BROOKFIELD, Ill. – Senior placekicker Dante Brown repeated as the Don Hansen Football Committee National Special Teams Player of the Year for 2019. Along with the honor, Brown is an All-America First Team selection at placekicker by the committee for a second-straight year. Brown received All-America honors from five organizations for the 2019 season, four being first-team selections.
Brown is the Don Hansen National Special Teams Player of the Year for a second-straight season. In 2019, he averaged 1.72 field goals per game, succeeding on 19-of-23 attempts. He added in a school-record 52 PAT makes for 109 points on the season. He racked up 232 points over two years, making 47 field goals and 91 PAT tries as the Tigers' kicker.
In 2018, Brown had one of the most successful kicking seasons in NCAA Division II history, converting 28 field goals out of 33 attempts. His 28 field goals in 2018 were second most for a season in Division II history, only two shy of the record 30 set by Jeff Glas from the University of North Dakota in 2005. Brown broke the MIAA record of 25 made by Simon Mathieson in 2015, but Mathieson set that record in 15 games played compared to just 12 for Brown. Brown also broke Mathieson's MIAA record for attempts in a season. His 123 points in 2018 set a new FHSU single-season scoring record.
Even with his impressive accolades at kicker, Brown was also an All-America selection at punter in both 2017 and 2018 for Fort Hays State. He served as both the team's kicker and punter in 2018, earning All-MIAA First Team accolades at both positions. He averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 2018 with 14 attempts going for more than 50 yards. He tied the school record for longest punt with an 84-yard boot. In 2017, he served solely as the team's punter and averaged 43.5 yards per attempt, which included 21 attempts going for more than 50 yards. Over the two years in a punting role, he averaged 42.4 yards per attempt, second best in FHSU history.
Brown was a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Placekicker Award for a second straight year in 2019. The award is given annually to a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III, NAIA or NJCAA placekicker that excels on the football field and in the community. Luis Aguilar of Northern Arizona University (FCS) received the award this year. Brown was one of three kickers from NCAA Division II to make the finalist list.
Three Tigers earn All-Region honors
Fort Hays State Football had three individuals named to the Don Hansen Football Committee All-Super Region 3 Team for the 2019 season. Dante Brown in the Super Region 3 Special Teams Player of the Year and a first-team selection at placekicker. Sophomore quarterback Chance Fuller and senior wide receiver Harley Hazlett were third-team selections.
Brown is the Super Region 3 Special Teams Player of the Year for a second-straight season. In 2019, he averaged 1.72 field goals per game in 2019, succeeding on 19-of-23 attempts. He added in a school-record 52 PAT makes for 109 points on the season. He racked up 232 points over two years, making 47 field goals and 91 PAT tries as the Tigers' kicker.
Hazlett, a three-time All-MIAA performer, finished the year with a team-best 1,095 all-purpose yards. Mainly utilized as a receiver, Hazlett led the MIAA in receptions per game (6.7), while ranking 14th in NCAA Division II. He ranked fourth in the conference in receiving yards with 861. He was also a threat rushing the ball with 128 yards, while also recording 106 kick return yards. Hazlett had 12 total touchdowns (9 receiving, 3 rushing) to lead the team in 2019. He even threw the ball one time for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Hazlett became the eighth receiver in FHSU history to reach 2,000 receiving yards, going past the mark in the final game of the season. He finished with 2,038 at FHSU, which accounted for more than two-thirds of his 2,738 all-purpose yards. He owns the FHSU record for career receptions with 184.
Fuller put up big numbers in his first full year as a starter for the Tigers at quarterback. The MIAA featured three of the top five passers in the nation during the regular season, Fuller being one of the three by ranking fifth in the nation with 3,344 yards. He finished seventh nationally after completion of all NCAA playoff games. Fuller broke the FHSU record for passing touchdowns in a season with 35, previously set by Shawn Behr in 1995 with 34, and he ranked fourth in the nation in passing touchdowns by the end of the regular season before ultimately landing sixth on the list. He ranked 12th nationally in completion percentage (258-of-400) at 64.5 percent.