Ferris State’s Vander Laan On Verge Of Becoming Greatest Rushing QB Ever In College Football
Updated: October 14, 2015
Courtesy of Ferris State University Athletics
Big Rapids, Mich. – The reigning Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the top Division II player in the nation, Ferris State University’s Jason Vander Laan, is on the verge of becoming the greatest rushing quarterback in the history of college football at any level.
Vander Laan, who has been the nationally fourth-ranked Bulldogs’ starting signal caller for the past four seasons, needs 71 yards entering this Saturday’s (Oct. 17) showdown against Ohio Dominican to set a new NCAA all-division record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback.
Presently, Vander Laan has ran for 5,057 yards in 39 career games and is chasing the all-time career mark of 5,128 yards set by Wofford’s Shawn Graves from 1989-92. The mark stands as the most rushing yards ever by a QB at the FBS, FCS, D2 or D3 levels.
Thus, Vander Laan could be become college football’s all-time top rushing quarterback this week when the Bulldogs and Panthers square off starting at 12 p.m. (ET) in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Division II Playoffs at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.
“When you think back in the entire history of all the great rushing quarterbacks to have ever played the game in the past century such as players like Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach, Steve Young or Denard Robinson, it’s really amazing to think what this really means,” said FSU head coach Tony Annese. “I’ve been blessed to coach a student-athlete of his caliber and the young men on our team who have helped him achieve this feat over the past four years. I know our entire team and program will take great pride in this accomplishment once it happens.”
Vander Laan has already surpassed the all-time NCAA Division I mark held by former Michigan QB Denard Robinson and is moving in on the all-time mark held by Graves. Additionally, the Bulldog standout presently has 68 career rushing TD’s and is six away from the NCAA Division II record for most rushing yards by a QB (72) also held by Graves.
This past Saturday (Oct. 10), Vander Laan became the all-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) career leader in total offense in leading the Bulldogs to a decisive 56-21 conference road win over the Tiffin Dragons in Ohio. The Frankfort, Ill., native presently has compiled 12,035 total offensive yards in his career, including 11,008 yards in conference play, which surpassed former Saginaw Valley State quarterback Jonathon Jennings’ previous league record.
Behind Vander Laan’s play at quarterback, Ferris State has won 20 consecutive regular season contests heading into Saturday’s home tilt and the Bulldogs are off to a 5-0 start this season after posting the first-ever 11-0 regular season in 107 seasons of Ferris State football a year ago. Vander Laan is 31-8 as the Bulldogs’ starting QB in his career.
In 2014, Vander Laan received the Harlon Hill Trophy as the top NCAA Division II player in the nation, becoming only the third GLIAC player to ever receive the coveted award. He later was also named as the 2014-15 recipient of the NCAA Division II National Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor as the nation’s top performer on the field and in the classroom, regardless of sport.
The Bulldogs will play each of their next two contests at home as FSU also hosts Michigan Tech on Oct. 24 in a potential battle of unbeaten teams at Top Taggart Field. Tickets for all home games can be purchased in advance at StarTickets.com or call (231) 591-2888(231) 591-2888 for more information.