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Miller, Fritz, headline UMHB football’s All-ASC honorees

Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru

BELTON, Texas- KJ Miller and Jefferson Fritz highlighted the list of 25 UMHB football players selected to the 2021 ASC All-Conference teams, which were released Friday.

Miller, a receiver and punt returner, earned the ASC’s Special Teams Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season. He finished the regular season as the NCAA’s leader in yards per punt return (30.4), scoring touchdowns on two of his 19 returns. Additionally, the Orange, Texas native was named All-ASC First Team as both a slot back and returner.

Fritz, a senior safety, was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. It marks the third such honor of his five-year collegiate career, as he tallied 38 total tackles, 27 of which were solo, during the regular season. He also broke up six passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. Fritz was selected as a First-Team All-ASC defensive back, and a Second-Team All-ASC punter.

Representing the Crusader offense on the ASC’s First-Team was receiver Brandon Jordan, offensive lineman Ethan Ruckman, center Jeffrey Sims Jr., and running back Aphonso Thomas. Jordan leads the team in receiving touchdowns with 10 and Thomas has posted a team-best 72 rushing yards. Sims and Ruckman have each played a key role on the ASC’s highest-scoring offense.

Linebackers Akeem Jackson, Mikkah Hackett and E’Monte Smith, as well as cornerback Keith Gipson earned First-Team honors on defense. Smith leads the team in tackles for loss (13.5) and also has a team-high 7.0 sacks. Gipson has tallied four interceptions and Jackson is second on the team in total tackles (42.0). Hackett has been a key force at middle linebacker, with 26.0 total tackles over seven games.

Offensive lineman Matt Sanders, tight end Gary Ruckman, linebacker Jacob Mueller and defensive end Khevon Shepard earned Second Team All-ASC honors. Quarterback Kyle King, running back Kenneth Cormier, kicker Brandon Cunningham, defensive lineman Pete Smith and defensive back Jayden Smith were named to the Third Team.

Receiving honorable mentions were receiver Brenton Martin, offensive lineman Jesse Hoke and cornerback Titus Dunk, while receiver DJ Weaver earned a spot on the ASC’s Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year.

UMHB opens the playoffs on Saturday against an undefeated Trinity team in Belton. Kickoff is set for noon.

Riley Zayas
Riley Zayas founded True To The Cru in November of 2020 with the goal to cover the stories behind the score and give UMHB fans a closer look at the Cru while promoting the student-athletes and coaches that wear the purple and gold every day. He is also a national contributor to and, in addition to serving as a D3 women's basketball Top 25 voter. His byline has also been seen in: Sports Illustrated Kids, Horns Illustrated, College Baseball Nation, and FCA Williamson County. Follow him on Twitter @ZayasRiley.

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