Bassani Named NJAC Defensive Rookie of Year as Eight Cougars Earn All-NJAC Honors

Pitman, N.J. (11/16/18) – Freshman Anthony Bassani was tabbed the NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year as seven other Cougars were tabbed with All-NJAC Honors as announced by the league office and voted on by the league's coaches.

Four Cougars earned first-team accolades as senior Chris Vurchio was named to the offensive unit as a lineman.  Joining him on the first-team were defenders DeShawn Reed (DL), Damon Small Jr. (DL) and Dante Capozzoli (LB).  Junior Paris Crawford was tabbed to the second-team special teams unit as a returner.  Freshman Davonte Vivian and junior Jemel Daniels round out the selections on the honorable mention squad as linemen.

Bassani was the recipient of the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year award. A two-time NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Week selection, he currently ranks tied for sixth in the NJAC in total interceptions (4). Bassani, who played in all 10 games as a rookie for the Cougar defense, wrapped up his first collegiate season with 38 tackles, including 7.0 tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries.

Vurchio earns first team honors for the second straight season as he was part of an offensive unit that recorded 37 touchdowns during his career as a Cougar.

Reed appeared in all 10 games and recorded 50 tackles with nine sacks for a loss of 62 yards.  In addition he compiled 11.5 tackles for a loss and forced three fumbles.

Small registered 48 total tackles in 10 games this season.  The senior tallied six sacks with a total of 11 tackles for a loss of 63 yards.  Small broke up two passes and forced a fumble. 

Capozzoli amassed 88 tackles on the season, appearing in all 10 games.  He forced three fumbles, recovered two and added two sacks.  Capozzoli added two breakups and five and a half tackles for a loss.

Crawford returned 21 kicks for 450 yards while adding 11 punt returns for 33 yards on the season.  In addition to his special teams duties, he compiled 448 rushing yards and 18 receiving yards.

Vivian appeared in 10 games this season, starting nine for the Cougars on the o-line.  He graded out to a 78% this season while providing a touchdown springing block against #6 and NJAC Champion Frostburg State University. 

Jemels was featured in all 10 games this season on defense as he collected 40 tackles, including five tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.