MINNEAPOLIS – Stevenson University senior safety Austin Tennessee has been selected as the D3football.com East Region Defensive Player of the Year as well as a First Team All-Region selection, it was announced Monday evening. In addition, junior quarterback Dan Williams and senior safety Billy Lewis were also named All-Region as Third Team choices.
The teams, selected in balloting by East Region sports information directors and D3football.com staff, were chosen from 254 nominations by Division III member schools. A total of 76 players were chosen. Players nominated for All-Region are eligible to be considered for D3football.com All-America honors, which will be announced the evening of Dec. 16, in D3football.com's pregame coverage for Stagg Bowl XLIV.
Tennessee earns D3football.com All-Region honors for the third straight season, as he was a Second Team selection in each of the past two years. The Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Tennessee totaled 57 tackles (44 solo) for the Mustangs and had six interceptions while racking up 200 return yards, including a pair of pick sixes. Tennessee also finished with eight pass breakups as he anchored one of the top defenses in Division III.
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.
Lewis 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.
Stevenson captured its first Middle Atlantic Conference championship in 2016 with a 9-2 overall record (8-1 MAC) and made the program's first NCAA appearance and third straight postseason appearance.