Category Archives: Tweet News

THREE TO RETWEET: Kuhar, Kuntz and DiRenzo

Christian Kuntz (#49) in @Jaguars’ Twitter Video

 

Three hot NEC-related tweets and reasons why you should Retweet them…

 

MASTERFUL CAREER FOR NATIVE SON

 

Matt Kuhar dominated at the high school level in Rhode Island and the Ocean State product stayed close to home for is collegiate career. After winning all but one match for Smithfield High School, Kuhar moved up the road to Bryant where he accounted for more dominance. The three-time NEC Player of the Year went 58-16 at the No. 1 singles spot, including an 18-1 mark against conference foes.

SACK-MASTER CAN DANCE

 

Christian Kuntz was an opposing passer’s nightmare during his four collegiate seasons in a Duquesne uniform. The former two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year, who was the first man in league annals to register 30.0 career sacks, has successfully transitioned to the long snapper position in an attempt to make an NFL 53-man roster. Currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the linebacker-turned-long-snapper was able to show off his dance moves during a recent appearance in the community.

SFBK BALLER TOPS ACADEMIC RIVALS

 

Saint Francis Brooklyn senior guard Dana DiRenzo competed in 96 women’s basketball games at the collegiate level while also owning the top grade-point average in her class. Set to graduate on May 23, DiRenzo will be honored as a co-valedictorian during the College’s commencement ceremony. The perfect 4.0 student has earned her MS in Accounting.

NEC In The Pros: An Update on Three All-Time Greats

 

New Jersey’s own Miles Austin was a three-time all-NEC performer for Monmouth before defying the odds as an UDFA at the NFL level.

Danielle McEwan earned the NCAA Bowling Championship MVP award as a freshman, contributing immensely to Fairleigh Dickinson’s national team title. When the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour re-booted in 2015, the three-time NEC Player of the Year seem destined for stardom in the pro ranks.

Landing at Saint Francis, former Florida high school quarterback Lorenzo Jerome used his above-average athleticism and superb football instincts to become the first-ever four-time all-NEC first defensive back in league annals. After earning the MVP award at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, he became the first NEC player ever to compete in the Reese’s Senior Bowl where he caused three turnovers (FF, 2 INT).

One, if not all, of the three decorated athletes has likely popped into your Twitter TL recently. Here’s why…

 

ZO’S NEW OPPORTUNITY

Jerome made the San Francisco 49ers’ 53-man opening day roster in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. He went on to play in five regular season games before being waived by the 49ers on October 9, 2017. The ultra-talented safety resurfaced with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2018 NFL Preseason, but did not survive the final end-of-summer cutdown.

Itching for an opportunity to play at the professional with plenty to offer, Jerome found a new chance north of the border. The Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) officially announced Jerome’s free agent signing on May 1 ahead of the 2019 CFL Draft.

 

 

D-MAC IS BACK ON TOUR

Two-time NCAA Player of the Year Danielle McEwan was a top performer for Team USA prior to joining the reincarnated PWBA Tour in 2015. Fast-forward to present day and McEwan has embarked on her fifth season as a professional.

McEwan most recently qualified for the five-person step ladder finals at the Nationwide Greater Cleveland Open, which was the third tournament on the PWBA season schedule. Prior to 2019, McEwan collected three standard PWBA tournament title and one major championship.

 

 

MILES’ SPECIAL MOMENT

Following the 2006 NEC football season, Austin went on to earn an undrafted free agent contract from the Dallas Cowboys. Finding his way onto the Cowboys’ 53-man opening day roster in 2007 as a kick returner, Austin eventually worked his way into the rotation as a receiver. After his opportunity on offense, he quickly achieved stardom. He led the NFL in receiving yards during the 2009 season and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl twice.

Austin played in 129 regular season games over his 10-year NFL career (making him the second-longest tenured NFL player to ever come out of the NEC), but he had left behind some unfinished business at Monmouth. Having never completed his degree requirements, Austin decided the returned to school following his retirement from the NFL. Physically going back into the classroom, Austin has earned his degree and has graduated from the university. He won’t be walking at commencement because he is on assignment for the 49ers as an assistant coach.

 

 

TWEET SHEET

 

#NECFB: Four Alumni Hit The Field In First Wave of NFL Rookie Camps

Eleven National Football League teams hosted post-draft rookie mini camps on the first weekend of May. Three of those camps featured #NECFB alumni.

The Dawg Pound got its first look at former Saint Francis U cornerback Jermaine Ponder, who signed an undrafted free agent contract in the hours following the NFL Draft. After leading the NEC in pass break-ups during the 2018 regular season, Ponder looks to make his mark at the next level and possesses the physical measurable that scouts love.

Duquesne alumni Nehari Crawford (WR), Larson Graham (OG) and Matt Fitzpatrick (OG) also participated in NFL rookie mini camp. All three men were invited to compete on a tryout basis.

In search of contracts, Crawford and Graham attended New York Giants rookie camp.

Crawford earned a second straight all-NEC first team nod in the fall before moving onto the pre-draft process this past winter. Crawford, who totaled 31 touchdown receptions during his Dukes’ tenure, earned an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and made his way through the workout circuit, but did not hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Surprisingly (to this Overtime Blog writer at least), Duquesne’s former stud receiver has yet to sign a free agent deal.

By multiple accounts, Crawford performed admirably over the course of the Giants’ three-day camp. The sure-handed receiver drew media praise for his lack of drops as well as executing a pretty post play on a pass from QB Daniel Jones.

Graham was a four-year starter, and three-time all-NEC honoree, on Duquesne’s offensive line. His final collegiate season was in 2016 when he made 11 starts at left tackle. Graham, who has transitioned to guard at the professional level, had a brief preseason stints with the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers before resurfacing earlier this year in the Alliance of America Football.

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick took to the field with the Seattle Seahawks. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive guard, who played in every Duquesne game from 2015 through 2018, was caught on camera showing off his place-kicking ability as the camp came to a close last Sunday.

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2019 NFL Draft Hopefuls from #NECFB

Ryan Fulse

Gregory Senat was one of the fortunate few last spring.

The Wagner offensive tackle heard his name called in the 2018 NFL Draft, joining an exclusive club of NEC alumni. Senat was only the sixth Northeast Conference athlete to be taken in the big league draft.

With the Baltimore Ravens giving him a fair share of reps at the tackle spot, Senat showed plenty of promise during rookie camp and training camp prior to suffering a season-ending injury in a preseason game. After landing on IR, he’ll look to make his mark again in Baltimore this offseason.

Meanwhile, plenty of Northeast Conference alumni have hopes of joining Senat in the NFL and a healthy number of them are likely to receive some kind of opportunity (Drafted, UDFA signing, Rookie Camp Tryout).

When it comes to NEC prospects with “draftable grades,” the three names that most frequently appear in the abundance of pre-draft literature and listings that exist across the worldwide web are – CCSU QB Jacob Dolegala, Duquesne WR Nehari Crawford and Wagner RB Ryan Fulse.

All three men earned All-NEC First Team distinction at the conclusion of the 2018 regular season.

Should no NEC player hear his name called during the seven-round NFL Draft, the UDFA route has proven fruitful in past years.

In fact, the three longest-tenured NFL players – RMU’s Hank Fraley (142 games), Monmouth’s Miles Austin (129 games) and Wagner’s Julian Stanford (72 games – ACTIVE) – all signed NFL contracts as undrafted free agents.

In the meantime, have a glance at all of the NEC-related pre-draft Twitter chatter that we have laid out below…

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