July 20, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - Patriot League football players at nine different positions have been selected to a 2011 Preseason Watch List by College Football Performance Awards, with Colgate's Nate Eachus on the list after winning the organization's 2010 Elite Running Back Award.
Separate watch lists were released for each position on the field including offense, defense and special teams. Each Patriot League team had at least one player on a watch lists, with Georgetown and Lehigh leading the way with four selections apiece.
In addition to Eachus, quarterbacks Chris Lum (Lehigh) and Ryan O'Neil (Lafayette) and wide receiver Ryan Spadola (Lehigh) made the watch list on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, Georgetown defensive end Andrew Schaetzke and defensive back Jayah Kaisamba made the list along with a trio of linebackers, Lehigh's Mike Groome and Tanner Rivas and Holy Cross' Ricky Otis.
The Patriot League was especially well-represented at the special teams positions, with a punter (Fordham's Patrick Murray) and placekicker (Georgetown's Brett Weiss) as well as six players on the kickoff returner list: Holy Cross' Mike Fess and Andrew Zitnik, Georgetown's Jeremy Moore, Bucknell's Tyler Smith, Colgate's Noah Jackson and Lafayette's Greg Stripe.
The 2010 Patriot League Football Offensive Player of the Year, Eachus has received a plethora of honors heading into his senior season. He was ranked as one of the top running backs in the nation by The Sports Network and received first-team preseason All-America recognition from numerous outlets including Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's and Consensus Draft Services.
Eachus earned consensus first-team FCS All-America honors following his stellar 2010 campaign. He had one of the best seasons for a running back in school and Patriot League history, carrying 317 times for 1,871 yards and 21 touchdowns for the year while also catching 17 passes for 160 yards and a score. The 1,871 rushing yards stood third in a single-season in Patriot League history, just four yards behind former teammate Jordan Scott (2007). Eachus averaged 170.1 rushing yards per game, which led the FCS by nearly 25 yards per contest. It was the second-best mark in Patriot League annals, just behind Scott's 170.5 average in 2007.
Eachus enters the 2011 season seventh in Patriot League history with 3,722 career rushing yards, and fifth with 47 rushing touchdowns.
During his first season as a starter in 2010, Lum garnered first-team All-League honors after completing 229-of-395 passes for 2,881 yards and 19 touchdowns for the League champion Mountain Hawks. In his first year starting in 2010, O'Neil completed 209-of-313 passes for 2,183 yards with 15 touchdowns.
Spadola led all Patriot League receivers with 78 catches for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns. He was the only receiver in the Patriot League to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He recorded the league's only 200-yard receiving performance with 206 yards against Harvard on Oct. 16, and tied for league lead with four games of 100 or more receiving yards.
Schaetzke was a force on the defensive line, racking up nine of the Hoya's 21 sacks on the season. He also tallied two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He recorded 47.5 total tackles in 2010, forced a fumble and also blocked a kick on special teams. Kaisamba led Georgetown with five interceptions last year. He also registered a team-high 50 solo tackles and added six pass break ups and 11 pass deflections.
Otis earned First-Team All-Patriot League honors in 2010, after playing in nine games and starting every time. Despite missing two games early in the year due to injury, he led the team with 108 total tackles, including 74 solo stops and two tackles for loss. Groome , led the Mountain Hawks and Patriot League with 131 total tackles in 2010. He was a First-Team All-Patriot League selection with 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Rivas ranked fourth on Lehigh with 71 total tackles from outside linebacker position a season ago. The Second-Team All-Patriot League member was responsible for 34 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, five sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and a blocked kick.
The kickoff return men all had impressive 2010 seasons. Moore averaged 26.9 yards per return, including a season-high 85 yard return and one touchdown. Smith had 28 kickoff returns for 802 yards, good for a 28.6 average, and also scored a touchdown.
Fess brought back four kickoffs for 133 yards and a score last year, for an average of 33.2 yards per return. Zitnik returned 12 kickoffs for 349 yards and a touchdown last season, averaging 29.1 yards per return. Stripe returned 25 kickoffs for 472 yards, an 18.9 average. Jackson returned 31 kickoffs for 758 yards for a 24.5 yards per return average with a season-long of 46 yard.
Weiss converted 7-of-10 field goal attempts and 23-of-25 extra points. Weiss' season long for field goals in 2010 was 38 yards.
As a junior in 2010, Fordham's Patrick Murray led the Patriot League and was 38th in the NCAA in punting, averaging 39.3 yards per kick.
The purpose of the College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.