Gruber, Turner highlight group of five Tornados named all-conference

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Five Tornados were named all-South Atlantic Conference for their performances during the 2014 season, with senior inside linebacker Michael Gruber and freshman left tackle Josh Turner headlining the group by garnering first team laurels.

Senior fullback Jordan Ollis, senior slot back Kelvin Jeter, and junior placekicker Alex Noboa joined Gruber and Turner as all-conference selections with second team honors.

Gruber has proven himself to be among the nation’s elite defenders. This season, he leads the SAC and ranks 33rd nationally with 113 tackles, an average of 10.3 stops per game. He recorded at least 10 tackles on six different occasions and at least 15 tackles three times. He tied a career high with 19 stops and picked off a pass against then-No. 21 Carson-Newman on September 20, a game in which he became Brevard’s all-time tackles leader.

His 392 career stops rank second among all active Division II players and 10th among active players across all NCAA divisions. He has received invitations to play in two collegiate all-star games following the season. This marks Gruber’s third all-conference selection and second time named to the first team.

Turner has been a mainstay in Brevard’s starting lineup this season as the freshman has anchored the left side of the offensive line from his tackle position. His play contributed greatly to an offense that set five school records this season, including rushing yards, yards per carry, and total offense, and led the nation in red zone efficiency at 93.3 percent.

Brevard’s 321.6 rushing yards per game ranked sixth in Division II this season, and the Tornados rushed for at least 250 yards in a game eight times. In the final game of the year against College of Faith, Brevard set a school record with 562 rushing yards, the second-highest single-game total in Division II this season.

The largest contributor to the prolific Tornados’ rushing attack was Ollis. The fullback set the Brevard single-season rushing record with 1,224 yards this season, which ranked third in the SAC and 18th in Division II. He set Brevard records with 38 carries and 228 yards against North Greenville on September 27 and topped 100 yards on six other occasions in 2014.

Ollis shared the conference lead with 16 rushing touchdowns on the season and accounted for 36 total touchdowns in his career, 34 of which came on the ground. He leads the Tornados in all three categories. Ollis will depart as Brevard’s second-leading rusher, with 2,568 yards over three seasons in royal blue and white. This is the first all-conference selection for the 2012 Third Team All-American.

Brevard’s all-time leading rusher, Kelvin Jeter, had the second-best season of his career in 2014. The Gastonia native ranked eighth in the conference by rushing for 838 yards this season, giving him three of the top four rushing seasons in school history and a school record 3,358 career yards.

Jeter concludes his career ranked seventh among active Division II players and 16th across all NCAA divisions with 6.6 yards per carry, and his 4,626 career all-purpose yards top the Brevard record books and rank 11th in Division II. This is the third all-conference selection for the 2010 SAC Offensive Freshman of the Year and marks Jeter’s second consecutive year on the second team.

Alex Noboa rounded out the list of all-conference performers for the Tornados with his first-ever all-conference selection. The junior was nearly perfect on the season, connecting on 42 of his 43 point after touchdown attempts and seven of his eight field goal tries. He set Brevard records for successful PATs, PAT efficiency, and field goal efficiency.

Noboa set the all-time Brevard record for points scored in a game by kicking against College of Faith on November 15. He was perfect on all 10 of his attempts, making nine extra points and a field goal, en route to earning AstroTurf SAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Click here to read the full release from the South Atlantic Conference.

Featured image courtesy of Neil Hayes. Click here to view more photos by Neil.

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