Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University sophomore quarterback and Harlon Hill Division II Player of the Year nominee Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) recently earned the first All-America honor of his career by being named to the Beyond Sports Network Division II All-America Team for the 2013 campaign.
An honorable mention choice, Vander Laan officially broke an NCAA Division II all-time single season record in the Bulldogs' season-ending 35-22 win over Northern Michigan this past season (Nov. 16) at Top Taggart Field and also claimed All-GLIAC Second Team laurels on the gridiron for FSU this past fall.
Vander Laan entered the regular-season finale needing 88 yards to break the NCAA Division II all-time single season record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a campaign and accomplished the feat in the first period en route to yet another impressive day with 211 yards rushing and three touchdowns against NMU.
The Bulldog sophomore signal caller closed the season with 1,607 yards on the ground, which far surpassed the previous national record established by Wofford's Shawn Graves in 1989.
His totals helped the Bulldogs top the previous school record for most team rushing yards in a single-season. This year marked the second consecutive year in which FSU broke the record under head coach Tony Annese as Ferris State finished the 2013 season with a program-best 3,491 yards on the ground.
Vander Laan's play in 2013 helped the Bulldogs finish with an 8-3 overall record along with a second-place 8-2 finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division standings. FSU, which finished the year riding a four-game winning streak, narrowly missed receiving the school's first playoff bid in 17 years.
The Bulldogs' eight-win campaign was the school's first since 2006 and only the second in the program's last 16 seasons. In addition, FSU's eight league victories were its most since 1996 and the four-game winning streak to close the season was the longest to end a campaign since 2001.
This season, Vander Laan ranked as the nation's top running quarterback with more rushing yards on the ground this season than any other signal caller in the country, regardless of level. His 1,607 total yards rushing finished tops among all quarterbacks at the NCAA Division I, II or III level, including both the FBS and FCS levels of competition.
Besides his season totals, Vander Laan's 279 total yards rushing versus Lake Erie ranked as NCAA Division II's sixth-highest single game performance of the regular-season. His 279 total yards on the ground versus Lake Erie were the most by a Bulldog rusher since Andrew Terry established a NCAA record with 410 yards rushing on 38 carries against Findlay in 2004 (10/2/04) at Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldog signal caller presently concluded hs second season listed fifth all-time on the Bulldogs' career rushing list with 2,975 total yards. His performance against Northern Michigan marked his fourth 200+ yard rushing performance of the season. Earlier this year, he surpassed C.J. Van Wieren (2004-07) to become the school's all-time career leader in rushing yardage by a quarterback. Vander Laan also ranks ninth in school history in passing yards with 3,234 total yards. He also currently ranks seventh in school history with 6,179 career yards of total offense after topping the 6,000-yard mark in the season finale.
Overall, Vander Laan ranked fourth nationally in rushing touchdowns (21) along with seventh nationally in rushing yards (1,607). Vander Laan was also eighth in the country in scoring (11.5 ppg.) and second in the GLIAC in points responsible for (216).
Behind Vander Laan's play at quarterback, the Bulldogs led the GLIAC and ranked sixth nationally in rushing offense with a school-record 317.4 yards per game. FSU was also the league leader and 12th nationally in total offense with an average of 492.5 yards per contest. Ferris State finished second in the country in third down conversion percentage (.497). The Bulldogs also ranked as the GLIAC's second-highest scoring offense (38.8 ppg.) and were among the top 30 in the nation.