Steven Wilson – Graduate Assistant, Sports Information
The Don Hansen Division II All-America Teams were announced by the NSIC on Tuesday and Upper Iowa's Chris Smith picked up second team honors. The award carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., 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.
The Don Hansen Football Committee selected All-Super Region teams in December and early January, with the first-team and second-team All-Super Region players advancing to the national ballot. A total of 168 players earned some form of Don Hansen All-America honors. Players from 78 of the 166 football-playing schools in Division II earned Don Hansen All-America accolades. National Champion NW Missouri State had seven honorees, including four first-team players. Harlon Hill Trophy winning quarterback Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg garnered Don Hansen Offensive Player of the Year accolades, while Gene Upshaw Award winning defensive end Darius Allen of Colorado State-Pueblo Allen shares the Don Hansen Defensive Player of the Year accolades with NW Missouri State defensive end Matt Longacre.
Smith was the only Peacock on the list and one of just four NSIC student-athletes on the first or second teams. Smith's teammates, Lucas Hefty and Ethan Douglas both earned third-team all-region honors back in December, but did not advance. Smith picked up first-team honors during the first go-around thanks to his outstanding play on the gridiron.
The junior running back became the all-time leader at Upper Iowa in career rushing yards this season. His 3,230 yards edge out the former mark of 3,198 set by T.C. Hicks (2004-07). The Brown Deer, Wis. native broke the single-season record for rushing yards at Upper Iowa this season as well with 1,706 yards (4th NCAA, 2nd NSIC) and 16 touchdowns (12th NCAA, 2nd NSIC) on 305 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Smith averaged 155.1 yards per game (5th NCAA, 2nd NSIC) and topped the 200-yard mark in a game four times including two games over 250 yards (266 – vs. Concordia University, St. Paul, 10/12/13, and 258 – vs. the University of Sioux Falls, 11/2/13). Prior to this season, the NSIC record for rushing yards in a season was held by Rayon Simmons of Winona State, who ran for 1,586 yards in 2012. Both Smith and Tyler Tonderum of Southwest Minnesota State University surpassed that mark in 2013. Tonderum rushed for a school record 2,145 yards.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to more than 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
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