Central’s Samson earns All-America honors, plays in all-star game

Danny Samson, Central College senior defensive end from Baxter, played in the Tazon de Estrellas — Bowl of the Stars — Saturday, Dec. 21, in Monterrey, Mexico. Samson and three other Central College senior players were on Team Stars and Stripes coached by Central’s defensive coordinator Don De Waard.

The U.S. team won 29-7 over a squad of Mexico college all-stars. This was the second year in a row that Central’s De Waard was the U.S. head coach and he is 2-0.

Samson was named to the D3football.com All-America squad the night before playing in the all-star game. He was a first-team selection.

Samson and Central’s offensive lineman Travis Hook were named co-captains of Team Stars and Stripes for the fifth annual Tazon de Estrellas. Also playing the the all-star game were Central’s defensive back Jason Breon and linebacker Mike Young.

Samson was the Iowa Conference football defensive MVP, D3football.com All-West Region first-team defense honoree and Cliff Harris Award finalist. He led the league’s top defense with 11.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, both tops in the conference.

He also tied for second in fumbles recovered with two and recorded three of Central’s 11 blocked kicks — the second-most blocks by a Division III team. Samson was twice named to the D3football.com team of the week (Oct. 2, Oct. 23) and tabbed conference defensive player of the week (Sept. 29, Oct. 20).

Samson is the 32nd football All-America honoree in Central history and the first Dutch player cited since 2010.