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WACO, Texas – The Augustana football team had the nation’s best three student-athletes named to the 2023 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Teams announced Thursday. Blake Larson was named to the first team while Peyton Buckley and Avery Book earned second-team honors.

The trio brings the Vikings’ AFCA All-America total to 12 individuals since 1994 and brings the all-association All-America total to 72 honorees over the 101 years of AU Football. Two of the All-America honorees, Larson and Buckley, were team captains for the 2023 NSIC Champions which tied a school record for wins in a season with 11.

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Larson, a senior hailing from Brandon, South Dakota, concluded a career of 46 games played at Augustana by protecting a rushing attack that saw a running back eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground. He also held strong on the line that protected a quarterback that led the NSIC and ranked 16th in the nation with passing efficiency. He started all 13 games at right tackle and has found himself on many draft boards of NFL programs.

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Buckley, a junior from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, led Augustana with 78 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He recorded three interceptions, tallying 91 yards of return, and was credited with nine pass breakups giving him nearly a pass defended per game. He totaled a season-high 11 tackles in the win at Concordia-St. Paul, in the same contest forced a fumble. Of his 78 tackles, 57 were marked solo for the safety.

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Book, a junior from Ironton, Ohio, reset the Augustana single-season punting records in 2023 with an average of 44.8 yards per punt. That concludes the season for Book ranking third in the country. He totaled 19 punts of 50-plus yards while pinning 14 inside the 20-yard line. He also recorded just seven touchbacks on 48 punts, showing superior accuracy when pinning the opposing offense inside the 20-yard line 14 times. He earned an NSIC Player of the Week honor on Oct. 23 after punting six times for an average of 45.2 yards per punt. He also recorded a season-long punt of 69 yards at Southwest Minnesota State on Oct. 7.

Augustana AFCA All-America honorees:

1994 – Bryan Schwartz, 1st Team
2000 – Matt Holmlund, 1st Team
2001 – Matt Holmlund, 1st Team
2016 – Trey Heid, 1st Team
2017 – Sam Lee, 2nd Team
2019 – Jake Lacina, 1st Team
2021 – Logan Swanson, 2nd Team
2022 – Grayson Diepenbrock, 2nd Team
2022 – Eli Weber, 2nd Team
2023 – Blake Larson, 1st Team
2023 – Peyton Buckley, 2nd Team
2023 – Avery Book, 2nd Team

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