Senior defensive back Mike Nicolini (Novato, CA) and senior wide receiver Evan Reuter (Cameron Park, CA) of the University of Redlands football team look forward to making the trek to Minneapolis, MN, for this Saturday's All American Bowl. Due to a large number of participants, this year's event includes back-to-back games, which feature the best from Division II and III, along with free agents. The first game kicks off at 12 noon CT, followed by a second bout at 3 p.m. CT, at the University of Minnesota's indoor sports complex.
Nicolini wraps up an illustrious career after being named the fourth American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American in Redlands football history. He also garnered D3PRODAY.com All-America honors and two D3football.com All-West Region awards. Earlier this season, he was named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Defensive Player of the Year and landed on the All-SCIAC Second Team as a return specialist.
"This opportunity is an amazing chance for me to test my abilities against some of the best players in the nation," Nicolini commented. "It also serves as another chance to travel somewhere new in the US and do something I love."
This senior captain provided a formidable force in the Bulldog secondary by leading the team with 11.5 tackles for a loss of 50 yards to go along with 61 total hits. Nicolini also served as a lethal return specialist, recording 25 punt returns for a total of 296 yards and 10 kickoff returns for 273 yards.
Reuter, the veteran of the receiving corps, led the Redlands players with 50 catches, 650 receiving yards and 81.2 yards per game during the 2010 season. He crossed the goal line on five occasions for the second-most points among the Bulldogs. His long of 52 yards came during Redlands' 51-7 dismantling of Occidental College and resulted in a touchdown. Reuter gained All-SCIAC Second-Team honors in his final season at Redlands.
"It is truly an honor to have been selected to play in this game," Reuter stated. "I take immense pride in the fact that the foundations of 'Mental Toughness' and 'Extreme Desire,' which make up Bulldog football, have amounted to yet another memory and great honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life."
According to the All American Bowl web site, the participants have been "nominated for their outstanding performances throughout their season, their accomplished careers, love for the game, a chance to be noticed, and a last chance to play the game we all love."
The All American Bowl was founded in 1996 to provide opportunities for the best players from non-Division I programs to compete at a high level during a December all-star game. It also gives these student-athletes the chance to be scouted by professional teams.