Gustavus Adolphus safety Joe Welch, a senior from Hastings, Minn., has been named to the D3football.com Pre-Season All-America Football Team. Welch, a second team selection, was one of four Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference athletes honored on the D3football.com Pre-Season All-America First and Second Teams. That group included Welch, Josh Ostrue (First Team, C, St. Thomas), Tim Cornish (First Team, CB, Bethel), and Nick Gunderson (Second Team, DT, Saint John’s). Welch has also been honored this pre-season as a Lindy’s Magazine Pre-Season All-America First Team selection.
Welch, a D3football.com Third-Team All-America selection last season, led the Gusties with 98 tackles, including 51 solo stops, to go along with one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Welch finished third among MIAC defensive players with 10.1 tackles per game as he was named to the All-MIAC First Team Defense. He posted double-digit tackles in five games including a season-high 16 stops against Concordia. Welch recorded five interceptions on a defense that ranked sixth in Division III with 22 picks. He enters his senior season with 180 career tackles (which ranks 17th all-time at Gustavus) and 99 solo stops (which ranks ninth all-time at Gustavus). Welch needs 20 tackles to become the 14th player at Gustavus to compile 200 career stops.
Welch, who will serve as a captain for the second consecutive year, will report with his teammates to begin practice for the 2009 season on August 22nd. The Gusties will open up at home against Coe College on September 12 at 1 pm at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field.
D3Football.com All-America First and Second Teams:
d3football.com All-American Team