DANBURY, Conn. – Stevenson University senior defensive back Austin Tennessee and football head coach Ed Hottle lead a total of seven from the Mustang program that will be honored Thursday night at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home of the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets.
The banquet, put on by the ECAC and the Metropolitan New York Football Writers, can be seen live starting at approximately 7 pm at www.ecacsports.com/watch.
Tennessee is being honored by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers and American Football Networks as the Rocky Myers Division III Defensive Player of the Year. Hottle is being recognized as the ECAC Division III South Coach of the Year.
In addition, Tennessee, senior Billy Lewis, junior Dan Williams, senior Devonte Williams, junior Preston Addo and sophomore Ashton Leschke will be recognized as ECAC All-Stars.
Tennessee, a consensus First Team All-American by D3football.com and the AFCA, was also selected as the D3football.com East Region Defensive Player of the Year and the Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He totaled 57 tackles (44 solo) for the Mustangs. Tennessee tied for the team lead in interceptions with six and had 200 interception return yards, including a pair of pick sixes, while also recording eight pass breakups.
Hottle, who has guided the Stevenson football program since its inception, led the Mustangs to a 9-2 record and a final ranking of No. 20 in the D3football.com Top 25 in just their sixth season as a varsity program in 2016. Stevenson earned its first-ever Middle Atlantic Conference title with an 8-1 league mark and made the program's first NCAA appearance. He was also the MAC Coach of the Year, the second time in his career he has earned a league's Coach of the Year honor.
Lewis, a MAC First Team selection started each of the season's first nine games before being sidelined by injury. He had six interceptions on the season, including three in Stevenson's season-opening win over North Carolina Wesleyan on September 2, and also had a pick six in that game. Lewis, Stevenson's all-time leader in career interceptions with 20, also had 24 tackles on the season.
Dan Williams, the MAC's Offensive Player of the Year, started all 11 games and completed 63.5% of his passes (200-315) for 2,469 yards and 26 touchdowns while tossing just nine interceptions. He had at least two touchdown throws in nine of 11 games and threw a program-record six touchdowns in a win over FDU-Florham on September 24. Williams threw for at least 300 yards on three occasions.
Devonte Williams, also named to the MAC First Team, carried a team-high 119 times for 595 yards and four touchdowns and also had 12 receptions, including one TD grab, on the season. He had 203 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns in a win at King's (Pa.) on October 29 that earned him MAC Offensive Player of the Week honors, and also carried 19 times for 108 yards and a score in a win at Lycoming that sealed the MAC title.
Addo finished the season with 47 catches for 799 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 17.0 yards per reception. A MAC First Team selection, Addo had at least one touchdown catch in eight games and had three touchdown grabs in a win over FDU-Florham. Addo caught a season-high six balls on three occasions, including six catches for 62 yards and a score in Stevenson's NCAA game at Wesley.
Leschke led the Mustangs with 88 tackles after starting all 11 games at linebacker as a sophomore. Another MAC First Team choice, Leschke had at least five tackles in every game and posted double-digit tackles on three occasions, including a career-best 13 stops at Lycoming. Leschke also notched 7.5 tackles for a loss and had an interception and five pass breakups.