Junior Kicker Becomes Third FSU Player To Claim National Honors This Year

Don Hansen's Football Gazette Ferris State University junior kicker/punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) has been chosen as one of this week's (Nov. 7) Don Hansen's Football Gazette National Players of the Week after his performance in Saturday's (Nov. 3) thrilling 48-41 Bulldog overtime victory over Northwood in the school's regular-season home finale at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

Earlier this week (Nov. 5), Yates was also chosen as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Special Teams Player of the Week. He was among 11 NCAA Division II players to earn national recognition this week from Don Hansen's Football Gazette and one of only two selected in the special teams category along with kicker Anthony Schreiber of Bemidji State University.

Jim Yates Yates is the third Bulldog player to receive National Player of the Week honors this year. Previously, senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) picked up the D2football.com Co-National Offensive Player of the Week honor for his performance in FSU's 42-19 season-opening victory over Kentucky State (Sept. 1) at Top Taggart Field. Bulldog senior slot receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) earned Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-Purpose recognition following FSU's 44-41 GLIAC home victory over Hillsdale (Sept. 22).

The 6-1 Yates played a key role in the Bulldogs' Senior Day victory over Northwood. He drilled a game-tying 28-yard field goal into a stiff wind with only 14 seconds left in regulation to send the contest into overtime. The game-tying kick capped a 69-yard march covering 11 plays for the Bulldogs.

Yates also made a 34-yard field goal in the opening quarter and converted all six of his PAT attempts. He tallied 120 punting yards on four attempts and kicked off eight times for 435 total yards in the game.

His selection this week as the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week represented the second time he has earned the league weekly honor this campaign as he previously claimed the distinction after converting a personal career-long 41-yard field goal with only three seconds remaining in FSU's win over Hillsdale.

Yates currently ranks tied for fourth on FSU’s single-season leaders list with 11 made field goals this season. That figure is presently tied for the GLIAC lead this year. He’s also listed second in field goals per game (1.10 pg) along with seventh in punting (38.4 avg.) on the conference charts. Yates’ 68 total points this year are the school’s most in a season since former tailback Derek Fudge netted 90 points on 15 touchdowns in 2003.

Prior to this year, Yates had never attempted a field goal in his Bulldog career. He's converted 11-of-19 (.579) field goal tries and 35-of-38 (.921) PAT attempts this campaign.

Yates' 2,975 career punting yards to date represents the program's 10th-best career figure. He's averaged 38.6 yards on 77 career punts in his Bulldog career. In 2005, Yates' career-best 39.5 yards per punt average was the fourth-highest figure in school single-season history.

Ferris State concludes the 2007 campaign on the road Saturday, Nov. 10, versus the Wayne State Warriors in Detroit, Mich. Kickoff for the league encounter is set for 12 p.m. (EST) at WSU Stadium in the Motor City. FSU can post its fourth winning season in the last five years with a win over Wayne State.

Additionally, a live audio and video webcast of the game will also be available via B2 Networks for $6 and can be accessed by visiting the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports.

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