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November 27, 2021

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Greeley, Archer Beaver All-Americans

D3football.com inaugural first team honorees

The awards are still rolling in for a pair of Bluffton University football players who became the inaugural First Team All-America honorees in Bluffton football history when D3football.com announced its award winners on June 21.

Racking up the highest honors possible following a unique season that saw the Beavers play seven of their eight games during the spring, senior Darian Greeley (Belleville, Mich./Chippewa Valley) and freshman Montez Archer Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) were two of three Heartland Conference football players to earn First Team All-America honors.

Darian Greeley
A three-time All-Heartland Conference selection, Greeley had a phenomenal season that was cut short in his fifth game with a knee injury. Despite missing the final three and a half games, he still finished fourth in the country with 644 rushing yards. His eight touchdowns were tied for second in the nation. 

Greeley made the D3football.com Team of the Week after he put up the 2nd most rushing yards ever for a Beaver. His 297 yards on 42 carries against Adrian on October 24 trails only Mike Goings who holds the all-time mark of 314 against Alma in 1962.

His 42 carries were also the most ever recorded for a Beaver. Greeley went for three touchdowns in Bluffton's 28-21 victory over the Bulldogs after rolling up 171 yards on the ground in the first half.

He finished 11th all-time with 2,404 career yards on the ground. His 138 points are 18th on the all-time scoring list for the Beavers.

Montez Archer Jr.
Archer Jr., who was recently honored as the Heartland Conference 2020-21 Male Athlete of the Year, had an outstanding first-year campaign on the gridiron for the Beavers.

His efforts earned the titles of Spring 2021 Football HCAC Defensive Player of the Year, Spring 2021 Football HCAC Special Teams Player of the Year and Spring 2021 Football HCAC Newcomer of the Year, the first time a student athlete has claimed multiple major awards in Heartland football history!

Archer kicked off 2021 with an impressive two-game stretch, picking off six passes in a span of eight days as the Beavers took down Manchester and Anderson to open Heartland Conference play. He was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week twice, while earning HCAC Player of the Week three consecutive weeks.

Archer's seven interceptions leads all of NCAA Division III for pickoffs. He is also tops in the country with 531 kickoff return yards and 234 punt return yards. His 21.3 yards per punt return is currently third in the nation. The sensational first-year moved into second place on the single-season interceptions list with the seven pickoffs and his 65 fumble return yards is already second on the career list at Bluffton.

Archer led the Beavers and was second in the Heartland Conference with 54 total tackles, including 40 solo stops. The Detroit native also broke up seven passes in addition to the seven interceptions and he chipped in with two TFL's. The (D3FB) Huddle named Archer Jr. its 'Rookie of the Season'.
Athletes earning recognition on the Spring 2021 All-America Teams from the Heartland Conference include:

First Team Offense
• Darian Greeley (Belleville, Mich.) Bluffton University, Running Back, Junior

First Team Defense
• Richard Pope IV (Daytona Beach, Fla.) Defiance College, Defensive Tackle, First Year
• Montez Archer Jr. (Detroit, Mich.) Bluffton University, Corner Back, First Year

Second Team Offense
• Shane Welshans (Robards, Ky.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Running Back, Junior

Second Team Defense
Andrew Hesse (Loveland, Ohio) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Defensive End, Senior