Jul 25, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
Earlier last week, CAA Football players were again recognized on two different 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Awards Watch Lists. Six league punters were selected to the punter award watch list, while eight players were chosen for the kick return award watch list.
#CAAFB has now had a total of 49 players named to the CFPA’s various different preseason watch lists.
Leading things off in the punter category is UAlbany’s Jon Martin, stud Delaware sophomore Eric Enderson, Elon’s David Petroni, Maine’s Jeff Ondish, Towson’s Jake Ryder and New Hampshire’s Brad Prasky.
As a freshman last fall, Martin ranked sixth in the league in punting with a 39.9 yard average. He booted the ball 61 times with a high of 76 yards on the year.
Enderson is coming off a stellar redshirt freshman campaign which saw him earn second-team All-CAA honors and numerous second-team All-America honors. He led all CAA Football punters with a solid 45.0 per-punt average, kicking the ball 60 times with a high of 69 yards. He returns as one of UD’s most valuable weapons this season and also handles holding duties on field goals and extra points.
Petroni enters 2014 following a strong freshman campaign which saw him earn All-SoCon Freshman Team honors as well as the Phoenix’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Award. In all during 2013, he had 73 punts (42.1 yards per-boot) and also placed 33 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
In his junior season last fall, Ondish ranked fifth in CAA Football for 2013 league champion Maine. Ondish averaged 40.4 yards per punt and had a long of 66 yards.
Back to the freshman theme … Ryder enjoyed a productive first season for last year’s FCS runner-up, Towson. He only punted the ball 27 times, but made them count, averaging 39.7 yards per kick.
Prasky excelled in his first season as a starter for the Wildcats, playing in all 15 of the team’s games. The Florida native averaged 41.3 yards per kick, good for No. 4 in CAA Football. In the regular season finale versus Maine, Prasky booted the league’s longest punt of the year of 77 yards, also a career-high.
Kick returners named to the list were Delaware’s Michael Johnson, Elon’s Kierre Brown, James Madison’s Dejor Simmons, Maine’s Damarr Aultman, Richmond’s Justin Grant, Towson’s Derrick Joseph, New Hampshire’s Dalton Crossan and William & Mary’s Tre McBride.
Johnson averaged over 20 yards per return last fall as a junior and totaled 606 yards on 29 tries.
Brown was named Elon’s team MVP and made the All-SoCon second team as a return specialist one year ago. As a junior in 2013, he averaged 24.2 yards per return, totaling 920 yards.
Simmons quietly ranked fourth in CAA Football last year for kick returners with a 24.4 yard average. The rising senior brought back 24 kicks for 586 yards and also scored one TD on a 100-yard return for the Blue Hens in 2013.
Aultman ranked third in the league last year among returners, averaging 25 yards every time he returned the ball. He also accounted for one score last season (88 yards) and totaled 625 yards overall.
Grant is one of the few defensive players named to the kick return watch list and enters his senior season for the Spiders in 2014. He only returned the ball 14 times for UR last fall, but still averaged 18.2 yards per return, with a long of 45 yards.
Joseph returned the most kickoffs in the league last fall (35) as a junior and also paced the pack with two kick returns for TDs. He averaged 23.4 yards per return and totaled 819 yards, good for second in the conference.
Crossan came on late as UNH’s top kick returner in 2013 as a redshirt freshman. The New York native played in 14 games last year, leading the Wildcats in kickoff returns (18), return yardage (427) and return average (23.7 yards). He also set a career-high with a 93-yard kick return for TD versus UAlbany last fall.
McBride became the only league player to be honored by the CFPA twice this preseason, having already made the wide receiver watch list. Arguably the most dangerous offensive weapon for returning players in 2014, McBride was named the 2013 CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Year. During his junior season, he averaged a whopping 27.5 yards per kick return — ranking No. 15 in the FCS and second all-time at William & Mary — and totaled 605 return yards in all.
38 punters from across the FCS were chosen for the 2014 preseason watch list, while 40 kick returners were tabbed to the kick return list. The full list of all 2014 CFPA winners will be announced on January 14, 2015.
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