INDIANOLA, Iowa – Record-setting quarterback Taylor Nelson earned Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Offensive Most Valuable Player honors as seven Simpson football players earned all-conference recognition for their efforts in 2013, following a vote of the league's eight head coaches.
Joining Nelson on the All-IIAC First Team were wide receiver and returner, Brad Vogel, and offensive lineman, Patrick Thompson. Center Corey Meyer, linebacker Ted Haag and defensive end Clay Finley were All-IIAC Second Team picks, while running back Michael Chia, wide receiver Nate Connealy and defensive end Johnnie Sims received honorable mention nods.
|Name||Pos.||All-IIAC||Cl.||Hometown/High School||Previous Honors|
|Taylor Nelson||QB||MVP (offense)||Sr.||West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley||Second Team (2011, 2012)|
|Brad Vogel||WR||First Team||Sr.||Donnellson, Iowa/Central Lee||Second Team (2012)|
|Brad Vogel||RS||First Team||Sr.||Donnellson, Iowa/Central Lee||First Team (2011, 2012, 2013), HM (2010)|
|Patrick Thompson||OL||First Team||Sr.||Perry, Iowa/Perry||Second Team (2012)|
|Corey Meyer||OL||Second Team||So.||Iowa City, Iowa/West|
|Ted Haag||LB||Second Team||Sr.||Waukee, Iowa/Waukee|
|Clay Finley||DL||Second Team||Jr.||Muscatine, Iowa/Muscatine|
|Michael Chia||RB||Honorable Mention||Sr.||Indianola, Iowa/Indianola|
|Nate Connealy||WR||Honorable Mention||Jr.||Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central|
|Johnnie Sims||DL||Honorable Mention||Jr.||New Sharon, Iowa/North Mahaska||Honorable Mention (2012)|
Nelson named Offensive MVP
A senior from West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley), Nelson pieced together one of the most memorable seasons – and careers – Simpson fans have ever witnessed. Listed at 5-feet, 11-inches tall, the dual-threat quarterback was dangerous as a pocket passer and feared as a play-maker outside of the pocket. He led the IIAC with 319.4 yards of offense per game in 2013, accounting for a school-record 34 touchdowns (10 rushing). The game was never in doubt when Nelson had the ball, as he led Simpson to five wins when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Nelson completed a school-record 65.5 percent of his passes during the season, throwing for 2,608 yards and 24 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. He led the team with 586 yards rushing and was asked to run or throw the ball in nearly 67 percent of Simpson's 775 offensive plays. He surpassed 300 yards passing four times, earned IIAC Offensive Player of the Week four times and accounted for six total touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, throwing for three and running for three in wins over Coe and Dubuque.
Nelson started all 40 games of his career, leading Simpson to a five-game turnaround after a tough 2-8 campaign during his first season in 2010. Nelson holds nearly every career passing record at Simpson, leaving as the leader in yards (9,556), completions (851), attempts (1,373), touchdowns (77), and completion percentage (62.0). He also holds career records for total offense (10,771), touchdowns responsible for (100) and total offense per game (269.3).
A second team all-conference pick in 2011 and 2012, Nelson is the sixth Simpson player to earn conference MVP honors and first since Mike Donnenwerth in 2003. He joins Ricky Gales (1989), Brad Jorgensen (1996-97) and Guy Leman (1998) as Simpson honorees in addition to Donnenwerth.
Vogel, Thompson named to All-IIAC First Team
A senior from Donnellson, Iowa (Central Lee), Vogel earned first team honors as a both a receiver and a return specialist. One of the most dynamic players in the league throughout his career, Vogel led the conference in kick return average (24.8 yard per return) and was Nelson's top target in the passing game, making 56 catches for 717 yards despite missing one full game and parts of two more due to injury. His 6.2 catches and 79.7 yards per game ranked second in the Iowa Conference.
Vogel earned IIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors once in 2013. He was a first team all-conference returner in 2011 and 2012 and a second team receiver in 2012. He was named to the D3football.com All-West Region team as a returner in 2012, resulting in numerous preseason All-America accolades leading up to the 2013 season. He surpassed 100 yards receiving four times in 2013 and closes his career as Simpson's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (5,687), kick return yards (2,601) and kick returns (111).
A senior from Perry, Iowa (Perry), Thompson – a right tackle – was the top lineman for an offensive unit that ranked second in the IIAC in total offense (432.6 yards per game). He allowed just one sack on the season and was one of the most physically dominant offensive lineman in the conference. He started all 10 games as a junior and nine as a senior before injury kept him out of the final game of 2013. Thompson was a second team all-conference performer in 2012.
Meyer, Haag, Finley named to All-IIAC Second Team
A sophomore from Iowa City, Iowa (West), Meyer started seven games at center for the Storm in 2013. He helped anchor an offense that featured the conference's No. 2 passing attack (265.5 yards per game) and No. 3 rushing attack (167.1 yards per game).
A senior from Waukee, Iowa (Waukee), Haag – a middle linebacker – was the top tackler for the defensive unit. His 75 tackles led the team and ranked 10th in the Iowa Conference. He added 5.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and recovered a fumble. He recorded 10 tackles on two occasions, making a season-high 12 against Buena Vista.
A junior from Muscatine, Iowa (Muscatine), Finley led the team in tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5) from his defensive end position. The athletic play-maker also had four pass breakups to go along with his 31 tackles. Finley was also a Capital One Academic All-District® 8 First Team honoree.
Chia, Connealy, Sims named honorable mention all-conference
A senior and four-year starter from Indianola, Iowa (Indianola), Chia ran for 390 yards and two touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 178 yards. In his second-to-last game, Chia ran for a career-high 124 yards on 13 carries with a 40-yard touchdown in a loss to Buena Vista. The sure-handed Chia didn't lose a fumble on the season.
A junior from Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central), Connealy finished as the team's second-leading receiver after making the switch from running back in the offseason. He made 32 catches for 418 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a season-high eight catches for 130 yards against Buena Vista.
A junior from New Sharon, Iowa (North Mahaska), Sims earned honorable mention honors for the second time in his career, adding to his 2012 accolade. He was second on the team with 3.0 sacks and finished the season with 23 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss.
The Storm and sixth-year head coach Jim Glogowski went 7-3 in 2013 and finished second in the Iowa Conference with a 5-2 record. Simpson was tied with Wartburg for first in the league standings with two games remaining but fell out of the running with a last-second, 34-32 loss to Buena Vista.
Simpson's seven wins were the most since the Storm also won seven in 2008, Glogowski's first season as head coach.