Tag Archives: NCAA FCS

#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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#NECFB’s AP All-America Presence Reaches All-time High

 

Four Northeast Conference footballers received All-America honors from the Associated Press, marking the highest single-season total in league history.

Topping the three AP All-America selections garnered by NEC athletes in 2016, Wagner RB Ryan Fulse (First Team), Duquesne RB AJ Hines (Second Team), Robert Morris TE Matthew Gonzalez (Second Team) and Wagner LB Cam Gill (Third Team) accounted for a banner showing in 2018.

Fulse ranks amongst the FCS’ top-four rushers for the second straight season. He totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of 11 games this season, including a 25-1 yard day at Montana State. ACC member Syracuse was lone team to hold him under 90 scrimmage yards.

Hines, the 2016 Jerry Rice Award winner, exceeded 1,000-yard rushing mark for third straight season. He scored at least one touchdown in all eight of the team’s regular season victories, including 3 TD rushes in Week 2 win over Valparaiso. In four of the Dukes’ five NEC triumphs, the pwerfull runner racked up more than 200 yards from scrimmage.

Gonzalez emerged as a serious threat in RMU’s passing attack, leading the NEC with 12 touchdown receptions (the second-most TD catches by a FCS tight end this season). The 6-foot-3 junior finished the season as the No. 1 receiver on a team that saw a 140+ percent increase in scoring offense from the 2017 campaign.

Gill, a 2018 Buck Buchanan Finalist, made second-most tackles-for-loss (24.0) in FCS. After ranking second amongst NEC sacks leaders as sophomore, the junior led circuit with 13.5 QB takedowns. The explosive edge rusher accounted for at least 2.0 TFL in seven games, including visits to Montana State and ACC member Syracuse.

 

 

NEC Associated Press FCS All-Americans Since 2010…

2018
RB Ryan Fulse (WAG) 1st Team
RB AJ Hines (DUQ) 2nd Team
TE Matthew Gonzalez (RMU) 2nd Team
LB Cam Gill (WAG) 3rd Team

2017
OG Ben Huss (DUQ) 2nd Team
LB Tom Costigan (BRY) 3rd Team

2016
DB Lorenzo Jerome (SFU) 1st Team
WR Kamron Lewis (SFU) 2nd Team
LB Christian Kuntz (DUQ) 2nd Team

2015
LB Christian Kuntz (DUQ) 2nd Team

2014
DB Jarrett Dieudonne (WAG) 2nd Team
DL Jeff Covitz (BRY) 3rd Team

2013
RB Kyle Harbridge (SFU) 3rd Team
DB JD Roussel (SHU) 3rd Team

2012
WR Jordan Harris (BRY) 2nd Team

2011
DB Serge Kona (DUQ) 3rd Team

2010
TE Shadrae King (RMU) 1st Team
OL Corey Konycki (RMU) 2nd Team

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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