Courtesy Siena Heights Athletic Department
(12-15-22) Celina, Ohio and Siena Heights linebacker Kole Murlin has added yet another accolade to his impressive collegiate resume as he was named to the AFCA-NAIA All-America First Team.
Murlin, the first-ever three-time Mid-States Football Association Player of the Year for either offense or defense, is now the first Saint in program history to receive All-America recognition in three seasons.
Murlin started all 10 games and led the team with 114 tackles on the season, earning double-digit tackles in seven of the Saints’ 10 games. Eleven of Murlin’s tackles went for a loss this season, amounting to 48 yards lost. He had 5 1/2 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Murlin’s average of 11.4 tackles per game were the fourth-highest mark in the NAIA this year. He finished seventh in total tackles and 10th in assisted tackles in the NAIA.
Murlin becomes the first ever three-time winner of the MSFA Player of the Year Award for either offense or defense. This season, he was named MSFA Mideast Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts on Oct. 22 against Lawrence Tech. He led the Saints with 13 tackles that day, three for-loss, including two for sacks. That was his fourth time winning the player of the week award.
Murlin rewrote the Siena Heights record books during his four years. His 114 tackles are the most in a single season in SHU history, eclipsing his previous two marks of 112 tackles in 2021 and 111 tackles in 2019. His 55 solo tackles also set a single season SHU record, eclipsing the previous high of 50, set in 2013. Murlin’s 11 tackles for loss are the sixth-highest single season mark in SHU history as well. Murlin’s 48 TFL yards are the ninth-highest mark in single season SHU history now.
Murlin caps off a historic career for the Saints. He holds numerous career records for the Saints, including tackles (415), solo tackles (163), assisted tackles (252) and fumble recoveries (5). He is tied for second with 33 1/2 tackles-for-loss, third in tackle-for-loss yardage (126), tied for third in forced fumbles (4), fifth in sacks (11 1/2) and tied for sixth in sack yardage (64). During Murlin’s stellar career, the Saints’ defense had the top defense in yards per game in the MSFA during the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. As the anchor of the Saints’ defense, during his career, the defense held opponents to an average of 252 yards per game.
Coach Matt Kohn said-
“I’m beyond proud of Kole for earning this incredible honor. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a student-athlete that has the character of Kole Murlin.”