Marty Fine and Jerry Schmitt have to be smiling at the mere thought of it.
Both men will be coaching All-Americans on the gridiron this spring and next fall.
Bryant running back Jordan Brown and Duquesne safety Serge Kona each received All-America honors from The Sports Network yesterday, and both men are only juniors.
Only weeks after receiving the NEC Offensive Player of the Year award, Brown became the first Bulldog to attain All-America status since Bryant began the transition into the NCAA Division I ranks in 2008. In Kona’s case, the linebacker-turned-safety joins the company of eight-year NFL veteran Leigh Bodden as only one of two underclassmen in Duquesne history to be voted All-American.
Serge Kona was also named All-America by the AP.
A third All-American also called the NEC home this past season. Monmouth safety Jose Gumbs, who won the NEC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore (2009), earned a spot alongside Brown and Kona on The Sports Network FCS All-America Third Team.
Gumbs, however, has expended his eligibility, but numerous sources have hinted that his playing career is far from over. Scouts have noted the 5-foot-10 hard-hitting safety has pro potential. Gumbs was Monmouth’s leading tackler in each of the past four seasons and finished his career third in Hawk history with 306 stops (188 solo). This past fall, Gumbs led the NEC in forced fumbles with four, had nine pass breakups, two interceptions and blocked three kicks while finishing with 75 total tackles.
“All the hard work he has put in over the years has paid off and we are extremely happy for him,” said Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan upon learning of Gumbs’ selection.
With Gumbs gone, Kona becomes the most highly-touted defensive player in the conference heading into spring football, and for good reason.
A catalyst in the Dukes’ most-successful season since joining the NEC, Kona led a secondary that led the nation in pass defense at 139.27 yards per game. He finished the year with 48 tackles (28 solo) including 4.0 tackles for loss. He intercepted two passes and forced three fumbles for the Dukes who shared the conference crown with UAlbany while finishing atop the NEC in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and pass efficiency defense.
Meanwhile, Brown has spent the past two seasons carving out a place for himself in NEC history. Although Bryant’s reclassifying status prevented him from appearing in the official NCAA statistical rankings, Brown led all of Division I FCS in rushing this season. His 1,815 yards rank him third in the NEC’s single-season history and his two-year total of 3,225 yards place him seventh on the conference’s career list heading into his senior season.
Watch Brown (#6) run rampant on NEC-TV earlier this fall…
Overtime! Tweet of the Day
@andyroddick – My 9 year old nephew “uncle andy I know you play tennis, but what do you do for a job?”
Other Top-rated Tweets
@Vince32Molesky – Headed to the gym to throw and and get a workout in #gettingbettereveryday #motivated
@AshMarie_B – getting to your destination but staying in your car because a really good song came on >>
Articles of Interest
MU men’s hoops update – Asbury Park Press (Hawks Nest)
St. Peter’s finds new scoring off the bench in tough 2-point loss to LIU – Newark Star Ledger
Sacred Heart Clubbed by Irish – The Daily Stamford (Tom Renner)
Sacred Heart no match for Notre Dame – Connecticut Post (AP)
Ohio State cited for failure to monitor, receives postseason ban – NCAA.org
PSU’s Bradley interviews to keep head coach job – Yahoo! Sports (AP)
Craig James leaves ESPN to run for US Senate – Yahoo! Sports (AP)
– Dec. 20, 2011 –