Northwest Missouri State offensive lineman Tanner Owen and Missouri Western kick returner Trey Vaval are picking up honors two months prior to the start of the Division II football season.
The MIAA rivals were named to the 2020 College Football America Yearbook Division II Preseason Starting Lineup, CFA’s version of an All-America team.
Owen, a Kearney, Missouri native, enters his senior season having started 39 consecutive games on the offensive line to begin his collegiate career. Owen tallied AFCA First-Team All-America status in 2019 and is a two-time first-team all-MIAA selection.
Owen bolstered a Bearcat offense that ranked No. 1 in the nation in red zone scoring, coming away with points 40 out of 41 times in the red zone. The Bearcats ranked No. 9 in the nation in scoring offense with 41.9 points per game, led by 38 rushing touchdowns and 29 passing touchdowns.
Vaval, a Blue Springs, Missouri, product, is coming off a campaign that saw him named the Don Hansen Super Region 3 Co-Freshman of the Year. In his first season of collegiate football, Vaval was a first-team D2CCA All-American and earned three other All-American honors. He was named all-region, first team All-MIAA and Agent Barry Live United Bowl MVP.
Vaval led DII with 1,335 combined return yards and ranked second in all of the college football. His 34.3 yards per kick return broke a 27-year old MIAA record and were third most in DII. He also ranked second in D-II, averaging 21.1 yards per punt return.
Northwest begins the season Sept. 12 at Nebraska-Kearney, while Missouri Western will travel the same day to Northeastern State.
MIAA Football Media Day will help held later this month on July 27.