NEC Football’s Great Eight from the 2014 Season

The Northeast Conference matched last year’s all-time high of All-America selections from the Sports Network.

Eight NEC footballers earned the distinction of All-American when the newswire organization unveiled its 2014 selections. The Sports Network, which is considered the leader in NCAA FCS coverage, honored three All-America teams, which were comprised of 104 players spread across 64 programs and all 13 FCS conferences.

Four NEC representatives achieved Second Team status while another four earned spots on the Third Team.

 

The high number of selections continues what has been a period of remarkable growth for Northeast Conference football.

The NEC never had a Sports Network All-America selection until 2001 when former Wagner linebacker Daryn Plummer earned a spot on the Third Team.

It wasn’t until 2006 that the NEC garnered more than one selection in the same season. Central Connecticut running back Justise Hairston (Second Team) and Robert Morris defensive end Ray Gensler (Third Team) were the culprits.

Now, back to the present day when EIGHT (8) NEC student-athletes are celebrating Sports Network FCS All-America honors for the second year in a row.

Two of the eight men – Wagner’s Jarrett Dieudonne and Bryant’s Jeff Covitz — also earned All-America status from the Associated Press.

 

A few words on the Sports Network honorees…

Second Team

DL: Jeff Covitz, Bryant
The NEC’s all-time leader in sacks made 2014 his best season yet. Covitz’s 23.0 tackles for loss led the NEC and rank sixth on the league’s all-time single-season list. The 6-foot-2 lineman was a noticeable force during Bryant’s two victories over CAA members. He totaled 5.0 TFL as the Bulldogs held Stony Brook and Maine to a combined 17 points.

DB: Gordon Hill, Sacred Heart
The two-time first team all-NEC safety was sensational throughout his senior season, especially when SHU was in the spotlight. The leading tackler for a Sacred Heart defense that ranked amongst the top-10 in FCS, Hill averaged 13.0 stops per game in the Pioneers’ three contests against top-25 opponents. He was paramount to their 10-7 win at Delaware, making 13 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

KR: Devin Rahming, Duquesne
The senior receiver made 71 catches in 2014, but was even more dangerous in the return game. Rahming was the lone NEC player to return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns this season. His 31.0 ypr average on kickoffs ranked as the second-best in the FCS this season.

LS: Phil Faccone, Wagner
Faccone is the lone two-time All-American of the group. Wagner’s senior long snapper, a Jersey Shore product, has been a rock for the Seahawks’ special teams unit over the past two seasons. Faccone has also garnered honors for his work in the community. He was one of 22 members of the prestigious All State AFCA Good Works Team® and was recognized at halftime of the 2015 Sugar Bowl.

 

Third Team

WR: Chris King, Duquesne
The third-year Duke bounced back from an injury-shortened 2013 season in grand fashion during the 2014 campaign. King led the FCS in receiving yards for a period of five weeks during the regular season. His 1,127 receiving yards rank fourth all-time in NEC history.

OL: Jaime Martinez, Sacred Heart
The 6-foot-4, 330-pound NYC product has been a rock at right tackle and finished first amongst all linemen in all-NEC voting. He started all 25 games during Sacred Heart’s back-to-back NEC championship seasons.

RB: Khairi Dickson, Saint Francis
Replacing All-American Kyle Harbridge, Dickson was sensational from the season’s start and did not slow down. He ran for 244 yards in the season opener at Patriot League champion Fordham and finished the regular season with the most rushing yards (1,708) in the FCS.

DB: Jarrett Dieudonne, Wagner
A top-tier cover cornerback, Dieudonne made a league-high seven interceptions and returned three of them to paydirt. The two-time all-NEC first team selection is a former member of Purdue’s scout team.

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