NEW YORK – Four University of Mary seniors earned spots on the 26th annual USA College Football D-II Preseason All-American team. Safety Preston Tescher and linebacker Seth Walton claimed first team recognition. Quarterback Zach Roberson was placed on the second team and offensive lineman Deon Paulson was an honorable mention selection.

USA College Football recognized just four percent of NCAA Division II football players – 750 student-athletes total – with pre-season All-American status.

Tescher Football TA WebA two-time All-Northern Sun North Division first team selection, Tescher posted a team-high 60 solo stops and accumulated a career-high 89 tackles as a junior in 2014. The Bismarck, N.D., native also recorded 3.0 tackles for loss, had an interception, recovered a fumble and broke up six passes while finishing 15th in the Northern Sun in total tackles and fourth in solo tackles. In three of his last four games of the year, Tescher posted double digit tackle numbers and twice had 10 solo tackles during the season. Tescher saw considerable action as a true freshman and will be a three-year starter in 2015.

Walton earned All-NSIC North Division honorable mention honors after finishing among the tackle leaders in the conference. The outside linebacker from Pleasant Hill, Calif., made 64 tackles, including 29 solo stops, and was third on the Marauders in tackles. Walton had 4.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception, and two forced fumbles. His signature play of 2014 was the biggest by a Marauders defender all season. With Minot State inside the Marauders 5 yard line and time running out in the game, Walton sacked the Beavers quarterback and forced a fumble recovered by the defense to seal a U-Mary win.

Football RobersonWebDespite playing just five games in his first season as the Marauders starting quarterback, Roberson posted spectacular numbers and received All-NSIC North Division honorable mention recognition. After throwing a game-winning touchdown in the opener with 23 seconds left in the game, the Sonora, Calif., native missed six straight games due to injury. When he returned, Roberson was one of the most prolific passers in the country, throwing for 1,782 yards and 17 touchdowns with only one interception over the final four games of the season, exceeding 400 yards passing in each. In the final game of the year, Roberson was 40-of-64 for 505 yards with five touchdowns passing and one running to set U-Mary single game records for attempts, completions and yardage.

In his first game back from injury, Roberson was named the NSIC Player of the Week after tying a school record with six touchdown passes. He also ran for a score and threw for 460 yards in a 52-45 U-Mary win over MSU Moorhead.

For the season Roberson completed 159 of 268 pass attempts for 2,148 yards and 19 touchdowns while throwing just one interception and running for three touchdowns. He averaged 429.6 yards passing per game.

A two-year starter and a 2014 All-Northern Sun North Division honorable mention choice, Paulson is a powerful force on the Marauders offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound offensive guard also registered snaps on the defensive line in short yardage situations. The Bismarck, N.D., native helped the Marauders offense show versatility throughout last season, from rushing for over 200 yards in a win at Minot State to protecting the quarterback as U-Mary threw for over 400 yards in each of the last four games of the season. The line allowed just three sacks in the last four games, despite attempting over 200 passes.

The 2015 Marauders football season kicks off on Sept. 5 at the University of Sioux Falls. U-Mary’s home opener against Upper Iowa University is scheduled for Sept. 12.