Nine UWA Tigers named to All-Super Region squad

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

LIVINGSTON – The Don Hansen Football Committee has released the 2012 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Two Team and nine players from the Gulf South Conference champion University of West Alabama football team were named to the squad.

Record-setting place kicker Ryne Smith, defensive end Ridge Wilson and linebacker Deon Lacey were named to the first team. Offensive guard Andy Nations, defensive tackle Willie Packer and strong safety Otha Foster were named to the second team.

The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2012 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be named later this month.

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Despite missing the final eight games of the season with a knee injury, running back Matt Willis was named to the All-Super Two third team. He was joined on the third squad by offensive tackle Taylor Burnett and cornerback Malcolm Butler.

“We are so proud of these players and the way they represent our university and our football program,” said UWA head coach Will Hall, who was named the 2012 GSC Coach of the year. “To be named to this team is a great honor and one they richly deserve.”

Six of the nine are seniors, but Packer, Burnett and Butler will return for the 2013 season.

UWA’s nine selections were second only to NCAA Division II National champion Valdosta State, which had 14 honorees. Lenoir-Rhyne, another playoff qualifier, placed seven players the three teams. Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Tuskegee University, South Atlantic Conference champion Carson-Newman College and Fort Valley State University (SIAC) each tallied six honorees.