Six Delaware Football Standouts Named to Consensus Draft Services Pre-Season All-American Team
July 18, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football squad placed a league-high six players on the Consensus Draft Services Pre-Season All-American team announced recently.
A trio of Blue Hen senior offensive linemen - guard Gino Gradkowski (at right), center Rob McDowell, and tackle Shea Allard - were named to the first team while sophomore running back Andrew Pierce was selected to the second team and senior tight end Colin Naugle an senior defensive end Michael Atunrase each earned a spot on the honorable mention team. Liberty and Idaho State were the only other schools to have three players earn first team honors.
Consensus Draft Services is a website and an independent scouting service providing information on professional football prospects from the NCAA and NAIA.
A total of 23 players from the Colonial Athletic Association were honored with Delaware’s six players ranking first among the league schools. Maine had four players honored while Old Dominion placed three on the teams, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Villanova each had two players honored, and William & Mary and James Madison each placed on player on the team.
Each of the six Delaware players honored made outstanding contributions to the 2010 squad, leading the Blue Hens to a record of a 12-3, a share of the CAA title, and a berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision national championship game last season for head coach K.C. Keeler. Keeler was named the AFCA National Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Pierce was one of the nation’s top freshman during the 2010 campaign when he earned National Freshman of the Year honors by Phil Steele College Football Yearbook, third team The Sports Network All-American honors, College Sporting News All-American honors, and College Sporting News Co-Freshman of the Year laurels.
The sophomore from Bridgeton, N.J. (Cumberland Regional HS) was also named the ECAC All-East Rookie of the Year, CAA Rookie of the Year, and first team All-CAA as he rushed for 1,655 yards and 14 touchdowns and surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven games.
Gradkowski (Pittsburg, Pa./Seton-LaSalle HS) earned second team All-American honors by Phil Steele College Football Yearbook and was a first team All-CAA selection a year ago while McDowell (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha HS) earned second team All-CAA honors and Naugle (Reading, Pa./Reading Central Catholic HS), Atunrase (Yardley, Pa./Lawrenceville, N.J. Prep HS), and Allard (Merritt Island, Fla./Wareham, Mass. HS) were all third team All-CAA selections.
Gradkowski, McDowell, and Allard helped Delaware average 27.9 points, 184.4 rushing yards per game, and 401.8 total yards per game to rank among the league leaders a year ago. Naugle caught 14 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown while Atunrase recorded 43 tackles from his end position, including nine tackles for loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks.
The Hens will open pre-season camp Aug. 8 in preparation for the season opener Sept. 3 at Navy and the home opener Sept. 10 vs. West Chester. Great season ticket packages, discounted ticket packs, and single season tickets are currently available. Go to the “Tickets” banner on the Delaware athletics website at www.bluehens.com for more information on how to order.