Missouri Valley Football Conference champion South Dakota State has claimed three of the league's top individual awards, conference officials announced Wednesday morning.
Quarterback Taryn Christion was named MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, linebacker Christian Rozeboom was selected MVFC Freshman of the Year and John Stiegelmeier was honored as Bruce Craddock MVFC Coach of the Year. Award selections are determined through a vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and select media.
A sophomore from Sioux Falls, Christion has rewritten the Jackrabbit record book this season while leading the 10-team league in nearly every passing category. Through 11 games, Christion has completed 64 percent (246-of-384) of his passes for 3,369 yards and 29 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. His 3,369 passing yards and 3,754 yards of total offense are both school records.
A finalist for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, Christion recorded the top three single-game total offense performances in school history during the 2016 season. The first Jackrabbit and the first sophomore to be named the league's top offensive player, he has accounted for 36 total touchdowns - 29 passing, 6 rushing and 1 receiving.
Rozeboom, a redshirt freshman from Sioux Center, Iowa, leads the Jackrabbits with 107 total tackles, including five tackles for loss and three sacks. A two-time MVFC Newcomer of the Week honoree, Rozeboom registered double figures in tackles in five games, while adding two interceptions, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He also is a finalist for the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Rozeboom is the third Jackrabbit player to be selected as the MVFC Freshman of the Year, joining Austin Sumner (2011) and Jake Wieneke (2014).
Stiegelmeier led the Jackrabbits to an 8-3 overall record during the regular season and their first MVFC title with a 7-1 mark in league play. Now in his 20th season as head coach, Stiegelmeier is the winningest coach in program history with a 136-93 record. SDSU will make its fifth consecutive appearance in the FCS playoffs and sixth overall since 2009.
During his tenure at SDSU, Stiegelmeier has earned coach of the year honors in three different conferences. He previously was honored as North Central Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and Great West Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2007.
South Dakota State has received a first-round bye to the FCS playoffs and will host either Villanova or Saint Francis (Pa.) in second-round action Dec. 3 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
Other award winners were Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult as MVFC Defensive Player of the Year and South Dakota quarterback Chris Streveler as MVFC Newcomer of the Year.
A transfer from Minnesota, Streveler was the Valley's third-leading rusher and sixth-leading passer and No. 6 nationally in points responsible for. He completed 164 of 273 passes for 1,947 yards with 22 TD passes. He also rushed 161 times for 823 yards and nine touchdowns and averaged 82 rush yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. He twice threw four TDs in one game and accounted for six TDs in a win against Weber State. For the season, Streveler had five 100-yard rushing games (USD had four such efforts by QBs from 2006-15).