Fordham Dominates Patriot League Football Preseason Honors
Patriot League Media Day is being held today and the league has announced it’s preseason poll and All-League Team. It comes as little-to-no surprise the Fordham Rams dominated the pre-season accolades. The Rams are coming off a 2013 season that saw them finished 12-2 while advancing to the second round of the FCS Playoffs. They were ranked in the top ten of both national polls last season.
This season is expected to find similar success as many of their key players have returned. This year’s squad will be senior driven.
2014 Patriot League Football Pre-Season Poll1. Fordham (72 points) 2. Lehigh (54 pts) 3. Lafayette (51 pts) 4. Bucknell (43 pts) 5. Colgate (33 pts) 6. Holy Cross (29 pts) 7. Georgetown (12 pts)
Fordham returns a star-studded group of players, many of whom have been named to the Pre-season All-League Team. Quarterback Mike Nebrich and linebacker Stephen Hodge were the Patriot League Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, last season, and carry those same titles for the preseason.
Nebrich set Patriot League single-season records for passing yardage (4,380), passing touchdowns (35), total offense (4,893), touchdowns responsible for (44), completion percentage (73.5) and passing efficiency (171.3), and his 353 completions were just five off the League record last year.
Hodge led the Fordham defense while finishing with 124 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, five sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception. He tied for the national lead in forced fumbles and also led all FCS players with 94 solo tackles.
Both players were named to the pre-season Patriot League All-League Team. A trio of senior wide receivers join Nebrich on the offensive side of the preseason team. Sam Ajala, Tebucky Jones, and Brian Wetzel swept the receiver spots. Last season, Ajala grabbed 93 receptions for a Patriot League single-season record 1,646 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Also on the offensive side of the pre-season team are tight end Dan Light, offensive lineman Mason Halter, and place kicker Michael Marando, all seniors.
Defensively, Fordham has five players named to the pre-season All-League squad, including Hodge. Defensive lineman, Brett Biestek and DeAndre Slate, defensive back Ian Williams, and punter Joe Pavlik were honored.
In all, Fordham received 12 selections to the All-Patriot League team, 11 of which are seniors.
Nebrich and Ajala are both candidates for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS. Hodge is up for the Buck Buchanan Award as the Top Defensive Player in the nation.
The Rams are loaded with talent. Fordham returns all but two if their 17 All-League players from last season as they prepare to hopefully capture their first Patriot League title since 2007.
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