Menlo College Football has the proud distinction of sending four seniors to play in 17th Annual All-American Bowl game, as wide receiver Robert Adan, linebacker Devon Jonsson, defensive lineman Greig O'Connor, and quarterback Matthias Pelesasa were selected thanks to their outstanding 2012 campaigns. The All-Star clash, featuring the nation's top NCAA Division IAA, II, III, and NAIA talent, will be played in the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings, on Saturday, December 22nd. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00am (CST).
"I was excited and shocked when I heard I was selected to the All-American Bowl," said Robert Adan, the dynamic wide receiver who led the Oaks with 570 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns this past season. "This selection highlights my hard work and dedication to the game. For the last four years, football has been my life and this honor is an excellent way to end my career."
Devon Jonsson's selection is well warranted after the Sammamish, WA native boasted a team leading 62 total tackles, in addition to racking up nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and two interceptions. "When I first heard that I would be playing in the All-American Bowl, I felt extremely honored. It was very humbling to know that I was invited to play with some of the best players in the country," said Jonsson, who also understands the significance that this honor holds on the Oaks' football program.
"It shows that Menlo has some great talent and that we are improving every year. Last year we only had one player selected to play (defensive lineman Chris Tosello), this we have four, and hopefully next year we can have even more players selected to go."
Greig O'Connor gets the call after wrapping up a stellar Oaks career as one of the key anchors of Menlo's defense for the past four years. The Newark, CA native accumulated 35 total tackles, a team leading 11.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. "When I first received the email that I was selected, the order of emotion went something like this: excitement, joy, blessing, tell mom and dad, ask if my hero Devon Jonsson got it too," said O'Connor, who is eagerly waiting for kickoff on Saturday.
"Victor Brankovich, our strength and conditioning coach, as prepared us physically, mentally, and emotionally for an amazing battle. I know that we are more than ready to play in the All-American Bowl. I get to play a sport I love, with people I love, representing a school I love. It doesn't get any better than this. I would like to thank Keith Spataro (Menlo Director of Athletics) for sponsoring us, Victor for training us and spending his own time to get us better, and our head coach Mark Speckman for giving us the opportunity."
Quarterback Matt Pelesasa rounds out the foursome after serving as the Oaks starting signal caller for the past two seasons. The Redwood City native's 67.2 completion percentage put him mere percentage points behind Zamir Amin's school record of 67.5 back in 2000. Pelesasa threw for 1,356 yards, ten touchdowns, and just four interceptions this past season.
"What this says about me as a player is, first and foremost, that I am blessed to be able to play collegiate football, and at a high level. I have worked very hard throughout my career to be the best I can be, and I am humbled to be acknowledged in such a great way," said Pelesasa, who also shares a bittersweet sentiment on the upcoming game.
"As the game gets closer I anticipate a lot of mixed emotions. It's my last college football game, and the culmination of what I hope was a great career. I am sure it will be a little sadness mixed with great excitement. Football has always been a way of life for me and it has taken me to places in life I had never imagined; literally, figuratively, and spiritually."