Altizer, Cantrell named to NFF Hampshire Society

Altizer, Cantrell named to NFF Hampshire Society

IRVING, Texas --- Tusculum's Evan Altizer and Hunter Cantrell have been named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society.

To qualify for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, a student-athlete must: be a starter or significant reserve in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university; achieve a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout the entire course of undergraduate study; and meet all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

Altizer, a senior from Weddington, North Carolina, has a 3.87 cumulative grade point average while majoring in English.  He is a four-time member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.

He was named the 2017 co-recipient of the South Atlantic Conference Football Scholar Athlete of the Year and was also tabbed to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Football first team.

The two-time Academic All-District selection led the Pioneers with his 9.1 punt return average, which was third in the league and 42nd in the country.  His season-long 45-yard return at UNC Pembroke set up a touchdown in TC's 31-10 road victory.  He leaves Tusculum as the program's all-time leader with 83 punt returns, while his 677 punt return yards are second in the TC record book, while his career 8.16 punt return average is seventh-best by a Pioneer.

Altizer started in all 10 games as a receiver, where he finished second on the team with 25 receptions for 444 yards. His four touchdown receptions were tops on the squad.  During his 42-game career, he posted 67 receptions for 1,359 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 1,359 receiving yards are 15th in school history.

He has given time to his community, where he has volunteered at Tusculum View Elementary School with Tusculum's Lunch Buddies Program. He has also been involved with the Drop Everything and Read Program and with his football teammates he has volunteered with roadside clean-up projects as part of the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Altizer volunteered during the College's Nettie Day of Service for the region, providing numerous hours working on various projects in the area.

He has served as a campus ambassador for the Tusculum President's Society while also being a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered for the Greenville Boys and Girls Club. As well as spending time volunteering for the Special Olympics.

Cantrell, a senior punter from Sparta, Tennessee, has a 3.44 cumulative GPA while majoring in environmental science.   He is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.  In 2016, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team.

Cantrell earned a pair of All-Region accolades during his final Tusculum campaign, garnering Division II Conference Commissioners Association second team honors and was named to the Football Gazette All-Region third team.

He finished the season with a 41.64 punting average, which was second in the SAC and 15th in the country. His average was also the fifth highest in a TC single-season. Of his 56 punts, 26 were pinned inside the 20-yard line, the most of any punter in the conference. He recorded a six punts over 50 yards, including a season-long 56-yarder at Limestone.

He posted a season-best 45.5 yards per punt at Limestone in a NCAA Division II-Showcase Game. In TC's 31-30 double-overtime win at Newberry, Cantrell averaged 43.1 yards on his eight punts with all eight of his kicks inside the 20-yard line. He was named D2Football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week and he SAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

He leaves Tusculum as its all-time leader with his 241 punts and 9,504 punting yards and is fourth with his 39.44 career punting average. His 70 career punts inside the 20-yard line are also the most in school history.

Past Tusculum honorees named to the Hampshire Honor Society include: Nate Binder (2009), John Gregory (2009), Jarrell NeSmith (2009), Ryan Tallent (2009), Gareth Rowlands (2010), Kent Aigbe (2011), Brian Alexander (2013), Bo Cordell (2013), Dameon Herring (2013) and Max Gaubert (2015).

A total of 1,252 players from 303 colleges and universities qualified for membership in the society's 12th year, setting a new record for the number of members in the history of the program, which began in 2007.

"We are pleased to see another record number of athletes honored by the Hampshire Honor Society this year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives."