A.J. Kizekai earned his fourth career All-PL honor.
Nov. 24, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Senior RB A.J. Kizekai (Pawtucket, R.I./Blair Academy (N.J.)) earned his fourth career All-Patriot League honor to headline the list of four Bucknell football players who received All-Patriot League recognition Tuesday. A first-team selection as a return specialist, Kizekai was joined on the first team by senior LB Greg Jones (Springfield, Va./Lee). Sophomore DL Robert De La Rosa (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) and junior DB Ahkiel White (Somerset, N.J./Franklin) landed on the second team.
Bucknell, which upset No. 13 Holy Cross in the season finale this past Saturday to finish 4-7 on the season, had its most All-League selections since five Bison were honored in 2006.
Kizekai, who owns nearly every kickoff return mark in the Bucknell record book, earned his third consecutive first-team selection as a return specialist. The senior who also earned a second-team nod at running back a year ago, had 28 returns for 618 yards this year. His 22.1 average ranked third in the Patriot League. The 618 yards rank fourth on the Bucknell single-season list. Kizekai finished his career with three of the top four spots in Bison history.
On a career level, Kizekai owns the Bucknell records for most returns (109) and yards (2,725). Additionally, he holds Bucknell records for most yards in a season (1,113) and game (210) as well as the longest return (100), which he registered last year against Lafayette.
In 2009, Kizekai, who registered six plays of at least 70 yards in his career, had two returns of better than 50 yards and posted two 100-yard return games. He led the Patriot League in all-purpose yards per game (130.0) and stands sixth in Patriot League history and second at Bucknell in career all-purpose yards (5,536).
In addition to being a stellar return man, Kizekai is a versatile player out of the backfield. He finished third on the Bison with 281 yards rushing this year. He was also second in receiving with 20 catches for 257 yards. Kizekai added four touchdowns to his career total in 2009, giving him a four-year total of 20.
Jones is Bucknell's first linebacker to be named All-League since Dorian Petersen in 2006. Petersen was also the last Bison to record 100 tackles before Jones piled up a team-best 101 this fall. That figure ranked Jones second in the Patriot League and gave him 257 stops for his career.
A three-year starter, Jones was exceptionally strong the last 17 games of his career, piling up 170 tackles over his final 17 games. During that span he recorded 10 double-figure tackle outings, including six this year.
Jones was among the best on the Bison with five tackles for loss in 2009, while his career-high three interceptions tied him for fourth in the Patriot League. Among Jones' best interceptions was one he returned 25 yards for a touchdown against Robert Morris, helping the Bison to their first win of the year.
One of only two sophomore defensive players to be recognized on the All-League team along with Lafayette DB Brandon Ellis, De La Rosa piled up a career-high 43 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. He ranked second on the Bison and tied for fourth in the Patriot League in tackles for loss as he upped his two-year total to 14.5. De La Rosa registered at least 0.5 tackles for loss in nine of Bucknell's 11 games this year.
The 6-1, 271-pound De La Rosa was one of just six Bison defensive players to start all 11 games this year, along with fellow All-Patriot Leaguers Jones and White. He has now played in 20 contests over the last two years, starting all 20.
With De La Rosa's All-League selection, Bucknell has now had at least one sophomore recognized each of the last three years. In 2007, Kizekai and Josh Eden were honored, while then-sophomore Shaun Pasternak was a second-team choice a year ago.
A Preseason All-America selection by Consensus Draft Services, White earned his first Patriot League honor after recording career highs in tackles (60), interceptions (4), tackles for loss (2) and pass breakups (4). A two-year starter who has played in 33 games, White tied for the Patriot League lead in interceptions and now has eight in his career, the most by a Bison since Joe Glenn also had eight from 2001-04.
White posted at least three tackles in every game this year and increased his three-year total to 158. He intercepted a pass in three straight games midseason, making him the first Bison to accomplish that since Erich Muzi in 1998.
Patriot League champion Holy Cross claimed two of the four Patriot League major awards with senior QB Dominic Randolph earning Offensive Player of the Year honors and Crusaders' head coach Tom Gilmore capturing the Coach of the Year Award. Lehigh's Matt Cohen was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Colgate's Demitri Diamond was the Rookie of the Year.