Senior Defensive Tackle Earns League Weekly Honor After Thrilling Win

Senior All-America defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) of the Ferris State University football squad has claimed this week’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Defensive Player of the Week honor after his performance in FSU's 25-24 upset over nationally 24th-ranked Ashland this past Saturday (Sept. 6) at Community Stadium in Ashland, Ohio.

Jake Visser The 6-2 Visser had an impressive performance defensively to help key the Bulldogs' victory in their league opener. Visser came up with 12 total tackles, including nine solo stops in the contest. He also had one sack and one tackle for loss apiece, which both resulted in eight yards lost, to go along with a fumble recovery. His performance at the line of scrimmage helped the Bulldog defense limit the Eagles' explosive offense to only 86 rushing yards on 36 carries.

In addition, Visser was honored by the FSU coaching staff as the squad's special teams player of the week for helping setup senior middle linebacker Kevin Noe's block of Ashland's 32-yard game-winning field goal attempt as time expired. From the middle of the Bulldog defensive line, Visser was able to clear a path, which enabled Noe to gain position for the block.

Presently this campaign, Visser has recorded 16 tackles (11 solo) in addition to 2.5 sacks (-21 yards), two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick thru two games of action. He continues to climb several lists in the FSU record book as he moved into fifth place on the school's all-time sack leaders chart during the win over Ashland and currently has 22.5 sacks in his career. Additionally, Visser presently has 306 career tackles and is tied for 16th place on the school list.

Visser also notched the seventh fumble recovery of his career in the win over Ashland, which ties former Bulldog greats Monty Brown (1989-92) and Ed Philion (990-93) for the most in school history. Both Brown and Philion went on to play in the NFL.

This season, Visser was tabbed as a consensus preseason All-America selection by being named to the 2008 Lindy's College Football Preview All-Division II Preseason First Team, the D2football.com Preseason All-America First Team, the Sporting News Division II Preseason All-America Team along with the Consensus Draft Services (CDS) Division II Preseason All-America Second Team. Lindy's also selected Visser as its Division II Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Visser capped off a memorable junior campaign in 2007 by earning first-team All-America recognition from D2football.com, the American Football Coaches Association and Don Hansen's Football Gazette. He was also named to both the Daktronics All-America Second Team squad and the Associated Press Little All-America Second Team. Visser claimed ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team honors in addition to being one of inaugural fall recipients of the GLIAC Commissioner's Award for Athletics and Academic Excellence a year ago.

In 2007, Visser tallied the squad's second-highest tackles figure (106) and led the squad in tackles for loss with 14.5 for minus 62 yards, which ranked fifth in the conference. He also had a team-best nine quarterback hurries along with 5.5 sacks for a loss of 41 yards. The team Most Valuable Player Award recipient received 2007 first-team All-Northwest Region accolades for the second consecutive year and was tabbed as the GLIAC's Defensive Lineman of the Year after earning all-conference first team laurels for the second year in a row. Along with placing fifth among last season's league leaders in tackles for loss, Visser also ranked sixth in total tackles (9.6 tpg.).

The unbeaten Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 GLIAC), who are currently midst their 100th season, host the Findlay Oilers in their 2008 home opener Saturday (Sept. 13) evening at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. A number of special activities are slated to take place during the Community, Fireworks and Health Care Night contest, which kicks off at 7 p.m. (EDT). A Blues and BBQ event will also take place prior to the game at the stadium. Tickets will be available at the gate or for more information contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. A live video and audio webcast will be available through B2 Networks and can be accessed on FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon). Live internet statistics will also be available during the game via FSU’s athletics website.

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