ROCKFORD, Ill. - Six Rockford University football players earned recognition from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference on Friday afternoon when the 2018 all-conference awards were released. Highlighting the group of Regents were four First Team All-NACC performers: tight end Adam Ambrogio (Rockford, Ill.), defensive end Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.), offensive lineman William Lawhorn (Rochelle, Ill.) and defensive back Dylan Peterson (Reynolds, Ill.). Running back Chance Manning (Durand, Ill.) was named Second Team All-NACC and linebacker Jallen Bashford (Fairbury, Ill.) was selected NACC Honorable Mention. The four First Team All-NACC selections are tied for the most in program history.
Junior tight end Adam Ambrogio was voted First Team All-NACC for the second straight season. Ambrogio proved to be the top tight end in the conference, as he led all NACC tight ends in every major statistical category. He finished as the NACC leader amongst tight ends in receptions (34), receiving yards (358) and receiving touchdowns (5). Ambrogio was also a key part to the Rockford rushing attack that finished the year with 1,663 yards on the ground, which is the second most for the Regents since joining the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
Senior defensive lineman Jared Johnson earned First Team All-NACC recognition for the first time in his collegiate career. Johnson was outstanding all season long as he was constantly wreaking havoc in the opposing team's backfield. The senior finished at or near the top of the conference in multiple statistical categories. He led the conference in sacks (8), sack yardage (66), tackles for loss (16.5), tackles for loss yardage (85) and tied for the NACC lead in forced fumbles (3). Johnson was also second in the NACC in solo tackles (52), tied for fifth in total tackles (85), tied for twelfth in assisted tackles (33), tied for seventh in fumble recoveries (1) and tied for fourth in blocked kicks (1). At the conclusion of his career, Johnson finished third in school history in sacks (15), tied for fifth in tackles for loss (32) and eighth in tackles (212).
Senior offensive lineman William Lawhorn was tabbed First Team All-NACC for the first time in his collegiate career. Lawhorn anchored the Rockford offensive line which helped produce one of the most productive offensive outputs for the Regents since joining the NACC. At the end of the 2018 season, Rockford finished with the second most yards in total offense (3,643), second most rushing yards (1,663) and third most passing yards (1,980) in a single season since joining the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in 2008.
Junior Dylan Peterson was selected First Team All-NACC for the first time in his career. Peterson was one of the top defensive backs in the conference all season long, and was the leader of the Regent defensive backfield. Peterson led Rockford and finished tied for fifth in the conference with three interceptions. He also tallied a career-high 42 tackles including 29 solo tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 pass breakups and 1 forced fumble. Peterson made headlines in the second to last week of the season when he was tabbed the NACC Football Defensive Player of the Week and selected as a safety on the D3football.com Team of the Week for his performance (2 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 4 tackles) in Rockford's 24-0 win over Concordia Wisconsin.
Senior running back Chance Manning concluded his collegiate career by being selected Second Team All-NACC. This marks the third consecutive season Manning has been voted either first or second team all-conference. Manning was once again the workhorse for the Regent rushing attack, as he led the team in a trio of rushing categories. The senior led Rockford in rushing yards (571), rushing attempts (122) and yards per carry (4.7). Manning has been a consistent performer throughout his career and exits as one of the top running backs in school history. He finished his career second in school history in rushing yards (2,884), rushing attempts (560) and all-purpose yards (3,392), third in total offense (3,329), fourth in rushing touchdowns (13), tied for sixth in total touchdowns (16) and seventh in total points scored (98).
Sophomore linebacker Jallen Bashford earned his first postseason recognition from the conference after being named NACC Honorable Mention. Bashford improved on an excellent freshman season, with an outstanding sophomore year. He finished the season in the top 10 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in a trio of statistical categories. Bashford was fourth in the conference in assisted tackles (43), tied for fifth in total tackles (85) and tied for ninth in solo tackles (42). He also tallied 1.5 tackles for loss, intercepted a pass and broke up a pair of passes.