John Smith (left) of Husson University, pictured during a game in 20165, has become the program's first American Football Coaches Association Division III first-team All-American. Ashley L. Conti | BDN Credit: Ashley L. Conti | BDN

Record -setting Husson University senior halfback John Smith added to a postseason of seemingly continuous accolades Tuesday by being named an American Football Coaches Association Division III first-team All-American.

The Fayetteville, Ga., native not only becomes the first Husson player to earn AFCA All-American status, but the first player from the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference to earn such honors. Smith led coach Gabby Price’s Eagles to a 10-2 record, the ECFC championship and the program’s first NCAA Division III tournament victory this fall.

Smith led all of NCAA Division III in rushing this year with 2,242 yards — the ninth-highest single season total in Division III history. He also led Division III in rushing yards per game (186.8) and tied for the national lead with 31 rushing touchdowns.

The team captain finished his career by rushing for at least 1,400 yards in four consecutive seasons to amass a career total of 7,205 yards on 1,170 rushes for averages of 6.16 yards per carry and 167.6 yards per game over 43 total games.

He ranks as New England’s career rushing leader regardless of division, and also is among the NCAA Division III all-time leaders in rushing yards per game (fourth), total rushing yards (fourth), points scored (fifth) and all-purpose yards (10th).

Smith concluded his football career at Husson as the holder of 55 school and New England Division III records.

Smith was a four-time, first-team All-ECFC selection and three-time conference offensive player of the year, and this year he was named New England Division III Player of the Year as well as one of 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division III.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...