Eight Rams Named to Phil Steele's Preseason All-Patriot League Team

Carlton Koonce

July 18, 2013

Bronx, N.Y. - 2013 Phil Steele Preseason All-Patriot League Team

Eight members of the Fordham University football squad were recognized today by being named to the 2013 Phil Steele All-Patriot League Team. Earning First Team honors were running back Carlton Koonce, wide receiver Brian Wetzel, tight end Dan Light, defensive lineman DeAndre Slate, linebacker Jake Rodriques and defensive back Ian Williams while defensive lineman Brett Biestek and defensive back Jake Dixon where named to the Second Team. Wetzel was also placed on the Second Team as a kick returner.

Koonce, a senior who has received a plethora of preseason awards including being named to the 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List and a preseason All-American, earned First Team All-Patriot League honors in 2012, rushing 300 times for 1,596 yards, breaking the Fordham single season school rushing mark of 1,477 yards set by Kirwin Watson in 2003. He also led the Rams with 13 rushing touchdowns and was second on the team with 48 receptions for 313 yards and two scores.

Koonce led the Patriot League and was fourth in the NCAA FCS in rushing yards/game (145.1) and had two 200-yard games in 2012, including a 250-yard contest at Columbia where he tied a Patriot League record with a 92-yard touchdown run. Koonce also led the Patriot League and was sixth in the NCAA FCS in all-purpose yards/game, averaging 173.6/contest.



Wetzel, a junior who was named to the 2013 CFPA Wide Receiver and All-Purpose Watch Lists, earned First Team All-Patriot League accolades at wide receiver and Second Team as a return specialist last fall, leading the 2012 Rams with 72 catches for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranked fourth on the Fordham single season reception list and fifth on the receiving yards list and became just the third Ram to accumulate more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season (Javarus Dudley did it three times and Jason Caldwell once). Wetzel led the Patriot League and was 18th in the NCAA FCS in receiving yards/game (94.7) and ranked third in the league and 22nd in the NCAA FCS in receptions/game (6.5).

Brian Wetzel

On the year, Wetzel had seven 100-yard receiving games, including a career-best 187 yards on 14 catches in the season finale with Colgate. The 14 receptions tied the Fordham single game record while the 187 receiving yards was the seventh most in a game in school history. Wetzel now has eight 100-yard receiving games in his career, tied for fourth best at Fordham.

On special teams, Wetzel returned 31 kickoffs for 713 yards (23.0 yards/return) and 15 punts for 82 yards (5.5 yards/return). He was second in the Patriot League, and 51st in the NCAA FCS, in kickoff return average and second in all-purpose yards, behind Koonce (167.3 yards/game).

Light, a junior who earlier this summer was placed on the CFPA Tight End Watch List, was named First Team All-Patriot League last fall, catching 45 passes for 388 yards on the season, ranking third on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards. He set career-highs last year in receptions and receiving yards with nine catches for 66 yards at Holy Cross.

Over his two years at Fordham, Light has accumulated 68 receptions for 621 yards and one touchdown.

Slate, a junior who started all eleven games at defensive end last year for the Rams, recorded 46 total tackles, 30 solo, on the year, including 5.0 for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also broke up two passes and had one forced fumble and one blocked kick. His top game was a six-tackle performance, including five solo, 1.5 for loss and 0.5 sacks, versus Lock Haven while he also had six stops, two solo, at Columbia.

Jake Rodriques

Rodriques, a junior who started all eleven games at linebacker for the Rams in 2012, recorded 81 total tackles, 47 solo, last fall and he led the team with 9.5 tackles for loss (50 yards) and with 4.5 sacks. He also had one interception, one pass deflection, two quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. Rodriques finished sixth in the Patriot League in tackles for loss and was eleventh in the League with 4.5 sacks as well as 13th in tackles/game. He tied his career-high with eleven tackles, including five solo and one sack, versus Georgetown and he also made eleven stops, nine solo, and intercepted a pass at Holy Cross.

Over his first three years at Fordham, Rodriques has 156 total tackles, 95 solo, including 14.5 for loss and six sacks.

Williams, a senior was placed on the CFPA Defensive Back Watch List last month, was named Second Team All-Patriot League at defensive back last fall. He was second on the squad with 86 total tackles, including a team-high 69 solo, and two tackles for loss. Williams led the squad with five interceptions and he also had eleven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He finished third in the Patriot League and tied for tenth in the NCAA FCS in interceptions/game (0.45) and was fourth in the Patriot League in passes defended/game (1.00) and 12th in tackles/game (7.8). Williams notched double figures in tackles three times in 2012, including a season-best 14 tackles, 12 solo, in the Lafayette.

Ian Williams

Over his three-year career at Rose Hill, Williams has accumulated 140 total tackles, 110 solo, with two tackles for loss. He also has seven interceptions and 19 pass breakups.

Biestek, a senior, appeared in nine games last fall on the defensive line. He finished season with 22 total tackles, 15 solo, including 5.5 for loss and 3.0 sacks, tying for third in team in tackles for loss. Biestek also broke up six passes, tied for the team lead.

Dixon, a junior who started all eleven games at strong safety last year, registered 55 total tackles, 36 solo, including two for loss for the Rams. He also had two interceptions, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery and made a career-high nine tackles, five solo, at Lehigh. He tied that career-high with nine more tackles, six solo, in the win over Georgetown.

In his Fordham career, Dixon has 77 total tackles, 50 solo, including three for loss, and he has two interceptions and four pass deflections.

Fordham opens the 2013 season on Thursday, August 29, as the Rams host the University of Rhode Island on Jack Coffey Field at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are now on sale by calling the Fordham Ticket Office at 855-RAM-TIXS or online at Fordhamsports.com