John Gay & Romo Westbrook earn Preseason All-America honors

SEARCY, AR ( - Harding junior fullback Romo Westbrook and junior kicker John Gay were named to the Division II Preseason All-America Football Team on Thursday. Westbrook was a 1st Team honoree, and Gay was on the 2nd Team.

Westbrook, a native of Marion, Ark., was a 1st Team All-Great American Conference honoree and also captured Don Hansen Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2012. Westbrook was second on the team with 655 rushing yards on 110 carries and five touchdowns last season. He led the team with six rushes of 20 yards or more, including a 90-yard run against Arkansas Tech that was Harding's longest play of the season and tied for the longest rush in program history.

A native of Jonesboro, Ark., Gay also earned 1st Team All-GAC honors and was named Don Hanson 3rd Team All-Super Region 3 in 2012. As Harding's placekicker, Gay set a school record with 43 extra points made without a miss and connected on 14-of-18 field goal attempts. He ranked third in the GAC in field goal percentage (77.8), the highest ever in a single season by a Harding kicker.

Westbrook and Gay were two of nine honorees from the Great American Conference. The others were QB Kevin Rogers (Henderson State), OT R.J. Taylor (Henderson State), KR Israel Valentin (Henderson State), TE Ryan Corbin (Southwestern Okla.), S Fred Gaines (East Central), WR Robert Jordan (Henderson State), and LB Keaton Stigger (Henderson State).

Harding's 2013 season begins on Thursday, Sept. 5 against Southwestern Oklahoma, in Weatherford, Okla. The Bisons' home opener is Saturday, Sept. 14 against Northwestern Oklahoma.