Ashland University quarterback Travis Tarnowski has earned the 2014 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football Freshman of the Year award.
The GLIAC Football Postseason Awards and All-GLIAC Teams were released Wednesday (Nov. 19) afternoon.
Tarnowski, a redshirt freshman, started all 10 games at quarterback for the Eagles, and finished with an 8-2 record. He was 168-for-288 (58.3 percent) for 2,167 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions, and was sacked just eight times. Tarnowski ranked fifth in the GLIAC in passing attempts and passing yards, was tied for fifth in completions, sixth in completion percentage, tied for sixth in touchdown passes and was the third least-intercepted quarterback among conference qualifiers.
His five touchdown passes at home against Northern Michigan tied the program record and set a new Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field standard, and his 374 passing yards at home against Lake Erie also set a new AU home stadium mark. Tarnowski threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns in Ashland's win at Grand Valley State in Week 9.
Five Eagles earned first-team All-GLIAC honors:
- Senior running back Anthony Taylor, the program's all-time leading rusher and touchdown scorer, ran for 1,177 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014.
- Senior wide receiver Dan Piko caught 64 passes for 806 yards and five touchdowns.
- Senior left guard James Triplett is a three-year starter for the Eagles at that position.
- Senior inside linebacker Cody Bloom led the team in total tackles with 97, and added three sacks and 4½ tackles for loss.
- Senior defensive end Chase Hoobler had 40 total tackles, two sacks, 10½ tackles for loss and an interception for a touchdown.
Both senior linebacker Chris Harvey (66 total tackles, 2½ sacks, five tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one interception) and junior safety Kyle Tomko (53 total tackles, one sack, 3½ tackles for loss and two interceptions) both earned All-GLIAC second-team honors.
Six Eagles earned All-GLIAC honorable mention – Tarnowski, sophomore running back Vance Settlemire (753 rushing yards, 8.0 yards per carry, 14 catches), senior tight end Logan Slavinski (seven catches, 84 yards), sophomore defensive end Adam Wallace (36 total tackles, two sacks, eight tackles for loss and an interception), junior cornerback James Ester (35 total tackles, one interception) and senior safety Eric Schwieterman (29 total tackles, one interception).
Ferris State junior quarterback Jason Vander Laan was named 2014 GLIAC Player of the Year by the league's coaches. Lake Erie junior running back Anthony Bilal claimed Offensive Back of the Year honors, while Ferris State senior Jacob VanderKlok took home the Offensive Lineman of the Year award. On defense, Wayne State senior linebacker Nores Fradi was selected Defensive Back of the Year, and Michigan Tech senior Nelson Wienke was tabbed Defensive Lineman of the Year. Ferris State's Tony Annese was named Coach of the Year.