Pitman, N.J. (11/16/12) – Ten seniors on the Kean University football team have been selected first-team all-conference as part of 14 total selections as announced by the NJAC conference office on Friday.
Seniors Darius Kinney and Deandre Fowlkes were selected Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year, respectively, in addition to first-team nods. Seniors Danny Mendoza and Eric Revelli garnered first-team offensive accolades, while seniors Joe Mendes, Brad Higgins, Dan Wollman, Chris VanFechtmann, and Brett Yajcaji were named first-team defense. Graduate student T.J. Denehy was selected as a second-team all-special teams member while juniors Bill Cullen and Matt Kiefer and senior Jerelle Peay were tabbed honorable mention.
A two-time NJAC Offensive Player of the Week selection during the 2012 season, Kinney currently leads the NJAC in both rushing yards per game, 128.6 (16th in the nation), and yards per carry (7.3). One of just two NJAC players to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark, Kinney finished his senior campaign with 1,157 rushing yards on just 158 carries, with seven rushing touchdowns (plus one by air), despite playing in just nine games with one contest lost due to Hurricane Sandy. Kinney becomes the fifth player in program history to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors, for the seventh time overall. In total, Kinney recorded 1481 all-purpose yards with an additional 87 receiving yards and 237 kick-off return yards. During the 2012 season, Kinney produced three consecutive 200+ rushing yard games.
A first-team all-conference selection at both kick returner and wide receiver, Fowlkes was tapped as the NJAC Special Teams Player of the Year, marking the second time in the last five years a Kean player has garnered the top special teams honor. Fowlkes currently leads the NJAC in kickoff return average (25.6), while ranking second in the league in all-purpose yards per game (158.6). Fowlkes recorded 10 touchdowns this season (seven by air, two on the ground and one via a return), averaging 87.6 receiving yards per game.
Mendoza was tabbed a first-team selection at fullback after recording a touchdown in addition to 12 catches this season. Revelli was selected as a member of the offensive line as he was part of a unit that is currently 15th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed this season (seven total).
On defense, Higgins and Wollman were part of five linebackers named first-team. Wollman led the team with 70 total tackles with season, including an interception, breakup, fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries. Higgins was second on the squad in tackles with 62, while recording three and a half tackles for a loss, one sack and one interception. VanFechtmann was selected as part of two cornerbacks on the first-team after recording a team-high four interceptions this season with five breakups. He also registered 52 tackles along with forcing one fumble and recovering another. Mendes joins four other defensive linemen after tallying a team-high seven tackles for a loss and four sacks. Mendes also recorded 36 tackles with one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Yajcaji tallied 45 tackles, including three for a loss while he added three tackles for a loss, three pass breakups and an interception.
Denehy earns all-conference honors for the second straight year as a member of the special teams unit. Denehy had a team-high 18 punt-returns this season, improving his program mark to 86.
Cullen earns honorable mention honors after tallying 2,777 kickoff yards while connecting on 28 of 33 extra point attempts. Peay was selected honorable mention after recording 47 tackles this season, with six and half for a loss. He also forced one fumble. Kiefer was selected honorable mention as part of the offensive line. He, too, was part of a unit that is currently 15th in the country in fewest sacks allowed (seven).