Three Mavs on all-time football team

Michael Vaughn, Deryl McKinnerney and Jeff Tootle played big roles for Mesa State football team in the 1980s —  so big, they were selected to the RMAC All-Century football team announced Thursday.

All three led Mesa to the NAIA championship game during their career.

“Deryl was one of the best defensive players here,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said.

“Coach (Bob) Cortese said some great things about him. He did some incredible things here when Mesa was one of the top teams in the country. We’re proud to have him on that.

“I look at Michael Vaughn. He was the real deal in three seasons; he was pretty amazing. He played in Canada for a few years.”

The top 24 players in RMAC football history have been selected for the conference’s 100th anniversary this year. The All-Century team was selected by representatives from the conference’s schools that currently participate in football.

The players will be honored July 11 in Colorado Springs.

Former Chadron State running back Danny Woodhead (2004-07) is the RMAC all-time offensive player. Woodhead set an NCAA all-divisions record with 7,962 career rushing yards. He was also a two-time winner of the Harlon Hill Award, given to the top player in Division II. Woodhead is currently on the New York Jets roster.

Another former Eagle, Kevin Homer, is the RMAC all-time defensive player. He is Chadron State’s all-time leading tackler. He had more than 500 tackles in his career (1995-98) and is in the RMAC Hall of Fame.

“Anytime you have guys lead you to championships and have seasons statistically way up there (they deserve the honors),” Ramunno said. “There are some special people on that list.

Danny Woodhead is one of the best guys I’ve ever seen. He is very deserving.”

The man who recruited Woodhead and Homer is the RMAC All-Time coach. Chadron’s Brad Smith won 110 games with only 39 losses and led the Eagles to five RMAC titles in his 14 years.

Vaughn played for Mesa State from 1986-1989. The three-time All-American and three-time All-RMAC pick set Mesa’s all-time career rushing mark with 4,161 yards. He rushed for 320 yards in one game against Utah State.

McKinnerney played from 1983-86 and was a two-time first-team All-RMAC and two-time All-American linebacker. He holds the school record for tackles in a season (181) and led the RMAC in tackles in 1985 and 1986.

Tootle played for Mesa from 1980-83. He was a two-time All-American and played one season for the New York Giants.


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