Saint Francis’ Former Stud Safety Lands in NFC West Again

It was a nearly a 10-month wait, but former all-NEC safety Lorenzo Jerome has a second opportunity in the National Football League.

The Saint Francis U alumnus, who earned All-America honors as a defensive back and kick returner at different points during his collegiate career, has signed a contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

Jerome, who went undrafted despite excelling in two pre-draft All-Star Games, originally inked a rookie deal with the San Francisco 49ers during Spring 2017. He proceeded to earn a spot on the team’s opening day 53-man roster and appear in four games before being released following Week 5 of the regular season.

He subsequently participated in workouts with a number of NFL teams, but remained unsigned until the Seahawks officially added him to their 90-man training camp roster on July 30.

Jerome was the first-ever defensive back in Northeast Conference history to earn four consecutive all-NEC first team honors.

After making 18 career interceptions for Saint Francis, Jerome picked off two passes en-route to winning the MVP award at the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. One week later, he caused three turnovers in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

 

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#NECFB Quintet Garners Preseason All-America Honors from STATS

 

 

All five men ranked amongst the national statistical leaders in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision last season and all five have received a Preseason All-America distinction from STATS as the start of the 2018 campaign nears.

Saint Francis senior receiver Kamron Lewis, the 2016 NEC Offensive Player of the Year, accounts for the conference’s representation on the STATS FCS Preseason All-America Second Team Offense. After setting the league’s single-season receiving record with 1,478 yards as a sophomore, Lewis caught 65 passes for 909 yards in 10 games last fall. His 6.5 receptions per contest placed the California product in the No. 14 spot on the FCS leader board.

Reigning NEC Defensive Player of the Year Thomas Costigan earned a spot on the Second Team Defense. Bryant’s senior linebacker led the circuit with 11.5 sacks last season, a number that tied him for third place overall in the FCS. His 17.0 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles were also league highs.

Bryant junior Jean Constant joined Costigan on the STATS FCS All-America Second Team, occupying a special teams slot as a kick returner. The speedy receiver, who made 48 receptions as a sophomore, logged at least 100 kick return yards on five separate occasions in 2017. His 27.5 yards per kickoff return represented the highest average amongst all FCS players who logged at least 25 returns. Constant, who totaled a program-record 989 KOR yards, returned two kickoffs to paydirt and also scored seven touchdowns receiving.

Duquesne placed a pair of accomplished skill position players – WR Nehari Crawford and RB AJ Hines — on the STATS FCS All-American Third Team Offense.

Averaging 15.8 yards per catch, Crawford broke the 1,000-yard receiving barrier last season. The elusive veteran totaled a league-leading 1,026 receiving yards to go along with 15 touchdown grabs, the most by any FCS receiver during the 2017 regular season.

Duquesne, which featured the conference’s top-ranked offense, again benefitted from bell cow running back AJ Hines. After winning the 2016 STATS Jerry Rice Award as the nation’s best freshman player, Hines fought through injury to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark again in 2017. In nine games, the bruising ball carrier rushed 182 times for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns.

AJ Hines (left) poses with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice at the 2016 STATS FCS Legacy Awards banquet.

 

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2018 #NECFB Social Media Day Lineup

Fourteen student-athletes will appear at the fourth annual #NECFB Social Media Day, which is set for Tuesday, July 24 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

You can follow the festivities LIVE via NEC Front Row and ESPN3 beginning at 11:00 am ET.

Find NECsports on Snapchat and Instagram for additional coverage from on site.

 

 

PLAYER PARTICIPANT LIST

 

BRYANT

Thomas Costigan, LB (Sr., 6-3, 220)

  • 2017 NEC Defensive POTY
  • 5 sacks – 3rd in FCS
  • Led NEC in TFL (17.0); 2nd in Total Tackles (103)
  • 33 career appearances

Dillon Guthro, DL (Jr. 6-3, 247)

  • All-NEC First Team (2017)
  • 4 PBU & 2 blocked FG last year
  • 22 consecutive starts

 

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT

Courtney Rush, WR (Sr., 6-2, 195)

  • Led league w/ 22.8 yards per catch
  • 7 total TD (5 rec, 2 rush)
  • 31 career games

Chris Tinkham, DL (Sr., 6-2, 280)

  • All-NEC Second Team (2017)
  • 34 straight appearances
  • 2015 NEC Defensive ROTY

 

 

DUQUESNE

Nehari Crawford, WR (Sr., 5-11, 170)

  • All-NEC First Team (2017)
  • Led FCS w/ 15 TD receptions
  • Topped NEC w/ 1,026 receiving yards

Matt Fitzpatrick, OL (Sr., 6-3, 300)

  • All-NEC Second Team (2017, 2016)
  • 11 starts at RG for NEC’s top-ranked offense (2017)
  • 34 career appearances
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District (2017)

 

 

ROBERT MORRIS

Eric McAllister, OL (So., 6-1, 275)

  • Second-year Center
  • Started all 11 games as redshirt freshman
  • HERO Sports Freshman All-American (2017)

Adam Wollet, LB (Sr., 6-0, 220)

  • CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team (2017)
  • All-NEC Second Team; NEC Scholar-Athlete (2017)
  • Led conference w/ 108 TT
  • 33 career games

 

 

SACRED HEART

Andrew O’Neill, WR (Sr., 5-11, 185)

  • STATS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Finalist (2017)
  • All-NEC Second Team; FCS ADA Academic All-Star (2017)
  • Third in NEC w/ 59 catches

Kevin Duke, QB (Sr., 6-0, 190)

  • Second-year Starting QB
  • 2 in NEC for pass yards (2,596) & comp pct. (61.1) last season
  • 429 pass yards vs. BRY (3rd in NEC single-game history)

 

 

SAINT FRANCIS

Mederick Flavius, Jr., OL (Sr., 6-4, 300)

  • All-NEC Second Team; SFU Captain (2017)
  • 23 straight starts at LT
  • 10 starts at OG as freshman (2015)

Hakeem Kinard, DB (Sr., 5-10, 195)

  • Started all 11 games at safety last year
  • SFU’s second-leading tackler (73 TT)
  • Key FF in win at Liberty
  • 15 career starts

 

 

 

WAGNER

Ryan Fulse, RB (Sr., 5-11, 195)

  • All-NEC First Team (2017)
  • 1,306 rush yards – 4th in FCS
  • Led NEC in ypc (6.0)

Cameron Gill, LB (Jr., 6-3, 230)

  • Appeared in every game last 2 seasons
  • 5 sacks – 2nd in NEC (2017)
  • Wagner’s second-leading tackler (53 TT)

 

 

#NECinNFL Update (2018 Rookie Camp Edition)

They just want an opportunity and a number of fortunate NEC football alumni are getting one this spring.

Six athletes with all-NEC credentials have accepted invitations to attend NFL Rookie Camps on a tryout basis.

They are as follows:

Malik Duncan, Saint Francis DB (Steelers)

Delondo Boyd, Saint Francis DB (Bears)

Ben Huss, Duquesne OG (Jaguars)

Matt Sewall, Bryant WR/KR (Texans)

Andy Smigiera, Robert Morris DB (Seahawks/Cardinals)

Randall Laguerre, Central Connecticut LB (Eagles)

Amongst the aforementioned six men, Huss and Duncan earned STATS FCS All-America honors this past winter. Huss competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January.

 

Meanwhile, Wagner two starting offensive tackles from the 2017 season will compete in NFL camps after signing rookie contracts. After being selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by Baltimore, Greg Senat inked a deal with the Ravens prior to the start of their mini camp. Meanwhile, all-NEC tackle Matt Diaz was one of 22 players to sign UDFA contracts with the Tennessee Titans.

 

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Greg Senat: Hoops ➡️ Gridiron ➡️ NFL Draft Pick

A former college basketball player became the first Northeast Conference athlete selected in the NFL Draft in nearly a decade.

Wagner offensive tackle Greg Senat, who originally attended the school on a basketball scholarship, went to the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Prior to Senat being selected with the No. 212 overall pick this spring, former Monmouth tight end, a four-time all-NEC honoree, was the conference’s last draft pick. Nalbone went to the Dolphins with the 161st pick in the 2009 NFL Draft (5th Round).

Although Senat is the first NFL Draft pick in Wagner’s NEC history, the Seahawks have had a presence in the NFL in recent years. Former all-NEC linebacker Julian Stanford has played in 59 NFL games since 2012 and the veteran signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills this past offseason.

 

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