#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.

 

TWEET SHEET

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.

 

TWEET SHEET

 

 

 

Postseason #NECFB Awards Announced on Thanksgiving Eve 🏈🦃

The Northeast Conference gave football fans something other than turkey to dissect at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The league unveiled its two All-NEC Teams and anointed five major individual award winners via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

Duquesne saw one of its one etch his name onto the NEC Offensive Player of the Year award for the first time ever. NEC champion Central Connecticut produced the first non-skill position winner of the NEC Offensive Rookie of the Year award while Pete Rossomando became the Blue Devils’ third recipient of the Coach of the Year honor.

Duquesne (12) and Central Connecticut (11) produced the highest number of all-NEC honorees. The former placed a league-high eight on the First Team. All seven NEC teams earned multiple all-conference selections.

Here are the selections that will make for some fun fodder during your holiday celebration…

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SFU Punter Joins Elite Company Following Signature Win

The first two Red Flash to accomplish the feat were All-American honorees.

Andrew Zecca doesn’t own those lofty credentials, but there is no denying that the junior punter has been a factor in Saint Francis’ success this season.

Following an overly-efficient punting performance in a 13-7 road win over nationally-ranked Liberty, Zecca became the third Saint Francis athlete ever to earn the STATS FCS National Special Teams Player of the Week award. The other two recipients were SFU alumni Lorenzo Jerome and Lance Geesey.

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Quarterback Questions Answered in Week 1

Five men took their first snaps as a NEC starting signal caller this week and all five accounted for multiple noteworthy plays.

Four of the five quarterbacks are transfers from Division I FBS members and were not on their current teams’ rosters last year. Sacred Heart senior Kevin Duke is the lone member of the group to have already appeared in a NEC game.

Here’s how the five first-year starters fared in the 2017 season debuts…

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🏈 Kickoff 2017 🏈 Reading List

NEC football is BACK for a 22nd season. All seven teams lift the lid of the 2017 campaign with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.

Plenty was written about #NECFB this summer and the word counts have increased with the arrival of GAME WEEK.

We have done all the work for you and constructed your End-of-the-Summer NEC Football Reading List.

 

GAME WEEK READS

Bryant begins new era under up-tempo Perry – Woonsocket Call (Branden Mello)

EXCERPT: A number of other Bryant leaders who were on 2014 team see some similarities, but they know how hard it will be for the squad to replicate that start.

 

Get to know Central Connecticut State, Syracuse football’s first opponent – Syracuse.com (Staff)

EXCERPT: SU head coach Dino Babers called opening against the Blue Devils a “very dangerous situation.” How much of that is truth and how much is coachspeak?

 

Duquesne Football Faces Stiff Test To Open Season On Thursday — CBS Pittsburgh (93-7 The Fan)

EXCERPT: “It’s new for us to go up to that part of the country, but a couple years we opened against Old Dominion, they put 25-30,000 people in their seats and two years ago, we went up and playing Buffalo and actually were leading that game in the 4th quarter at one point in time,” said Schmitt.

 

Duquesne Dukes bringing FCS playoff contender to Brookings – Argus Leader (Matt Zimmer)

EXCERPT: The Dukes are the first team to get a shot, and while they’ll be decided underdogs against the defending Missouri Valley Football Conference champions, they are not an early-season sacrificial lamb. This is an FCS team with some momentum of its own.

 

Stetson to honor Blakely at season opener – YAHOO! Sports (STATS)

EXCERPT: Sacred Heart is planning to hold a moment of silence before the nonconference game.

 

Fenimore to start for Red Flash – WTAJ (Alex Cawley)

EXCERPT: Coach Chris Villarrial pointed to the Houston transfers’ progression in camp, as well as his ability to check out of plays at the line of scrimmage, as the reason for his decision.

 

Alex Thomson, Wagner College football team set for opener Thursday – Staten Island Advance (Advance Sports Desk)

EXCERPT: Last season was about recovery and rebuilding for Wagner College, which won one game in Jason Houghtaling’s first year as head coach in 2015.

 

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