Carter, Hamilton earn national football accolades

Michael Dougherty

Minnesota strong safety Tyrone Carter and center Ben Hamilton were named Sporting News first-team All-Americans on Tuesday. Kicker Dan Nystrom earned second team honors.
For Carter, the honor comes in the middle of a whirlwind week. On Sunday and Monday he was in Charlotte, N.C., for the presentation of the Nagurski Award for defensive player of the year. Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore won the award.
Carter said the trip to Charlotte was a great time because he got to see Florida State defensive tackle Corey Simon, whom Carter went to middle school with in Florida.
Simon, along Penn State’s LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown were also up for the award.
Carter leaves later today for Thursday’s ESPN College Football Award show where he is one of three finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award — the award given to the nation’s top defensive back.
Carter was voted an All-American by the Football News this season and last but he had yet to make the Sporting News’ top honor roll. He was named to the third team by the publication last season.
Carter broke the NCAA Division-I record for tackles by a defensive back this season and also set the team record for tackles. He needs only four solo tackles to break the NCAA record for career solo tackles. He also set a single-season Gophers record with 30 punt returns for 356 yards.
For Hamilton, the honor is the first for the junior from Plymouth, Minn. He had 66 knockdown blocks this year and has only given up two sacks in the past two seasons.
Both Carter and Hamilton were also named to CBS Sportsline’s All-America team as well.
Nystrom, from New Hope, set a single-season school record with 90 points this season. He was 17-of-21 on field goals and made 39-of-40 extra points.
Carter said he was surprised teammate defensive end Karon Riley wasn’t honored, but said the award is “recognition for all the hard work we put in as a team this year.”
Carter also said he’s excited to go to Orlando because all his family will make the 3 1/2 hour trip to the award show from Pompano Beach, Fla.
“It’s going to be great,” Carter said. “They’re all going to be there and I’m just happy to be among the finalists and get some of these accolades I’ve worked hard for. I appreciate everything that comes to me.”

Michael Dougherty covers football and basketball and welcomes comments at [email protected]