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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NFL Dreams Continue for Two NEC Alumni

Lorenzo Jerome

They are part of the fortunate few.

Saint Francis’ Lorenzo Jerome (49ers) and Wagner’s Julian Stanford (Jets), neither of whom was drafted, made the cut when NFL teams were required to submit their initial 53-man regular season rosters on September 2 at 4:00 pm ET.

For Jerome, it’s another milestone during what has been a remarkable past 12 months. The span includes leading SFU to its first-ever NEC title last November, forcing five turnovers over the course of two exclusive collegiate all-star games, going undrafted in April despite high prospects, immediately turning heads as an UDFA during San Francisco’s rookie camp and OTAs, starting at free safety for the 49ers’ first two preseason games and now becoming the first Red Flash representative to make a NFL roster in more than 60 years.

Jerome, a four-time all-NEC first teamer, made 18 interceptions for Saint Francis during a collegiate career that featured All-America honors as both a kick returner and defensive back. After earning MVP honors at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the native Floridian accounted for three takeaways while becoming the first-ever NEC player to participate in the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Stanford, who initially entered the professional ranks as an UDFA with the Jaguars in 2012, was an active member of the Jets’ roster for much of the 2016 campaign after being signed by Gang Green in December 2015.

Stanford, who was an all-NEC selection at linebacker in 2011, has played in 43 regular season NFL contests. He played in all four preseason games for the Jets this summer and logged 13 tackles, including eight stops against the Giants in the Snoopy Bowl.

The following NEC alumni were WAIVED by their respective NFL teams prior to the official roster cutdown deadline and will hope to latch on with another club or land on a practice squad: Duquesne’s Larson Graham (Falcons), Robert Morris’ Marcelis Branch (Falcons), Wagner’s Najee Harris (Raiders), Duquesne’s Christian Kuntz (Patriots)

 

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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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NEC Campus Tour (May 2, 2014) – A quick trip across the campuses of the NEC’s 10 member institutions

Bryant

Lacrosse will be a major topic of discussion amongst Bulldog fans this weekend. Mike Pressler’s men’s team is out to defend its 2013 conference crown down in Philadelphia, while Jill DePetris-Batcheller and her team host the NEC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament in Smithfield. With its wire-to-wire win over No. 3 Sacred Heart on Thursday night, Bryant advanced to the NEC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game and is one win away from securing the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The men will face off against No. 4 Hobart on Saturday at 1:00 pm in a contest that will air live on NEC Front Row. Meanwhile, the women open tournament play on Friday evening with a semifinal match against No. 4 Central Connecticut. Should they prevail, they will play for all of the marbles on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Read more.

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NEC Campus Tour (Apr. 25, 2014) – A quick trip across the campuses of the NEC’s 10 member institutions

Bryant

One more win will do it. Bryant has two regular season women’s lacrosse games remaining, and a victory in either one will cement the Bulldogs’ right to host the 2014 NEC Tournament. Currently undefeated in league play (5-0), Bryant will visit LIU Brooklyn on April 25 (watch on NEC Front Row) before hosting Sacred Heart on April 27. Read more.

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