PITTSBURG, Kan. - Newberry College's Heath Benedict and Derrell Mills have been named to Don Hansen's Football Gazette 2007 NCAA Division II Preseason All-American Team, it was announced this week.
Benedict, a senior offensive lineman from Greer, S.C., was the 2006 winner of the South Atlantic Conference's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the league's best offensive lineman. A three-year starter, Benedict was a 2006 postseason first team all-Southeast Region selection by three separate publications, while earning one first team All-American selection.
The honor marks the sixth preseason nationwide honor for the Greer native. He was previously tabbed as a first team preseason Division II All-American by D2Football.com, Consensus Draft Services, Lindy's College Football Preview and Street and Smith's College Football Yearbook. He was also named to USA Today Sports Weekly's All-Sports Weekly Team, where he was the only Division II player named to the list.
Mills was a major force on defense for the Indians in 2006. The Gray, Court, S.C., native intercepted a team and SAC-high six interceptions and made 64 tackles, good for third on the team. Mills was named to the All-SAC First Team and was named to the All Southeast Region First Team by D2football.com and Don Hansen's Football Gazette. He also earned All Southeast Region Second Team honors from Daktronics in 2006. Don Hansen's Football Gazette also named Mills a Second Team All-American in 2006.
Multiple opponents of Newberry are included in the list as well. Running backs James Kennebrew of West Georgia and Nathaniel Queen of Bowie State, as well as tight end Chris Conklin of Wingate and offensive guard Torrain Kelly of Bowie State are honored on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, ends Ron Ellington of Catawba and Kenwin Cummings of Wingate and punter John Gregory of Tusculum were honored.
The complete Don Hansen's Football Gazette 2007 preseason All-American listing can be found by clicking here.