West Orange-Stark standout K.J. Miller wraps up college run with All-American status

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, December 20, 2022

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BELTON – What a run it was for former West Orange-Stark standout K.J. Miller at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.

Miller, who holds many records for the Crusaders, wrapped up his final campaign by being named to the Associated Press Division III All-America First Team Offense.

Mary Hardin-Baylor’s football team had seven athletes to the Associated Press Division III All-America teams, released last week. UMHB had three first-team selections and four second-team honorees.

Miller, ended his career at UMHB as the all-time NCAA leader in punt return yards with 1,707 as a Crusaders standout. He totaled 250 punt return yards on 18 attempts in 2022, adding 342 yards on 13 total kick returns. Miller averaged 26.3 yards per kick return and 13.9 yards per punt return. Offensively, he added 16 rushes for 133 yards and 74 total catches for 1,088 yards and 12 scores.

Sante Parker, Jr. and Titus Dunk were named Associated Press Division III All-America First Team Defense. Sante Parker Jr., a senior defensive lineman from Katy, was named D3football.com Region 3 Defensive Player of the Year and ASC Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Parker had 54 total tackles on the season with a team-high 19 tackles for loss (85 yards). He added 9.5 sacks for a loss of 61 yards and four total quarterback hurries. Parker also had three pass breakups, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

Dunk a senior from Austin, ranked fifth on the team with 62 total tackles. Dunk had 45 solo takedowns with four tackles for a loss of eight yards. He added two interceptions and four pass breakups on the year.

Kyle King, Ethan Ruckman and Anthony Avila were all were all named to the Associated Press Division III All-America Second Team Offense.

King, a senior quarterback from Milano, set new season records for passing yards (3,676), completions (260), attempts (399) and passing touchdowns (41). He averaged 262.57 yards in the air with a 172.95 quarterback rating on the season. King added 211 yards rushing with one touchdown on the ground. He recorded 11 games with 200+ yards passing and earned AFCA Second Team All-America, D3football.com First Team All-Region and First Team All-ASC. King was also the Offensive Player of the Year for both the ASC and D3football.com Region 3.

Ruckman, a senior from San Antonio, led the Cru offensive line with a 95% grade during the regular season. He had 54 pancake blocks with one sack allowed in 282 attempts. Ruckman was also named ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year, First Team All-ASC and First Team All-Region. Ruckman helped the Cru to 2,664 rushing yards this season with just 14 sacks allowed.

Avila, a senior kicker from Troy, ranked 56th in the country with 7.7 points per game scored this season. He kicked 15 total field goals with a 44-yard long and was a perfect three-for-three from the 40-49 yard range. Avila added 63 extra-point kicks for a total of 108 points scored.

Hill, a sophomore linebacker from Austin, was named to the Associated Press Division III All-America Second Team Defense. Hill totaled 124 tackles this season with 71 total solo takedowns. He added 8.5 tackles for loss with a team-high 11 pass breakups. Hill added four takeaways with two forced fumbles and two interceptions.

UMHB finished the season 12-2 and advanced to the NCAA Division III Semifinals for the eighth time in program history.

The Cru set multiple single-season records under first-year head coach Larry Harmon and completed its 25th season of football with two national titles, one national runners-up title, five semifinalists finishes and 18 American Southwest Conference championships.