Griffith, Caton feted in All-MVFC defense selections

Tribune-Star file/Joseph C. Garza Raise your right hand if you're killing it: Indiana State linebacker Jonas Griffith celebrates a stop by the ISU defense during the team's game against Missouri State on Oct. 13, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Indiana State middle linebacker Jonas Griffith added to his cache of preseason honors as he was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference defense. The MVFC announced its preseason all-defensive team on Wednesday.

Return specialist Dakota Caton was also given honorable mention consideration as a return specialist.

Griffith has already earned preseason All-American status from HERO Sports, STATS FCS and Phil Steele. This comes after Griffith earned three different All-American postseason honors after the 2018 season.

Griffith, a Louisville, Ky. native, led FCS with 7.4 solo tackles per game and ranked fifth nationally with 12 tackles per game. He led the MVFC in total tackles with 132 stops, including 81 unassisted tackles.

Griffith, a fifth-year senior, recorded 9.5 tackles for loss for 27 yards, including 4.5 tackles-for-loss in the season finale to force a punt that led to the game-winning field goal. Also had 3 1/2 sacks for 20 yards and had double-digit tackle totals in eight of 11 games. His high was 18 tackles in back-to-back games against South Dakota State and Missouri State. Another season highlight was a recovered a fumble Griffith ran back 80 yards for a touchdown at Youngstown State. 

Caton, a Sullivan native, made opponents take notice in his freshman season. Caton returned 32 kicks for 692 yards on the year for a 21.6 yard per return average. Caton's longest kick return was a 49-yard scamper in a win over regional rival Eastern Illinois where he also set a season-high with 178 yards on returns. Caton scored on his first touch as a Sycamore with a 71-yard punt return touchdown against Quincy.

Caton finished 10th in FCS in return yardage with 763 yards. He also had 19 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns. For his efforts, Caton was a First Team Freshman All-American selection as a return specialist from HERO Sports.

ISU will open fall camp on Friday.


All-MVFC preseason defense

DL=Ryan Earith=South Dakota State=Sr.

DL=Darin Greenfield=South Dakota=Sr.

DL=Anthony Knighton=Southern Illinois=Jr.

DL=Derrek Tuszka=North Dakota State=Sr.

LB=Jabril Cox=North Dakota State=Jr.

LB=Angelo Garbutt=Missouri State=Sr.

LB=Jonas Griffith=Indiana State=Sr.

LB=Christian Rozeboom=South Dakota State=Sr.

DB=Jeremy Chinn=Southern Illinois=Sr.

DB=James Hendricks=North Dakota State=Sr.

DB=Luther Kirk=Illinois State=Sr.

DB=Devin Taylor=Illinois State=Jr.

DB=Xavior Williams=Northern Iowa=Jr.

P=Garret Wegner=North Dakota State=Jr.

RS=Je'Quan Burton=Southern Illinois=So.

Honorable Mention — DL Shereif Bynum, Youngstown State; DL Cole Karcz, North Dakota State; DL Matt McClellan, Missouri State; DL John Ridgeway, Illinois State; LB Jack Cochrane, South Dakota; LB McNeece Egbim, Missouri State; LB Bryce Notree, Southern Illinois; DB Bryce Gibson, Youngstown State; DB Phillip Powell, South Dakota; P Brady Schutt, South Dakota; RS Dakota Caton, Indiana State; RS Christian Uphoff, Illinois State; RS Xavior Williams, UNI.