PITTSBURG, Kan. --- Tusculum College defensive back Jay Boyd has been named to the 2016 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America Team announced officials Monday.
Boyd, a 6-0, 190-pound freshman from Viera, Florida, garnered All-America honorable mention recognition at the safety position. He becomes the 32nd All-American in program history, but the first freshman to earn national gridiron recognition. He is also the fourth defensive back to garner All-America laurels.
Boyd, the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Defensive Freshman of the Year, led the SAC with five interceptions, which are tied for the second most in school history and matches teammate's Martez Thompkins' 2015 total for the most picks by a Tusculum rookie. In his 10 games, Boyd posted 44 tackles, including six for loss, with three pass break-ups, forced a fumble and recovered another.
On special teams, he paced the Pioneers on kickoff returns, averaging a SAC-best 25.95 yards per return (37th in NCAA II), including his 95-yard return for a touchdown in Tusculum's 38-28 road win over Catawba. His 95-yard return is the third longest in program history and for his efforts was named the SAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Boyd, who garnered All-SAC accolades on both defense and special teams, was a national finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which honors the small college defensive player of the year. He was named to the Hansen All-Region second team on both defense and special teams, while also being tabbed the Hansen Region Freshman of the Year.
The Don Hansen All-America team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away in 2010. Hansen, a native of Brookfield, Illinois, 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.