Photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
D3football.com announced its Preseason All-America team on Tuesday, which features a pair of Crusaders heading into the 2023 campaign.
Offensive lineman Ethan Ruckman was named Second-Team Offense at the tackle position, as the San Antonio product returns for his senior year.
Ruckman contributed greatly to the UMHB offensive line in 2022, and finished the regular season with a 95% grade. He earned All-America honors from the Associated Press, was voted All-Region by D3football.com and was also the ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year. Last season, UMHB’s offensive line helped the rushing attack average 190.3 yards per game, and had 30 touchdowns. They also allowed just 13 sacks in 14 games.
On defense, linebacker Durand Hill received his second preseason accolade after being named Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s Preseason All-Texas Non-FBS Defensive Player of the Year. The junior garnered a Second-Team selection and enters 2023 looking to follow up on a strong sophomore season.
Hill, who earned All-America honors from both the Associated Press and D3football.com last year, tallied a team-high 124 tackles along with 8.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded two interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. The Buda, Texas native was a First-Team All-ASC selection and a First-Team All-Region honoree by D3football.com.
Ruckman and Hill were also the lone two ASC representatives on the Preseason All-America team. However, UMHB will face a handful of Preseason All-Americans during non-conference play.
Week 1 opponent UW-River Falls will have cornerback Michael Brown (Second Team) and tackle Alex Klecker (Third Team). Trinity (TX), the second opponent on the schedule, enters the season with three Preseason All-America honorees in linebacker Caleb Harmel (First Team), returner/receiver BJ Stewart (First Team), and quarterback Tucker Horn (Second Team).
UMHB kicks off its 2023 season on Sept. 2 in a 1 p.m. road duel at UW-River Falls.