UAM tight end named first-team All-American
This past football season, the University of Arkansas at Monticello accomplished several “firsts.” Junior tight end DeAndre Washington made sure UAM’s tradition contiunued in another area.
Washington, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, earned an All-America nod following a 36-reception, 615-yard, six-touchdown campaign in 2018. The Boll Weevils’ seventh first-team All-American, Washington was recently honored by Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette.
The Shreveport, La. native joins defensive tackle Melvin Patrick (1983), noseguard Roland Autry, center Anthony Brown (1990), offensive tackle Kevin Parker (1992), punter J.J. DePriest (1993) and tight end Devon Stewart (2003) as first-team football All-Americans from UAM. His distinction also continued a streak that has reached three years now of at least one Weevil named to at least one All-American team.
Wide receiver Jalen Tolliver began that stretch when he was named honorable mention All-America by Hansen’s Football Gazette after the 2016 season. In 2017, Tolliver repeated as All-American by being selected to Hansen’s third team and d2football.com’s second team. Cornerback Jeremy Jackson joined Tolliver in 2017 when he was listed on Hansen’s third team.
With placekicker Jamie McGehee and defensive lineman Calvin Ursin, both named honorable mention All-America by Hansen’s Football Gazette in 2013, Washington becomes the fifth All-American under present head coach Hud Jackson’s tutelage.
“DeAndre is an unreal team player who unselfishly changed positions to make our team better,” Jackson said of Washington, who helped lead UAM to a 6-5 regular-season record, the first win over rival Southern Arkansas University in Jackson’s eight year in Monticello and to a postseason berth for the first time in 25 years. “He deserves this big time. He’s got a super attitude and makes maximum effort on every play.”
In total, UAM has now had 63 football All-Americans (seven first teamers, 15 second teamers, six third teamers and 35 honorable mentions) since 1944. Washington, also named first-team All-Great American Conference and second-team All-Super Region 3 by the D2CCA, joined a pair of Harding University Bisons on the Hansen first team.
Sophomore fullback Cole Chancey and senior center Bryce Bray, who also received the Rimington Award as the outstanding center in Division II, were also Hansen first teamers from the GAC.
Harding defensive end T.J. Winslow was selected to the Hansen second team, while Arkansas Tech University fullback Chris Eastburn and Harding offensive guard Keith Pledger received third-team accolades from UAM’s conference.
GAC honorable mention Hansen All-Americans included East Central University punter Jack Preston; Harding linebacker Sam Blankenship; the Ouachita Baptist University duo of cornerback Keandre Evans and running back Kris Oliver; and SAU wide receiver KaRonce Higgins.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of longtime 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. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.