NJCAA Football Players of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA national office announced the 2012 Football Players of the Year Thursday on behalf of the NJCAA Football Coaches Association. Iowa Western sophomore quarterback Jake Waters earned the offensive award, while Kilgore sophomore linebacker Charles Woods claimed defensive honors.

2012 NJCAA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jake Waters – Iowa Western (QB – So.)

Following the most efficient season by a quarterback in NJCAA history, Iowa Western sophomore Jake Waters was tabbed as the 2012 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year. The MFC Offensive MVP set a new NJCAA single-season mark for completion percentage while leading the Reivers to a 12-0 record and their first national championship.

On the year, Waters completed 244-of-333 passes for a NJCAA-record 73.3 completion percentage. The previous mark was 71.1 percent, set by Terrance Cain of Blinn. Despite taking an early exit from several games this season, Waters led the nation in passing yards with 3,501 and passing touchdowns with 39. The sophomore signal-caller threw for four or more touchdowns in seven games this year, including five-touchdown performances against College of DuPage and Iowa Central. Waters did an exceptional job of maintaining ball possession, throwing only three interceptions all season and none through Iowa Western's final seven games.

Waters continued his dominance in the NJCAA National Championship Game, connecting on 32-of-40 pass attempts for 307 yards. Despite not throwing a touchdown pass for the first time all season, Waters scored the first points of the game with a 6-yard touchdown run. Behind Waters' effort, the Reivers cruised to a 27-7 victory over No. 2 Butler.

Thursday, Waters announced his commitment to continue his career at Kansas State next season. Waters had reportedly received other offers from Penn State, North Carolina State, Houston, Akron and Florida Atlantic.


2012 NJCAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Charles Woods – Kilgore (LB – So.)

Charles Woods embodied the term "playmaker" in his sophomore season at Kilgore. Woods anchored the Rangers' defense en route to an 8-3 record and a No. 16 final ranking in 2012.

Opposing offenses fell victim to eight turnovers this year due to Woods' presence. The SWJCFC Defensive MVP led the nation with six forced fumbles and ranked second in fumble recoveries with three. Dropping back into coverage, Woods also intercepted two passes during the season. Woods' team-high 139 tackles were the second most in the nation and included 14 for a loss and three sacks. Jumping out to a hot start, Woods forced three fumbles during Kilgore's season-opening 26-15 win over Dodge City. In a 45-24 victory over Tyler, Woods recorded a career-high 19 tackles and returned one of his two interceptions 71 yards for a touchdown.

Despite falling 47-39 to No. 9 Northwest Mississippi in the inaugural Brazos Valley Bowl, Woods registered a game-high 11 tackles including five solo.

Woods has reportedly received offers from Division I FCS Lamar and Division II schools Angelo State and Lincoln University.

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