STEPHENVILLE – The postseason accolades for the Tarleton Texan Football team continue to pour in as the Texans had six players named to the All-Region team for Super Region 4 by the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association Friday morning.
Three players were named to the all-region first team while three more earned second-team recognition. OL Deon Sheppard was the only first-team offensive award winner while FS Jai Edwards and CB Devin Hafford were first-team defensive players. RB Xavier Turner and OL Jovan Pruitt were second-team offense selections while DT Tyrell Thompson was named to the second-team defense.
Sheppard and Pruitt add to their list of postseason accolades with their first career all-region awards. Sheppard is the 2018 Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-LSC First Team lineman while Pruitt garnered first-team honors from the league as well.
With Sheppard and Pruitt at the forefront of the offense, the duo has helped paved the way for one of the most elite offensive units in the country and Tarleton history. The Texans boast the No. 2-ranked scoring offense in the country and the No. 3-ranked rushing offense. This team – in addition to a school record 12 victories, the program’s first outright LSC championship, and a record run through the postseason – boasts the most 40-point performances in school history (9) in a single season and has produced the first set of teammates to each rush for 1,000 yards in a single season (Xavier Turner and Daniel McCants).
Turner has been one of the nation’s elite offensive weapons and was among the initial 37 nominees for the Harlon Hill award earlier this month. The senior from North Richland Hills earned his first all-region award after being named the LSC Offensive Back of the Year and All-LSC First Team running back. He has rushed for 1,391 yards and a school-record 22 touchdowns through 12 games this season. He is averaging 115.9 yards per game this season.
Defensively, Tarleton is enjoying one of the greatest statistical turnarounds in program history en route to a 12-0 season thus far. The Texans boast the No. 12-ranked scoring defense and No. 6-ranked rushing defense in the country and are allowing just 293.8 total yards per game.
The all-region first team tandem of defensive backs – Edwards and Hafford – are both All-LSC First Team award winners. Hafford was also the LSC Defensive Back of the Year and is ranked No. 15 in the nation in passes defended (18). Hafford has 31 tackles at the cornerback position to go along with four interceptions and 14 breakups. Edwards is second on the team – first among defensive backs – with 79 tackles this season, including 53 solo. The junior has three interceptions and six passes broken up on the season.
Tyrell Thompson garnered his first all-region nod to go along with back-to-back All-LSC First Team awards. He was also a Don Hansen Honorable Mention All-American last year and a D2Football.com Preseason All-America Second Team selection prior to this season. Thompson has made 40 tackles, including 9.0 for a loss and 4.0 sacks this season.
Tarleton is currently one of six undefeated teams heading into the regional finals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The No. 6 Texans are in Minnesota for a showdown with No. 1 Minnesota State-Mankato Saturday at 12 p.m. Direct links to watch, listen, and follow the live stats are available on the football schedule page at TarletonSports.com, as well as the @TarletonSports accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on the day of the game.
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The Division II Conference Commissioners Association encourages and promotes Division II athletics and high standards of sportsmanship as important elements of higher education. The CCA is a key communications link among the conferences as they discuss views, policies and regulations that impact Division II intercollegiate athletics and works closely with the NCAA as a communications channel to NCAA Division II member colleges and universities.
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