloomsburg’s Quiteh leads AP Little All-Americans
NEW YORK (AP) - Bloomsburg’s Franklyn Quiteh went from short-yardage specialist in the preseason to starting tailback on opening day to All-American when his redshirt freshman season was finished.
Quiteh, who led Division II with 2,015 yards rushing, and Central Missouri quarterback Eric Czerniewski, who passed for more than 5,000 yards, were selected to The Associated Press Little All-America team, honoring the top players from Divisions II and III and the NAIA.
Minnesota-Duluth linebacker Kiel Fechtelkotter heads the first-team defense. The senior will lead the Bulldogs into the Division II national title game on Saturday against Delta State.
Wide receiver Cecil Shorts of Division III powerhouse Mount Union made the All-America team as an all-purpose player. The Purple Raiders play Wisconsin-Whitewater for the sixth straight year in the Division III national championship game Saturday.
Quiteh is one of the most unlikely Little All-Americans.
“We were going to use him as our short-yardage tailback, part of a three-man rotation,” Bloomsburg coach Danny Hale said. Then a combination of injuries and suspensions to the players ahead of Quiteh pushed him up the depth chart.
“I was the last man standing,” he said in a telephone interview. “I was like, ‘I guess it’s going to happen likes this.’ I took it and ran and good things have been happening.”
About a week before the opening game, Quiteh got taken off the punt block team. He said that was his first hint he’d been given a promotion.
When it came time to start his first college game, Quiteh was as nervous as he was excited.
“I was shaking all over,” he recalled. “I was asking people, ‘How’s your first hit feel?’ Everybody said after your first hit you’ll be fine.”
The 5-foot-10, 197-pound Quiteh finished the season with 10 straight games in which he ran for more than 100 yards and helped the Huskies reach the playoffs.
“As the season went on, I started to understand the offense more and became more patient,” he said. “When the time comes, I can get physical and I can break away with speed.”
Joining Quiteh and Czerniewski in the Little All-American backfield was Michigan Tech’s Phil Milbrath. Czerniewski’s top target, Jamorris Warren, was one of the All-American wide receivers, along with Fred Williams from St. Cloud State.
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