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STEPHENVILLE – USA Football Network, Inc. published the 27th annual USA College Football Division II Preseason All-America teams and Tarleton State had five athletes recognized.
“The coaches and players don’t put much stock into preseason awards because we know we have to go out and take care of business on the field,” said head coach Cary Fowler. “But, I will say that these young men are excellent kids who take of their business on the field, in the classroom and in the community. They were at the top of our team last year in community service hours, of which we performed over 4,000 hours as a team. They are excellent young men on and off the field.”
Nick Perez headlines the list of Texans as a member of the first-team offense All-Americans heading into the 2015 season.
The senior offensive lineman from Stephenville has started all 30 games in his Texan career. With Perez on the offensive line, the Texans ran for 2,220 yards and threw for 3,008 yards while average 43.7 points per game.
Running back Zach Henshaw, defensive end Chase Varnado and return specialist Bubba Tandy were named to the second-team Preseason All-America team.
Henshaw, a senior from Canyon Lake, was a third-team selection last season for USA Football Network. Henshaw played in all 10 games for the Texans in 2014 and ran for 695 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Henshaw also was a receiving threat for the Texans, catching 20 passes for 211 yards.
After redshirting his freshman year, Varnado made an immediate impact for the Tarleton defense in his first year. The redshirt freshman from Stephenville registered 11 tackles and had three tackles for loss, including a sack in nine games last season.
Tandy, a wide receiver for the Texans, made the second-team list as a return specialist after averaging 20.6 yards per punt return last season. The junior from Hopkinsville, Ky. had returns of 64 yards and a career-best 71-yard return against McMurry on Oct. 18. Tandy also made the list as an honorable mention wide receiver after he led the Texans with 830 yards on 45 receptions and hauling in four touchdowns.
Rounding out the selections for Tarleton is wide receiver Le’Nard Meyers, who along with Henshaw is receiving preseason All-America honors for the second consecutive season.
Meyers has started all 20 games the past two seasons and was second on the team in receiving yards as a junior with 755 and led the Texans in receptions (65) and touchdowns (8).
USA Football Network’s Preseason All-America Team is selected by a national panel including Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors, members of the Football Writers Association of America, Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association, New England Football Writers Association and Philadelphia Football Writers, pro football scouts plus staff journalists of Lindey’s Sports Annuals, The Sports Network and USA Football News.
Tarleton State will kickoff the 2015 season against Findlay at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 at Memorial Stadium.