MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Senior defensive lineman Joel Francis continues to roll in the postseason hardware after being named to the D3Football.com South Region second team by the leading website on Division III sports.
Last week, Francis was tabbed as the College Division Defensive Lineman of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Richmond and will be honored for his accomplishments this evening, Wednesday, December 5 at the Dudley Award banquet at the Hilton Richmond Hotel. Francis is the second player for the Eagles in three seasons to be named one of the top players at their respective position in the Division II, III, NAIA and USCAA ranks after Tyler Beiler's selection as the state's top wide receiver and as the Lanier Award winner in 2010.
For Bridgewater, Francis' selection marks the first All-Region defensive choice for the Eagles since Dominic Jeter's third team selection in 2010.
Two weeks ago, Francis was named the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and also picked up first team all-conference accolades.
Francis turned in a stellar senior season for the Bridgewater Eagles football team cracking the top five in the ODAC in sacks and tackles for a loss. Francis ranked in a tie for fifth in the league in sacks among defensive linemen with 4.5 and led the conference in tackles for a loss among defensive linemen with 12.5.
Overall, the Woodbridge, Va. native finished in a tie for sixth in the league in sacks and was ranked third in tackles for a loss. Francis also forced one fumble on the season and accounted for a score with a safety in Bridgewater's season opening victory at St. Vincent.
On the year, Francis amassed 55 tackles which led the league among defensive linemen and ranked him in a tie for 23rd in the league overall.
Francis ranks sixth in program history in tackles for a loss with 33.5 and is seventh all-time in sacks with 12.5.
Aside from his play on the field, Francis is also the student body president for the College and served as a member of the Bridgewater Strategic Planning Committee which helped develop a course for the college for the next decade.
Mary Hardin-Baylor linebacker Javicz Jones lead and teammate and quarterback LiDarral Bailey lead the D3football.com 2012 All-South Region team. Bailey is the South Region Offensive Player of the Year, while Jones was named South Region Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
Washington & Jefferson coach Mike Sirianni, who helped the team come together and make the playoffs in the wake of personal tragedy, is the D3football.com 2012 South Region Coach of the Year.
The teams, selected in balloting by South Region sports information directors and D3football.com staff, were chosen from 230 nominations by Division III member schools. A total of 77 players were chosen.
Francis and the Eagles finished the season with a 7-3 overall record.