University of Delaware Freshman Andrew Pierce Honored by New Jersey Sportswriters Association as College Running Back of the Year
January 31, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
EDISON, N.J. -- University of Delaware rookie running back Andrew Pierce (at right), who led the Blue Hen football team to the national championship game and was considered by most publications as the top freshman in the country this past fall, was honored by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association Sunday as the College Running Back of the Year at the organization’s banquet at The Pines Manor.
Pierce, a native of Bridgeton, N.J. (Cumberland Regional High School), was among several current and former professional and collegiate athletes honored at the 75th annual event.
The award marked yet another accolade for the elusive runner, who led the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record, a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title, and a berth in the NCAA Division Championship Game where Delaware dropped a tough 20-19 decision to top-ranked Eastern Washington. In February, Delaware will be honored as the Lambert Meadowlands Cup winner and as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Team of the Year.
Pierce was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and Phil Steele National Freshman of the Year and was honored as a third team All-American by both Phil Steele and by The Sports Network this season. He was one of just two freshmen in the nation to earn TSN All-American laurels. Earlier this month he was also named the ECAC Eastern Rookie of the Year and was selected to the College Sporting News All-American squad.
A walk-on who earned the starting job in pre-season drills, Pierce enjoyed the finest season ever for a UD runner as he rushed 329 times for 1,655 yards and 14 touchdowns while also catching 32 passes for 199 yards and three scores. He set UD freshman records for carries in a season, yards rushing in a game (200 vs. Duquesne) and a season, rushing touchdowns in a season, and total touchdowns (16) in a season.
He was the top rusher in the nation among freshmen with 110.5 yards per game and ranked No. 5 among rookies in scoring (6.8 points per game) and No. 2 in all-purpose yards (123.0 yards per game). He also surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark seven times and averaged 126.5 yards per game in four NCAA playoff appearances. His 1,655 yards rushing was the second highest single season mark in UD history.
Pierce was among 17 people honored at the banquet, which included honors for high school, college, and professional athletes, coaches, and media members.
Among those honored were NJSA Hall of Fame inductees Anne Donovan (Seton Hall & Olympic Women’s Basketball Player), Leonard Marshall (New York Giants Football), Billy Austin (Rutgers Football), Fred Hill (Rutgers Baseball), Eric Murdock (Providence Basketball), Geoff Billet (Rutgers Basketball), Tasha Pointer (Rutgers Basketball), David Fay (U.S. Golf Association),
In addition, Steve Somers of WFAN 660 was honored for Radio-TV Excellence, Donovan was named Sports Woman of the Year, Eddie Lucas of Yesnetwork.com was named Sports Humanitarian of the Year, New York Times writer Frank Litsky was honored for Journalism Excellence, Rowan University football All-American was presented the Eric LeGrand Courageous Athlete Award, Ali DeLuca of Penn was named Women’s Lacrosse College Player of the Year, Princeton’s Courtney Banghart was named Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, Brian Sears was named Driver Harness Man of the Year, and Brick HS Ice Hockey coach Bob Auriemma was honored as a New Jersey Coaching Legend.