Garden City, KS-For most players-coming from the Division-I ranks to JUCO is an extremely challenging transition. Mike Hughes made it seem like a walk in the park.
In November, Hughes was awarded with conference defensive player of the year honors and made the All-Region first-team. On Thursday, the sophomore transfer from North Carolina added one more prestigious honor to his impressive 2016 campaign: NJCAA first-team All-American.
Hughes, who finished with 47 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups, blanketed more than half of the field for a defense that allowed just 9.1 points per game.
Joining him on the first team was Hawaii transfer Jamie Tago, who Arizona Western Coach Tom Minnick called the Broncbusters best defensive player two days prior to the National Championship game.
Tago finished third on the team with 71 tackles, but recorded a team-best 9.5 sacks and 22 stops for loss. Those 22 tackles for loss were fourth best in the nation.
Running back Tra Minter, who finished second in the nation in rushing yards, made the second team. The redshirt freshman tallied 1,255 yards on 291 carries. He only fumbled once all season.
Defensive back B.J. Blunt, whose eight interceptions led the team, was named an honorable mention.