Woo and Forshey Earn Second Team All-America Honors

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior wide receiver Merben Woo (Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS/Hartnell College) and senior offensive tackle Jake Forshey (Santa Ynez, CA/Santa Ynez Valley Union HS) have been chosen Second Team All-America by D3Football.com. Woo and Forshey helped Willamette set school records with 498 points and 69 touchdowns during the season.

Willamette finished the year with an 11-1 overall record, including 6-0 in the Northwest Conference for the Bearcats' 23rd league title. WU qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs and defeated Occidental College, 48-33, before losing to the eventual national runner-up, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 30-27, in the second round. It was Willamette's third trip to the NCAA Playoffs since 1999.

Woo, who played flanker for the Bearcats, set a Willamette record with 1,735 all-purpose yards during the season. He carried the ball 107 times for 816 yards (7.6 avg.) and nine touchdowns. He also caught a team-high 41 passes for 890 yards and eight touchdowns.

Woo scored 17 touchdowns overall and led the Bearcats in scoring with 102 points. Seven of his touchdowns covered 50 or more yards. He recorded at least one touchdown in 10 of 12 games this fall. He was named First Team All-NWC was chosen NWC Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

"Merben was the catalyst for our offense," Head Coach Mark Speckman said. "He was a threat to go the distance every time he touched the ball. He had the rare ability to change a game using his running skills or his pass catching abilities."

Forshey had an outstanding year in Willamette’s offensive line. He helped the Bearcats rush for 3,014 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also contributed to WU’s passing game, which resulted in 1,973 yards and 20 touchdowns. Forshey and the other Bearcat offensive linemen limited opponents to just nine sacks in 12 games.

"Jake led a very efficient offensive line," Speckman noted. "He steadily improved his whole career here and had an outstanding senior year. He was adept at both run blocking and pass protection. Jake is a very intelligent player, who used great strength and technique to become an outstanding player."

Forshey was chosen First Team All-NWC for his efforts. He was a key blocker as Willamette averaged an impressive 7.1 yards per play. WU gained 6.0 yards per running play and averaged 9.9 yards per pass (16.7 yards per catch).

Willamette's offense produced 61 touchdowns during the season. The defense and special teams combined for eight additional touchdowns, helping WU score more than 30 points in each of its first 11 games. Woo and Forshey earned First Team All-West Region honors from D3Football.com before being named to the All-America Team.

Merben Woo scored a total of 17 touchdowns for the Bearcats during the 2008 season.

Merben Woo scored a total of 17 touchdowns for the Bearcats during the 2008 season.