MINNEAPOLIS – For the first-time in school history Gallaudet University had a player named to the D3football.com All-America team as senior cornerback Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) was selected to the fourth team defense by the definitive source for Division III football news. This is the 14th All-America team that D3football.com has released since 1999.
"This is a great honor for Tony as he has worked really hard on and off the field to arrive where he is today," said Gallaudet coach Chuck Goldstein. "This honor speaks highly of Gallaudet University and the football program we are building here. Tony had a lot to do with our success we had this past season and his ability to lead by example has rubbed off on the underclassmen, who return ready to take Bison football to the next level."
Tatum, a second team All-East region honoree by D3football.com, continues to rake in the awards after an illustrious career as a Bison. Earlier this month he was named to the Beyond Sports College Network (BSCN) All-America first team. Tatum was the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Defensive Player of the Year and ECFC Special Team Player of the Year and earned a first team all-conference nod on defense at cornerback and on special teams as a return specialist.
Though the ball was hardly thrown in his direction, Tatum finished the season with six interceptions, which tied him at No. 25 in the country for Division III. He scored four touchdowns, including two on special teams, one on offense and one on defense. Tatum added 24 total tackles and a forced fumble and his 15.14-yard punt return average was good for sixth in the country.
Throughout the season Tatum received several weekly honors as well. Three came in early September after a two interception, one touchdown performance in the school's first-ever win over Catholic University of America. He was named the Division III Defensive Player of the Week by BSCN, the scouting service website, as well as being named to the D3football.com Team of the Week and garnering its Play of the Week honor. Tatum was also named ECFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice during the season. The first came after returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in a win against Apprentice School, and the second followed a performance in which he recorded a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown against Norwich University. Finally, Tatum was recognized two more times after a season-ending victory over SUNY Maritime in which he returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown. He was named ECFC Defensive Player of the Week and made the D3football.com Team of the Week for that performance as the Bison finished with a 7-3 record and a 5-2 mark in the conference, the best in program history.
Castleton State College wide receiver Brandon Boyle made the D3football.com All-America third team and was the only other ECFC player to earn All-America honors by D3football.com. Boyle also earned a spot on the prestigious American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America team.
The last Gallaudet player to earn football All-America honors, at the Division III level, was Gallaudet Hall of Famer Shannon Simon, '92, who was named to the 1987 AFCA Division III All-America first team at offensive line.
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