Napier recognized as First Team All-American by AFCA; Schardt honorable mention

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 13, 2021 in Football

AFCA Release | NAIA Release

SEWARD, Neb. – For the fourth year in a row, the incomparable Lane Napier of Concordia University has been recognized with some form of All-America recognition from the American Football Coaches Association. On Monday (Dec. 13), the AFCA announced Napier as a 2021 NAIA First Team All-America selection. Napier moves up to the first team after having been chosen to the second team in 2020 and as an honorable mention award winner in 2018 and 2019 by the AFCA. Meanwhile, tight end Garrett Schardt was named a 2021 Honorable Mention All-American.

A fifth-year member of the program in 2021, Napier garnered GPAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades this fall after piling up 134 tackles for a GPAC leading 13.4 tackles per game (second among all NAIA players). Napier also added three pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, an interception, one sack and one forced fumble. Napier was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week after a 20-tackle outing in the win over Mount Marty. Impressively, Napier raked in First Team All-GPAC accolades in each of his five seasons as a Bulldog linebacker.

Said Head Coach Patrick Daberkow of Napier, “It’s going to be tough to find another one like him. To have that many tackles in a career is incredible. An interesting stat is that, yeah he played five years, but he had that many tackles in 45 games. It didn’t take him 50 games to do that. Lane is the epitome of toughness. He’s absolutely what we’re looking for in linebackers. He sets the standard so high for future linebackers in this program. Lane doesn’t say a whole lot. He lets his pads do the talking. I’m just super proud of him and lucky to be his coach.”

A David City Aquinas High School alum, Napier shattered school and GPAC records for career tackles this past season and ended his five-year run (45 career games) with 535 tackles. According to NCAA record books entering this season, only six players in NCAA football history have reached that lofty tackle total. Napier’s career tallies also included 36.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. According to available records, Napier is the first Concordia football player to ever earn All-America status in four-straight seasons. He was also honored as an NAIA First Team All-American in 2018 when he led the NAIA with 142 tackles.

As for Schardt, he is the first Bulldog tight end to be tabbed with some form of All-America recognition since Ross Wurdeman in 2001. A two-time First Team All-GPAC selection, Schardt started all 10 games this past fall and produced 32 receptions for 504 yards (most on the team) and five touchdowns. He caught at least one pass in all but one game on his way to posting career highs across the board. Over four seasons, Schardt accumulated career totals of 72 receptions for 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns. Schardt is a native of Davenport, Neb., and a Bruning-Davenport-Shickley High School alum.

Napier career honors

·        AFCA NAIA All-America awards: First Team (2021); Second Team (2020); Honorable Mention (2019); Honorable Mention (2018)

·        2021 GPAC Defensive Player of the Year

·        2018 Associated Press NAIA First Team All-American

·        Five-Time First Team All-GPAC

·        Two-time Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Defensive Honorary Captain (2018, 2019)

·        Three-time Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska First Team (2017, 2018, 2019)

·        Four-Time GPAC Defensive Player of the Week


2021 – Lane Napier, linebacker (first team – AFCA)

2021 – Garrett Schardt, tight end (honorable mention – AFCA)

2020 – Lane Napier, linebacker (second team – AFCA)

2019 – Lane Napier, linebacker (honorable mention – AFCA)

2018 – Lane Napier, linebacker (first team – Associated Press; honorable mention – NAIA)

2017 – Tarence Roby, defensive back (first team – Associated Press; second team – AFCA)

2016 – Trey Barnes, defensive line (first team – AFCA)

2015 – Trey Barnes, defensive line (second team – AFCA)

2013 – Darnell Woods, safety (first team – AFCA)

2012 – Derek Blessing, punt returner (first team – Beyond Sports Network)

2012 – Kenny Zoeller, kicker (first team – AFCA)

2007 – JaMaine Lewis, running back (second team – Victory Sports Network)

2007 – Jeff Neujahr, kick/punt returner (honorable mention – Victory Sports Network)

2006 – Jeff Neujahr, kick/punt returner (honorable mention – Victory Sports Network)

2004 – Matthew Egger, punter

2002 – Sean Stewart, safety (second team)

2001 – Erik DeHaven, linebacker

2001 – Sean Stewart, safety (honorable mention)

2001 – Ross Wurdeman, tight end (first team)

2000 – Drew Ekart, defensive back (honorable mention)

2000 – Sean Stewart, safety (honorable mention)

2000 – Ross Wurdeman, tight end (first team)

1996 – Ed McLaughlin, offensive line (honorable mention)

1995 – Mike Hoernemann, linebacker (honorable mention)

1994 – Travis Soukup, tight end/punter (first team)

1984 – Kahlil King, safety (first team)

1984 – Cleve Wester, running back

1982 – Gary Pomerenke, defensive line (first team)

1981 – Gary Pomerenke, defensive line (second team)

1965 – Dennis Oetting, lineman (honorable mention)

1964 – Bob Oetting, lineman

1961 – Larry Oetting, lineman

1959 – John Suhr, quarterback/safety/punter

1956 – Gary Seevers, running back

1955 – Gary Seevers, running back