The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) has announced its major awards and the 54-member all-conference team for 2017.
Luther senior defensive lineman Mitch Van Epps (Wild Rose, Wis.) was a first-team honoree, while senior return specialist Nick Slavens (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) and junior defensive back Dante Joseph (Layton, Utah/Northridge) were second-team selections.
Van Epps and Joseph were a part of the defensive unit that finished second in the Iowa Conference in total defense allowing 342.6 yards per game. The Norse also finished third in defensive scoring, allowing 27.5 points per contest.
Van Epps led the Norse defensive line in tackles. He was credited 44 that included 11 for loss, four sacks and three pass break-ups. Joseph finished 15th in the Iowa Conference in tackles per game posting with an average of 8.4. He led the Norse in total tackles with 80 and was also credited with five pass break-ups and one interception.
Slavens averaged 19.9 yards per kick-off return in league play with a long of 58. He was also named honorable mention all-conference as a running back. He led the Norse rushing attack, that led the league in rushing yards per game (295.1), for the fifth consecutive year. Slavens carried the football 79 times for 707 yards, for an average of 8.9 yards per carry.
Also named honorable mention all-conference was Senior quarterback Brady Letney (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley), senior defensive back Damon Stroup (Tracy, Calif.) and senior punter Cory Wirth (Maquoketa, Iowa).
Luther wrapped up the 2017 campaign posting its first six win season since 2005. The Norse also finished alone in third place in the league standings (5-3), their highest finish since 2004.