NCAA FOOTBALL: Tonderum, Puffer recognized by Super Region 3

BURNSVILLE – Southwest Minnesota State University junior running back Tyler Tonderum has been named to the 2013 Daktronics Super Region 3 first team, while senior offensive center Brandon Puffer has been named to the second team.

Tonderum and Puffer are the first SMSU players to earn Daktronics All-Region honors since 2009, while Tonderum is the first player to be named first team since 2007. Tonderum was one of just three offensive players from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference named to the first team.

Tonderum is now eligible for Daktronics, Inc., Division II Football All-American selection. The announcement of the All-American teams is expected Dec. 17, preceding the NCAA Division II Football Championship, which take place Dec. 21 in Florence, Ala.

Tonderum, 5-foot-10, 191-pound, native of Armstrong, Iowa, enters this week ranked second in Division II and fourth in all of NCAA football with 1,979 yards rushing on 315 attempts with 18 touchdowns. He has also caught 32 passes for 274 yards and one touchdown. In this week’s Division II statistics, Tonderum ranks second in rushing yards, third in all-purpose yards (209.3), 12th in rushing touchdowns and 12th in scoring (10.4).

Tonderum has rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of 11 games and has rushed for more than 200 yards four times, including a school record 343 yards in a victory on Sept. 14. The 343-yard game is the highest among Division II, FBS or FCS teams this season. He set the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference single-season rushing record and has also set seven school single-season records and two single-game school records.

A 2013 first-team All-NSIC South honoree, Tonderum is one of nine national finalists for the Harlon Hill Award, which is given annually to the top player in Division II football.

Puffer, a 6-foot-1, 299-pound senior from Buffalo has started the past 33 games at center and helped an offense that averaged an NSIC best 535.6 yards and a league-high 288.5 passing yards per game in 2013. SMSU ranked third in the NSIC in rushing and was third in scoring. SMSU also ranked first in the conference with 307 first downs. A 2013 first team All-NSIC South honoree, Puffer was an All-NSIC South honorable mention honoree in 2011 and a second team All-NSIC South selection last season.