WO-S grad Miller makes All-America for Crusaders

Published 9:01 am Monday, January 3, 2022

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BELTON, Texas –The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football program named five athletes to the D3football.com All-America teams and one of them was former West Orange-Stark standout K.J. Miller. Senior Jefferson Fritz was also named D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year while Pete Fredenburg was named D3football.com Coach of the Year.

Miller was named Second Team All-America at return specialist. He averaged 25.04 yards per punt return this season, totaling 626 yards with two touchdowns. Miller added four kickoff returns for 60 yards. As a receiver, Miller totaled 76 receptions for 961 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was also named D3football.com Region 3 First Team Offense and earned ASC Special Teams Player of the Year. Miller also collected First Team All-ASC honors at both slot back and return specialist and was an AFCA Second Team All-American at return specialist for the D3 National Champion Crusaders.

Fredenburg was named D3football.com Coach of the Year after leading the Cru to an undefeated 15-0 season in 2021. UMHB earned the program’s second national title with a 57-24 win over North Central College Friday in Canton. UMHB finished the season ranked second in the nation in pass efficiency (191.17) and third in scoring offense with 48.9 points per game. The Cru also ranked third in scoring defense (10) and fourth in punt returns (18.65). UMHB outscored opponents 48.87–10 this season, recording two shutouts and holding nine opponents to one touchdown or less.

Fritz, a safety from Kaufman, was named D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-America. Fritz is a four-time D3football.com All-America recipient and also earned D3football.com Region 3 Defensive Player of the Year honors this season. He ended his senior campaign with 64 total tackles, adding two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Fritz added eight pass breakups and one tackle for loss on the season. He also earned D3football.com Region 3 First Team All-Region at free safety and Second Team All-Region at punter. He was also named ASC Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-ASC at safety and Second Team All-ASC at punter. Fritz also collected AFCA All-America honors and was a Gagliardi Trophy Finalist.

Jeffery Sims, Jr., a center from Mesquite, was named First Team All-America Offense. Sims started all 15 games for the Cru at center this season and helped a Crusader offense that averaged 215.7 rushing yards per contest. He totaled more than 25 knockdowns and anchored an offensive line that allowed just 12 total sacks on the season. Sims was also a D3football.com Region 3 First Team Offense selection and earned First Team All-ASC honors at center.

Jacob Mueller, a linebacker from Fort Worth, was named Second Team All-America. Mueller led the Cru with 92 total tackles on the season, totaling 54 solo efforts. He had 15 tackles for loss totaling 51 yards lost and 3.5 sacks on the season. Mueller added four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries, splitting time at two different positions this season. He was a Second Team All-ASC selection at linebacker and earned D3football.com First Team Region 3 honors.

Keith Gipson was named D3football.com Fourth Team All-America at corner back. Gipson was a D3football.com Region 3 First Team Defense selection and also earned First Team All-ASC honors. He finished the season ranked third on the team with 67 total tackles, totaling 49 solo efforts. Gipson added five interceptions and eight pass breakups on the year with five total tackles for loss.

This is the fourth D3football.com All-America award for Fritz, second for Sims and Gipson and first for Miller and Mueller. UMHB ended the season with the program’s second national title.