Coach Fowler, Johnson to participate in Texas vs. the Nation game today
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, February 2, 2013
ALLEN, Texas—Tarleton State head football coach Cary Fowler and Lone Star Conference (LSC) Defensive Lineman of the Year Rufus Johnson are set to make league and school history today, Feb. 2 as they participate in the Texas vs. the Nation (TVN) collegiate senior all-star game at Allen’s Eagle Stadium.
The game will be televised live locally on Fox Sports Southwest. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
Fowler becomes only the third NCAA Division II coach invited to participate in the TVN all-star game following in the footsteps of D-II coaching legends Ken Sparks from Carson-Newman, and former Northwest Missouri State head coach Mel Tjeerdsma.
Fowler joins a Team Texas staff led by Dallas Cowboy great Bill Bates and other active NFL coaches.
“There is no one more committed to excellence and coaching than Cary Fowler,” said Texas vs. the Nation president/CEO, Kenny Hansmire. “I am excited to have him coach this year. Coach Fowler is well respected and will be a great asset for Team Texas.”
Fowler, who became head coach of the Tarleton Texans in 2010, said, “It’s a huge honor to be selected to participate in this game, especially when you consider the only other coaches to do it from Division II are probably the best coaches in the history of the Division,” Fowler said. “And then you look at the coaches who I’ll be with—NFL guys like Bill Bates—it’s an honor anytime you’re invited to be around guys like that.”
Johnson, a senior defensive end from Dallas, is the first Tarleton player selected for the elite all-star game. He will don jersey No. 95 in today’s game and joins a Texas roster comprised of players originally from the Lone Star state who played college ball in Texas.
Johnson had 10 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries while totaling 50 tackles last fall. Johnson ranked second in the LSC in both categories and was eighth in the nation in TFL (2.06/game). His 1.12 sacks per game average ranked No. 9 in the nation as well.
“Rufus is the best defensive lineman I’ve ever coached, because he has a motor to match his talent,” said Fowler. “He deserves a shot in the NFL, and I believe he’s going to get it.”
Post-season accolades for Johnson have continued and, he was recently named First Team Don Hansen All-Super Region Four Team. This is Johnson’s fourth post-season recognition following an outstanding season for the Texans. He was also named a Daktronics First Team All-Super Region Four selection and was a Beyond Sports Network All-American Selection.
The annual TVN all-star game pits top collegiate players originally from Texas or who play college football in Texas against top players from around the nation. Ninety-three percent of TVN players have signed NFL contracts. In TVN’s short five-year history, 515 players have signed NFL contracts. One out of every 10 players on active NFL rosters today is a TVN alumni.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Dameon Myres, Director of Athletics Communications