It’s a special start to the season for six Northeast Conference football seniors.
Headlined by a trio of First Team selections, the NEC found itself with a sextet of representatives when STATS Inc unveiled its FCS All-America Teams On Tuesday.
Duquesne’s AJ Hines, who will take aim at a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, earned one of two running back slots on the All-America First Team.
After snagging All-America Second Team accolades following the 2018 campaign, Central Connecticut guard J’Von Brown and Wagner linebacker Cam Gill garnered First Team recognition heading into the 2019 season.
Saint Francis punt returner Nick Rinella landed on the Preseason All-America Second Team while Saint Francis linebacker Da’Jon Lee and Sacred Heart running back Jordan Meachum earned Third Team plaudits.
AJ Hines, RB (Duquesne) – First Team
The 2016 STATS Jerry Rice Award winner continued his march toward NEC immortality last fall, piling up more than 200 scrimmage yards in four regular season wins as well as a FCS playoff victory over CAA member Towson.
J’Von Brown, OG (Central Connecticut) – First Team
The 350-pounder protected the NEC’s least-sacked quarterback and started all 11 games at Left Guard for conference’s top-ranked offense, which averaged 6.8 yards per play and 5.9 yards per rush.
Cam Gill, LB (Wagner) – First Team
The NEC Defensive Player of the Year, who led the circuit with 13.5 sacks, made the second-most tackle-for-loss (24.0) in the FCS and logged at least 2.0 hits behind the line of scrimmage in seven different games including visits to Montana State and ACC member Syracuse.
Nick Rinella, PR (Saint Francis) – Second Team
The all-NEC safety proved dangerous on punt return, scoring two touchdowns and accounting for the second-highest average (12.3 ypr) amongst FCS leaders with at least 20 attempts.
Jordan Meachum, RB (Sacred Heart) – Third Team
Emerging as his team’s primary ball carrier, the veteran pieced together a breakout 2018 campaign that featured the fourth-highest rushing average (126.9 ypg) in the FCS and 11 touchdowns in 11 games.
Da’Jon Lee, LB (Saint Francis) – Third Team
The edge-rushing linebacker led the FCS with six forced fumbles and logged at least 1.0 TFL in 10 of 11 games, including a combined 6.0 TFL over two games against CAA teams (Richmond, Albany).