Rock football quartet earns first-team Hansen all-region honors
BROOKFIELD, Ill. — Nine members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference runner-up Slippery Rock University football team were named Monday afternoon as members of the Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Region Committee’s 2013 NCAA Division II All-Super Region One squad.
The Rock had the second-highest number of first-team selections and tied for the second-highest total number of student-athletes honored among the 49 Super Region 1 teams.
Region champion West Chester placed five players on the first team, while The Rock had four and regional runner-up Shepherd and PSAC champion Bloomsburg had three each.
Shepherd led the overall squad with 10 selections, Bloomsburg and Slippery Rock had nine each, New Haven posted seven and West Chester, Shippensburg and East Stroudsburg each had six players honored.
Senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale,
senior punter James McCombie, senior wide receiver John Schademan and redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Cory Tucker each earned first-team status to headline the list of Rock student-athletes honored.
Senior cornerback Anthony Saunders earned second-team all-region honors from the Hansen committee,
The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2013 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be named later this month.
The Hansen committee all-region honors were the latest in a long list of postseason awards presented to Rock football student-athletes.
All nine Hansen first-team all-region selections earned first-team All-PSAC-West honors, as did senior linebacker Gary Allen.
The Rock also placed five players on the All-PSAC-West second team. That group included juniors Teddy Blakeman (running back), Julian Harrell (tight end) and Matt Peacock (defensive line), sophomore wide receiver Jaimire Dutrieuille and redshirt freshman running back Shamar Greene.
All four of The Rock’s first-team Hansen committee all-region performers had previously received Daktronics first-team all-region honors in voting by sports information directors. McCombie subsequently earned second-team All-America honors in that competition.
Dean had earned second-team All-America honors from BSN and was also a second-team Daktronics all-region selection.
Barksdale, McCombie and Schademan also earned third-team All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network, while Tucker was named to the BSN’s honorable-mention list.
Rock head coach George Mihalik was named by his peers as both the American Football Coaches Association Division II Super Region 1 and PSAC-West Coach of the Year award recipient.
The Rock finished the 2013 season with a 9-3 win-loss record, claimed their second PSAC-West championship in the last three seasons and earned their first NCAA Division II playoff berth since 1999. The Green and White were also ranked 21st in the final AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 national poll and 23rd in the final D2Football.com national poll.
Bloomsburg senior running back Franklyn Quiteh, the 2013 recipient of the Harlon Hill Trophy awarded to the top Division II football player in the nation, was named as the Hansen committee’s Super Region 1 Offensive Player of the Year, while Shippensburg defensive end Jake Metz was selected as the region’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Shepherd freshman return specialist C.J. Davis garnered the Special Teams Player of the Year honor, New Haven cornerback Najae Brown was named Freshman of the Year and West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan received the Super Region 1 Coach of the Year honor.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen started and published Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.
Super Region 1 is compiled of 49 football-playing universities from four conferences including the PSAC, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Mountain East Conference and Northeast-10 Conference. A total of 40 teams and 130 players were represented on this year’s Hansen all-region teams.
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