Ortiz Adds "All-American" to Long List of Accolades

Published by Scott A. Sherman on December 18, 2011 at 10:25PM

Hopefully, after splurging on that engagement ring, Josue Ortiz still has enough money left over to buy himself a nice big trophy case.

Because he’s going to need it.

On Friday, the Harvard senior defensive tackle added another accolade to his growing list, as he was named an AP third-team All-American for the second straight year.

The honor came one week after Ortiz won the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year on Dec. 5 and the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award for the New England Senior Player of the Year on Dec. 8.

The defensive tackle was also named a third-team All-American last season, when he recorded 7.5 sacks. But in 2011, he took his game to a whole new level, finishing with 10 sacks—best in the Ancient Eight—and 14.5 tackles for loss.

The fifth-year senior also anchored a dominant Harvard defensive line that led the Ivy League in rush defense by a wide margin, allowing just 89.7 yards per game (in second place was Penn, which allowed 117.1).

The season marked the end of an elite career for Ortiz, whose 20 career sacks are second-most in Crimson history. But that came after an inauspicious start: after redshirting his freshman year due to a wrist injury, Ortiz saw minimal action the next season and was labeled “a disappointment” by Harvard coach Tim Murphy.

But then Ortiz began to emerge as a dominant force. In 2009—his second year of eligibility—the  Avon Park, Fla. native earned a second-team All-Ivy nod. For his play, Ortiz earned a starting role on the defensive line in 2010 and never looked back.

With Ortiz’s second consecutive All-American accolade, the Crimson now has at least one All-American in each of the last 13 years.

The defensive tackle was also just the fourth Harvard player to earn the Agannis Award since its 1966 inception, and the first since Carl Morris in 2002.

Ortiz was also a unanimous first-team All-Ivy choice and earned the Frederick Greely Crocker Award as Harvard’s MVP.

Safe to say, Murphy’s probably not too disappointed anymore.