NEW YORK - Husson senior running back John Smith and junior defensive back Quan Soyini have been named Associated Press (AP) Little All-American team. Smith earned a first team nod while Soyini was named to the second team. This is the first time in program history that a player has garnered AP Little All-American honors. The team was chosen by a panel of sports information directors from around the country and released Thursday.
Smith, The four time First Team All-Conference selection, led all of Division III in 2017 in rushing yards (2,242 - ninth most yards in a season in NCAA DIII History), rushing yards per game (186.8) and tied for the most rushing touchdowns with Leanthony Ressnover of Eureka with 31, while being ranked in the top five nationally in scoring (15.5, 3rd), total points scored (186, 2nd), total touchdowns (31, 2nd), and All-Purpose yards per game (195.42, 4th). He also led the entire conference in rushes (340), yards per rush (6.59), and had multi-touchdown performances in all but three games this season.
The senior running back reached new heights in his final season in a Husson uniform, by becoming the first tailback in program history to surpass the 2,000-yard rushing, total offense and all-purpose marks en route to earning his third straight ECFC Offensive Player of the Year honors. The senior captain rewrote the HU Football record book for the final time in 2017 as he surpassed his single-season records for most rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per game, rushing attempts and all-purpose yards (2,345), total points scored, touchdowns scored, 100-yard rushing games (11), 200-yard rushing games (4) and broke Mike Prentiss' 14 year old single-season record for highest all-purpose yards per game average of 193.0 by averaging 195.4 yards per game this season. Smith also broke his single-game marks for rushing yards (301, at Endicott) and all-purpose yards gained (311, at Endicott), while surpassing Julius Williams single-game record for the highest average gain per rush of 15.6 vs. Becker in 2009 when he averaged 17.6 yards per rush at Anna Maria. In his final regular season game of his career, Smith tied the program's single-game records for rushing touchdowns and touchdowns scored when he punched in five scores vs. Mount Ida.
Soyini, the first defensive player to earn All-American honors since Stephan Dance in 2014, lands on the AP Little All-American Second Team following his breakout campaign in his second full season as a starter. The Manchester, Conn. native garnered All-ECFC first team honors as a cornerback and a kick returner, becoming the first player in program history to be named to the first team offense and defense in the same season, recorded 40 tackles (3.0 for loss), 1.5 sacks, 14 pass breakups and nine interceptions in 2017.
The junior defensive back became Husson's all-time interceptions leader with his game ending pick in the program's first-ever postseason victory over Springfield and then broke Adam Scott's 14-year old single-season interceptions record of eight in the Eagles loss to Delaware Valley.
To view the entire team, click here.