Josh Kniess is one of the top return specialists in the nation

Josh Kniess earned postseason honorable mention All-America honors from Don Hansen's Football Gazette and in 2004

Aug. 8, 2005

Slippery Rock, Pa. - Rock senior running back/return specialist Josh Kniess was named Monday to NCAA Division II Preseason All-America Team honors by Don Hansen's Football Gazette.

Kniess earned the honor as a return specialist. That is the same category in which the Slippery Rock Area High School graduate earned honorable mention All-America honors from both the Football Gazette and and special mention All-America honors from at the conclusion of the 2004 season.

Kniess led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and ranked second among NCAA D-II players in punt returns a year ago with a per-return average of 18.9 yards. He also averaged 22.6 yards on kickoff returns, but did not have enough attempts to meet the minimum criteria for PSAC and/or national rankings.

Prior to being named to All-America honors last fall, Kniess received first-team All-Northeast Region honors from both the Football Gazette and and first-team All-PSAC-West recognition as a return specialist.

Kniess also earned second-team All-PSAC-West honors and third-team Football Gazette all-region honors as a running back last fall after rushing for 1,183 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns.

Kniess was also named to second-team All-PSAC-West honors as a running back in his sophomore season (2003).

Kniess and The Rock opened preseason camp last Wednesday in preparation for their season-opening game Aug. 27 at Bloomsburg (1 p.m. kickoff).

The Rock home opener is Sept. 10 against Shepherd University of West Virginia. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Bob DiSpirito Field at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.