MANCHESTER, N.H. – Seniors Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Mass.) and Justin Waltzer (Danbury, Conn.) of the Saint Anselm College football team recently participated in the 21st Anniversary USA Football Bowl on Jan. 19 at Newell Stadium in Jackson, Miss. Both Bernard and Waltzer were recognized as USA College Football Division II All-Americans.
Bernard caught 99 passes for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns this season. It was the third consecutive year going over 1,000 yards receiving for Bernard, whose postseason accolades include Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-Super Region 1 Third Team, Daktronics and Beyond Sports Network All-Super Region 1 Second Team, ECAC All-Star and Northeast-10 All-Conference First Team.
Bernard ranked fourth in yards and tied for sixth in touchdown grabs, while placing fourth in the nation in receptions per game (9.0) and 28th in receiving yards per contest (93.5). His 99 receptions are the second most in a single season in program history, while the 1,028 yards rank fourth. Bernard already owned Saint Anselm's single-game, single-season and career records for catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.
Bernard reeled in his 326th career catch in a 55-24 win at Merrimack on Oct. 4 to become the NCAA Division II all-time leader in receptions. He finished his career with 386 catches and 4,169 yards, which rank first and third, respectively, among active Division II players.
Waltzer, who was named to the Northeast-10 All-Conference Second Team, put together a career year as he amassed 75 tackles, including 8.0 for a loss and 1.0 sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while also blocking a kick. Waltzer was 17th in the league in tackles, but also altered opponents' game plans by clogging the middle.
The 21st Anniversary USA Football Bowl is the third oldest All-Star college football game and is the only game that has contracts with professional football leagues that guarantee over 40 roster slots for its participants in pre-season camps and/or regular season pro contracts.