Nov 22, 2010, 4:18 PM EDT
CAA Football, which placed a national best four in the 2010 NCAA Division I Football National Championships for the third time since 2004, announced its 2010 All-Conference honors Monday.
The awards, 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 also 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.
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