#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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Linebacker and Offensive Guard Represent #NECFB in AP All-America Arena

Two all-Northeast Conference football players received All-America plaudits from the Associated Press.

Duquesne senior guard Ben Huss, who has been a mainstay up front for what’s perennially been one of the league’s most high-powered offenses, earned a spot on the AP All-America Second Team.

Bryant junior linebacker Tom Costigan, the 2017 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, garnered Third Team All-America honors from the AP.

Neither athlete had received All-America honors from the AP prior to this season, but Huss was named a STATS FCS Third Team All-American as a junior in 2016.

Huss makes its three straight seasons during which a Duquesne Duke has made an AP All-America Team. Linebacker Christian Kuntz, a two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year, earned second team status in both 2015 and 2016.

Costigan is the first Bryant Bulldog to snag an AP All-America selection since 2014 when lineman Jeff Covitz, the program’s all-time sacks leader, earned a spot on the Third Team Defense.

 

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NEC Associated Press FCS All-Americans Since 2010…

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

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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#NECFB 👑 Up For Grabs on The Bluff

The featured #NECFB Game of the Week on ESPN3 will determine the recipient of the league’s automatic FCS playoffs bid.

NEC Preseason favorite Duquesne (4-0) will host Central Connecticut (4-0), which has won six games in a row following an 0-3 start, for a 12:00 pm ET kickoff on November 11 at Rooney Field.

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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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