Bethany College football standouts, seniors Wyssmy Despange (Riverdale, Md./Parkdale) and Stephen Amic (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) as well as junior Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver), have all been named to the 26th USA College Football Division III Preseason All-America teams, announced USA Football Network, Inc. on Tuesday evening.
The teams were selected by a national panel that included head coaches, sports information directors, members of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association, New England Football Writers Association and Philadelphia Football Writers, pro football scouts, plus staff journalists of Lindy's Sports annuals, The Sports Network, and USA Football News.
Despagne, a First-Team All-PAC selection at defensive back last season, was given the nod as a First-Team Preseason All-American selection. Last season, the 5-10 Despagne started in all ten games for the Bison. Despite teams shying away from the ball-hawking defensive back, Despagne still managed 32.5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 12 pass breakups. He also forced a fumble and finished the year with 29 solo stops.
Blinn is coming off the best statistical year of any Bison wide receiver in history and has earned Second-Team Preseason All-American honors. During the 2013 campaign, Blinn shattered the Bethany record books en route to being named a First-Team All-PAC and Third-Team All-South Region selection. He completed the year with 1,300 yards receiving, 95 catches and eight touchdowns. Blinn finished 2013 ranked second in all of Division III in receptions per game (9.5), third in receiving yards per contest (130.0) and eighth in all-purpose yards per game (185.5).
Amic, who earned his second All-PAC selection as an honorable mention last year, has been given the nod as a Third-Team Preseason All-American. The senior punter led the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in yards per punt last season (38.8). He also put a career-high 18 kicks inside the 20-yard line a year ago. His best performance of the year came against Thiel, where he placed the ball inside the 20-yard line five times in the contest.
Despagne, Blinn and Amic join 24 other Presidents’ Athletic Conference athletes to earn the distinction of Preseason All-American by USA Football Network, Inc. Despagne was one of just six PAC athletes to earn first-team honors, while Blinn was one five players in the conference to earn second-team laurels. Amic joined five others as third-team selections and there were also 11 honorable mention selections to round out the honorees from the conference.