CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- SEASON WRAP
All-CAA Football First Team - Offense
All-CAA Football First Team - Defense
All-CAA Football First Team - Specialists
All-CAA Football Second Team
All-CAA Football Third Team
The Stingier The Better
The top four scoring defenses in CAA Football were also four of the top six scoring defenses in the country this season.
Delaware led the nation surrendering only 181 points in 15 games (12.1 points/game). James Madison ranked third in the country with a mark of just 14.7 points allowed/game. New Hampshire’s defense limited opponents to 16.5 points/game, while William and Mary gave up just 16.7 points/game ranking fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively.
CAA Football’s league average of 20.4 points allowed/game was tops among all major college football league scoring defense averages (FBS & FCS). The next closest at the FCS level was the Ivy League (22.5) and at the FBS level -- the Big East finished with an average of 20.8 points allowed/game.
Glancing at the league’s defensive trends (page 20 of the weekly release) going back to 2004, the conference’s average in scoring defense of 20.4 points allowed/game was the lowest it has ever been.
The league’s average of yards allowed (329.9) was just under six yards off the league’s all-time best -- 324 yards/game from last season.
Delaware’s Haynes Named AFCA All-State Good Works Team Captain
During the time of year when giving and compassion are celebrated, Delaware senior defensive lineman Siddiq Haynes was announced by Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association as the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain, a community service award determined by college football fan voters on ESPN.com.
Haynes was the first Team Captain recognized in the 19-year history of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football.
Haynes, a Second Team All-CAA Football selection who anchored a defense which led the nation in scoring defense, was a walk-on in Newark. Haynes has contributed to a variety of community service organizations around Newark, Del. and his hometown of Durham, N.C. He has volunteered to serve the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Newark, DuPont Children’s Hospital, New Castle Youth Football and the Special Olympics of Delaware, among other organizations. The senior has also supported various cancer initiatives, such as lung cancer walks and bone marrow drives.
2010 CAA Football -- Did You Know...
-- Three CAA Football teams occupied the No. 1 spot in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 this season. Delaware was No. 1 during the final regular season week, William and Mary held the spot in the Nov. 8 edition and Villanova was in the top spot for a total of four weeks this season.
-- The league had its nine-week streak of seven ranked squads end Nov. 1. No league other than CAA Football has had more than six teams ranked in either poll on a single week dating back to 2007.
-- Delaware was the only CAA Football squad to not record a win in the regular season over an eventual playoff team. The Blue Hens’ losses came to William and Mary and Villanova (both playoff teams). Delaware did not face New Hampshire during the regular season and its three non-conference opponents did not advance to the postseason.
-- Delaware was the fourth CAA Football squad to earn votes in the Associated Press (AP) poll (Nov. 7-14) in the last two seasons. The Blue Hens also joined JMU (Sept. 12-19) from this season in being only the second CAA Football team to earn votes in consecutive weeks. Both Richmond and Villanova earned votes in single weeks last season.
-- CAA Football finished 22-6 against non-conference FCS opponents this season (17-3 in the regular season).
-- CAA Football has topped three ACC non-conference opponents in the last two seasons including James Madison’s, 21-16, win over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, Sept. 11.
-- Northeastern (1993-2009) and Hofstra (2001-09), previously part of CAA Football lineage, ended football programs following the 2009 season.
-- CAA Football, a 10-team one-division league in 2010, will welcome Old Dominion to its membership in the 2011 season and Georgia State in the 2012 season.
-- Rhode Island, a current CAA Football member, announced Nov. 22, that it would move to the Northeast Conference beginning in 2013. The Rams will compete as part of CAA Football in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Delaware’s Devlin Among Unitas Golden Arm Award Final 10
Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin advanced to The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list final 10 this season.
The honor is bestowed annually to the top senior quarterback in the nation by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation and acknowledges performance on the field, character, citizenship, and integrity. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., has awarded more than $525,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes from local area high schools both in Maryland and Kentucky. The honor has been handed out to more current NFL players than the Heisman.
Devlin, a native of Downingtown, Pa., was the only NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision player part of the 2010 Unitas Watch list this season.
Devlin, CAA Football’s Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-CAA Football quarterback, started 14 of Delaware’s 15 games this season and had a passing efficiency mark of 151.6 (261-384-3-3032) which was the league’s best and ranked fifth in the country. The senior completed 261-of-384 attempts for 3,032 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, while only surrendering three interceptions.
2010 CAA Football All-Americans
CAA Football logged a total of 48 All-America accolades this season, including two Consensus First Teamers in Villanova’s Ben Ijalana and Richmond’s Martin Parker. Take a look at page seven of the weekly release for a full rundown of the individuals honored as All-Americans from the 2010 season.
CAA Football In The Polls
For a complete rundown of both the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 and the FCS Coaches Poll visit page 19 of the weekly release. Below are highlights and notes about CAA Football in the season’s final rankings.
The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25
-- Three CAA Football squads held the No. 1 spot in the The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 this season - Delaware, Villanova and William and Mary.
-- CAA finished the 2010 season with four teams in the Top 10 - sixth time this season. The league had as many as five of the Top 10 from Sept. 20-Oct. 11 (four weeks).
-- If you’re counting teams that receive recognition by way of votes in the poll, eight of CAA Football’s 10 were honored in the season’s final poll - four in the Top 10 and four outside of the poll receiving votes.
-- The league has had at least three teams ranked every week since The Sports Network’s poll began and two teams among the poll’s Top 10 in 83-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- Two CAA Football teams have been No. 1 in the Coaches poll this season - Delaware and Villanova.
-- Four CAA Football squads appear in this week’s Top 10 - sixth time this season. The conference had as many as six among the Top 10 earlier this season (Sept. 20).
-- CAA Football has had at least four squads ranked every week in the FCS Coaches poll since it debuted in 2007.
Villanova’s Ijalana Named To The Outland Trophy Watch List
Villanova senior offensive tackle Ben Ijalana was one of 63 players named to the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List released in June. The Outland Trophy, which has been presented annually since 1946, is given to the nation’s top interior lineman.
Ijalana, who started all 53 games of his Villanova career, was the only member of the list of 63 who plays for an FCS program. The 2010 Outland Trophy winner, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, was honored at the The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.
Ijalana, a three-time First Team All-CAA Football offensive lineman who finished 10th in the Outland voting, was an anchor for the Villanova offensive front which ranked as the league leader in both rushing offense (194.9 yards/game) and scoring (30.8 points/game), and third in the league in total offense (370.0 yards/game).
Eight CAA Football Players Earn ESPN Academic All-District Honors
A total of eight CAA Football student-athletes were awarded honors as ESPN Academic All-District winners and consideration for an ESPN Academic All-America selection.
Below is the list of individuals honored in their respective districts.
ESPN Academic All-District First Team Honorees
-- Angelo Babbaro, RB, Sr., Villanova
-- Pat Devlin, QB, Sr., Delaware
-- Yaky Ibia, DL, Sr., Towson
-- Chris Jeannot, TE, Jr., New Hampshire
-- Mark Mackey, WR, Sr., Delaware
-- Anthony Nelson, WR, Sr., Massachusetts
-- Matt Rae, DL, Jr., Rhode Island
-- Zack Reed, TE, Sr., Delaware
Bring On The BCS/FBS
CAA Football is not afraid of hanging with the BCS/FBS big boys. Over the past five seasons the league has posted 10 wins against BCS/FBS foes, including the league’s most recent and high-profile victory...James Madison over Virginia Tech, 21-16, Sept. 11.
Combining the 2009 season (four wins over BCS/FBS opponents) with JMU’s win shows five victories over the upper level of Division I Football in two seasons.
The league has an all-time mark of 28-120 (.189) against BCS/FBS opponents dating back to the 1978 I-A/I-AA split by the NCAA.
CAA Football has won 19 games versus BCS/FBS opponents since 2000. The league has garnered at least one win over BCS/FBS foes in eight of the last nine years, and multiple wins over BCS/FBS teams in six of the last nine years.
For a complete list of CAA Football’s wins over BCS/FBS opponents check out page 21 of the weekly release.
2010 All-CAA Football Honors
The 2010 All-CAA Football honors, voted on by the 10 CAA Football head coaches, were handed out following a 2010 season which saw seven teams ranked among the Top 25 for a record nine-straight weeks. Within that same span the league saw five of its own among the Top 10 in four-straight weeks. CAA Football also extended its string of wins against FBS opponents to eight in the last nine seasons.
Delaware senior quarterback Pat Devlin was chosen as the 2010 CAA Football Offensive Player of the Year. The league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor was awarded to both Massachusetts junior linebacker Tyler Holmes and Richmond senior linebacker Eric McBride. William and Mary junior kick returner Jonathan Grimes logged CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Year honors and Rhode Island second-year head coach Joe Trainer picked up the CAA Football Coach of the Year award. Delaware freshman running back Andrew Pierce and James Madison linebacker Stephon Robertson were the league’s Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, respectively.
Devlin was the Blue Hens’ offensive leader enroute to a share of the 2010 CAA Football crown. The Downingtown, Pa., native is tops in the league and sixth nationally in passing efficiency over 10 of Delaware’s 11 games with a mark of 151.3. Devlin, one of 10 finalists for the Unitas Golden Arm Award, ranks second in the league averaging 215.8 yards passing per contest. The senior, one of the 20 finalists for The Sports Network/Fathead.com Walter Payton Player of the Year Award, heads into next weekend’s postseason after completing 179 of 266 passes for 2,158 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Holmes and McBride are two of the league’s four Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year finalists. Holmes, a Blacksburg, Va., native finished his junior campaign with 110 tackles and five sacks in 11 contests. He also tied for the league lead in interceptions after hauling in five over 11 games, including two returned for touchdowns in the same contest. McBride, who ended his Richmond career with 54-straight starts at linebacker, ranks second in the league with 118 tackles in 11 games. The three-time First Team All-CAA Football honoree also leads the league in recovered fumbles with three.
Grimes, one of the most decorated student-athletes in CAA Football history having now earned eight honors in just three seasons, ranks second in the league with a mark of 25.3 yards per kickoff return. The junior leads the conference with 1,428 all-purpose yards on the season and is 12 yards shy of landing on the CAA Football career Top 10 all-purpose yards list. On top of his special teams duties, the Palmyra, N.J., native also ranks fifth in the league with 787 rushing yards for a William and Mary squad which won a share of the league title.
Trainer took the reigns at Rhode Island in 2009, and after going winless in the league last season, led the Rams to a 4-4 mark in CAA Football play in 2010. The second-year Rhody leader saw seven student-athletes win All-CAA Football recognition, including two First Team picks. Trainer, a long-time assistant under current Villanova head coach Andy Talley, finished the year with a mark of 3-3 against ranked foes including wins over No. 8 New Hampshire and No. 3 Villanova. The Rams special teams led CAA Football and ranked among the nation’s Top 15 in kickoff returns averaging 23.8 yards a return.
Pierce made a name for himself within the Delaware offensive scheme immediately when he opened the season with four-straight 100-yard rushing games. The Bridgeton, N.J., native, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in week 10, enters the postseason with a league-best 1,149 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 234 carries. Pierce garnered six CAA Football Rookie of the Week honors and another Offensive Player of the Week award pushing his total to a league record seven weekly honors in just one season.
Robertson, a two-time CAA Football Rookie of the Week winner, was the second leading tackler on a Dukes defense which ranked second in the league in total defense. The Alexandria, Va., native had a game-high 13 stops in James Madison’s epic win over then-nationally ranked Virginia Tech in September. The freshman also forced a Darren Evans’ fumble with five minutes left in the game which gave the ball back to the Dukes and allowed them to ice the contest. Robertson, who finished the season averaging nine tackles a game, ranked among the league’s best in forcing fumbles with three.
Keeler And Laycock Among Robinson Award Candidates
Delaware’s K.C. Keeler and William and Mary’s Jimmye Laycock represented CAA Football among the 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the national coach of the year and is sponsored by Fathead.com.
The Robinson Award, in its 24th year, was presented to Southeast Missouri State’s Tony Samuel at the national awards banquet on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas – the night before the national championship game.
Keeler and Laycock both led their squads to the CAA Football Championship in 2010. The Blue Hens, under Keeler’s leadership, finished the regular season 9-2 and played in the National Championship game for the third time in his nine-year tenure at Delaware. Laycock and the Tribe earned the league’s automatic bid into the playoff field after going 4-0 against ranked teams including wins over then-No. 1 Villanova and then-No. 2 Delaware.
Laycock finished eighth in the voting process garnering 102 points including eight first-place votes. Keeler came in 14th in the polling with 59 points and three first-place votes. Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer logged five write-in ballot points.
CAA Football Has Six Among Buck Buchanan Award Nominees
The Buchanan Award, honoring the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year, is in its 16th season and was presented to Eastern Washington linebacker J.C. Sherritt on Thursday, Jan. 6, in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.
Richmond boasted three on this year’s Watch List -- seniors Eric McBride, Martin Parker and Justin Rogers. Parker finished ninth in the voting while McBride came in at No. 11 on the final list. Villanova senior Terence Thomas was a member of the preseason list in July. Massachusetts’ junior linebacker Tyler Holmes logged 189 points in the voting process to finish fifth, just behind New Hampshire’s linebacker Matt Evans in fourth place. The Wildcat sophomore had 203 points in the polling, including 11 first-place votes.
CAA Football Has Five Among Walter Payton Award Nominees
The Walter Payton Award, honoring the top FCS National Player of the Year, had five CAA Football student-athletes appear on its 20-player Watch List this season.
The Payton Award is in its 24th season and was presented to Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.
Reigning National Champion Villanova boasted as many as three on the Watch List earlier this season -- seniors Ben Ijalana, Matt Szczur and Chris Whitney. Ijalana finished 10th in the voting with 75 points, while Whitney logged 38 points to finish 14th. Delaware senior Pat Devlin logged 68 points including five first-place votes to earn a spot at No. 12. William and Mary’s junior running back Jonathan Grimes was also part of the list earlier this season.
Keeler Logs Two National Coach Of The Year Honors
After a season marked by the success of the Blue Hens on the field, achievements by his student-athletes in the classroom, and tireless dedication to his communities and charities, University of Delaware head football coach K.C. Keeler received two ultimate rewards for his inspirational efforts both on and off the field.
Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with the College Football Hall of Fame, announced Keeler as its 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner for the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is the leading college football honor recognizing coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off field.
Keeler rose above a group of five FCS coach finalists through fan votes cast December 13-28 at www.CoachoftheYear.com and ballots from elite selection committees of national media and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches. Fan votes contributed 20 percent to each coach’s final score, and the media and College Football Hall of Fame accounted for 25 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
Keeler was also honored for his leadership in guiding Delaware to one of its finest seasons in school history as he was selected as the 2010 American Football Coaches Association FCS National Coach of the Year. The award, which is selected from a vote of college head coaches, was presented at the annual AFCA Convention Awards Dinner in Dallas. The awards have been presented annually since 1935.
Keeler earned the AFCA award for the first time in his career but became the second Blue Hen head coach to be honored, joining his college coach and Hall of Famer Tubby Raymond, who was recognized in both 1971 and 1972. Keeler’s honor also pushed CAA Football’s total to six AFCA Coaching honors, including each of the last three dating back to 2008.
UMass’ Nelson Earns Student-Athlete Of The Year; Academic All-Conference Honored
Massachusetts wide receiver Anthony Nelson, the 2010 CAA Football Student-Athlete of the Year, headlines a list of 94 CAA Football Academic All-Conference honorees for the 2010 season.
Nelson, who maintains a 3.88 grade point average in Economics, has appeared on the league’s Academic All-Conference squad each of the last three years. Prior to the end of the 2010 season, the Wellington, Fla., native was named one of 52 FCS Athletics Directors Association (FCSADA) All-Stars. The senior garnered a very prestigious academic honor following his final collegiate season when he was named a First Team Academic All-American by ESPN The Mazagine/CoSIDA
Nelson led CAA Football this past season by averaging 75.5 receiving yards a game for the Minutemen. The senior, who played his first three seasons at former CAA Football member Hofstra before the program was discontinued, played in 45 career games and logged 2,083 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
CAA Football cited 94 student-athletes - 59 on offense and 35 on defense - as members of its 2010 Academic All-Conference team.
Richmond’s Parker Awarded Shrine Game Defensive Honors
Richmond’s Martin Parker earned Defensive Player of the Game honors as the East rolled past the West, 25-8, at the East-West Shrine Game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., as part of the senior showcase circuit leading up to the spring’s NFL Draft.
With a pair of sacks and a forced fumble, Parker led the way defensively for the East in the annual showcase for college seniors. The West managed just 14 yards rushing and had just eight first downs. Parker’s Spider teammate, Justin Rogers, also started for the East squad at cornerback. Both Richmond athletes were joined by fellow CAA Football standout Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin on the East roster. Devlin finished the game 2-for-7 passing for 22 yards.
“My goal coming down here was just to play a solid game and just show the scouts, [and] show the people what I could do,” Parker said. “It never crossed my mind that I would go out there and be defensive player of the game. I’m really thankful and grateful for it.”