PITTSBURG, Kan. - Newberry College junior safety Ron Parker has been named a first team All-American by Don Hansen's Football Gazette, it was announced today. This marks Parker's third All-American honor of the season after being named a second team honoree by both DAKTRONICS and D2Football.com.
Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) is only the third Newberry player to earn All-American honors from the Football Gazette, following in the footsteps of Derrell Mills (safety, second team, 2006) and Heath Benedict (offensive line, first team, 2007). Parker is the 2009 South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year as well as a first team all-SAC honoree and DAKTRONICS first team all-Super Region 2 selection. He was also named all-South Carolina by The State newspaper and the Orangeburg Touchdown Club.
He was Newberry's leading tackler and had the second most tackles in the conference at 8.3 stops per game. He led the SAC in interceptions with six picks and added seven pass breakups for a total of 13 passes defended, which was second most in the SAC. He tied for 11th in Division II in interceptions and tied for 68th in Division II in tackles per game. He also forced two fumbles and made 5.5 tackles for loss and was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Week after returning an interception for the game-winning touchdown at Wingate.
This marks the 22nd year Don Hansen's Football Gazette, a recognized authority on small college football, has selected an NCAA Division II All-America team. The national publication selected All-Region teams with the first-team and second-team All-Region players from each of the four regions comprising the national ballot, which was voted upon by a select national panel.
A total of 157 players earned some form of Football Gazette All-America honors. Players from 83 of the 150 football-playing schools in Division II earned Football Gazette All-America accolades. National champion Northwest Missouri State and national quarterfinalist West Liberty led the way by placing seven players apiece on All-America squads, while national semifinalist California (Pa.) had six honorees.
CLICK HERE to view the entire 2009 Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-America teams