Seven Minutemen Recognized On All-ECAC Football Awards Listing

December 7, 2017


Seven members of the University of Massachusetts football program earned recognition from the Eastern College Athletics Conference with inclusion on the 2017 All-ECAC awards listing, announced Thursday by the organization. Defensive end Da'Sean Downey and wide receiver Andy Isabella picked up spots on the first time while linebacker Bryton Barr, tight end Adam Breneman, offensive lineman Jack Driscoll, kicker Logan Laurent and cornerback Isaiah Rodgers tallied recognition on the second team.

The 2017 All-ECAC awards lauded members of 11 FBS programs, including Army, Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Navy, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Temple. The Minutemen tied for the second-most award recipients alongside Boston College and Penn State. Temple had the most with 11, including the defensive rookie of the year in Dan Archibong and coach of the year in Geoff Collins. The additional major award winners including offensive player of the year Saquon Barkley (Penn State), defensive player of the year Avonte Maddox (Pittsburgh) and offensive rookie of the year A.J. Dillon (Boston College).

Downey finished his final season ranked among the top five nationally with 20.0 tackles for loss, which included 6.0 sacks. A disruptive force off the right edge, Downey tallied a career-high 58 tackles while he also added three pass breakups and as many quarterback hurries.

Isabella led the passing offense with 65 catches, 1,020 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions. A reliable target, Isabella pulled in multiple receptions during each of his 12 starts, while he had five or more catches in eight games and 100 or more yards against Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Maine and No. 21 nationally ranked Mississippi State.

Barr posted a team-best 105 tackles while he finished second to Downey in TFLs (9.0) and sacks (5.0). The graduate student transfer from Towson also forced one fumble, recovered another, intercepted one pass, broke up another and recorded a quarterback hurry.

Breneman finished his senior season as the top-ranked tight end in the nation for receptions per game (5.8) and second for most receiving yards per game (69.5) as of contests played on Tues., Dec. 1. Over his 11 appearances - all as a starter who averaged between 65 and 70 snaps played per game - Breneman posted 64 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns while he also sealed the edge as one of the team's primary blocking tight end.

Driscoll anchored the right side of the UMass offensive line from his spot at right tackle, where Driscoll made 12 starts and saw the majority of his action throughout the season. He was instrumental in helping Massachusetts football rank 17th across FBS in passing offense per game (297.5) while, individually, starting quarterback Andrew Ford ranked in the top 25 nationally for passing efficiency and passing yards per game.

Laurent, who was unable to fill place kicking duties during the opening five games of the season due to injury, finished the year 13-of-15 on field goal attempts and 29-of-31 as he tied for the team lead in points (68) despite only holding a scoring responsibility for the final seven games (9.7 per game). His .867 field goal percentage ranked Laurent 12th nationally across FBS and went as the second-best conversion rate in the history of the program.

Rodgers, only a sophomore, tied for 11th in the nation and fifth among underclassmen with 1.4 passes defended per game. The Tampa, Florida, native and Blake High School product led the UMass defense with 14 pass breakups and posted three interceptions. He also notched a pair of forced fumbles and fumble recoveries, blocked a field goal and finished the year with 50 tackles, including 3.0 TFLs.

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Division I FBS Football Major Awards & All-ECAC Teams

Offensive Player of the Year
Saquon Barkley – Penn State, Jr., RB

Defensive Player of the Year
Avonte Maddox – Pittsburgh, Sr., DB

Offensive Rookie of the Year
AJ Dillon – Boston College, Fr., RB

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Dan Archibong – Temple, R-Fr., DL

Coach of the Year
Geoff Collins – Temple

All-ECAC First Team
Trace McSorley – Penn State, Jr., QB
AJ Dillon – Boston College, Fr., RB
Saquon Barkley – Penn State, Jr., RB
Darnell Woolfolk – Army, Jr., RB
Andy Isabella – Massachusetts, Jr., WR
DJ Moore – Maryland, Jr., WR
Steve Ishmael – Syracuse, Sr., WR
Mike Gesicki – Penn State, Sr., TE
Sam Schmal – Boston College, Jr., OL
Cody Conway – Syracuse, Jr., OL
Alex Officer – Pittsburgh, R-Sr., OL
Brian O'Neill – Pittsburgh, R-Jr., OL
Josh Boylan – Army, Sr., OL
Da'Sean Downey – Massachusetts, Sr., DL
Zach Allen – Boston College, Jr., DL
Sharif Finch – Temple, Sr., DL
Jacob Martin – Temple, Sr., DL
Ty Schwab – Boston College, Sr., LB
Parris Bennett – Syracuse, Sr., LB
Jason Cabinda – Penn State, Sr., LB
Oluwaseun Idowu – Pittsburgh, R-Jr., LB
Lukas Denis – Boston College, Jr., DB
Amani Oruwariye – Penn State, Jr., DB
Avonte Maddox – Pittsburgh, Sr., DB
Delvon Randall – Temple, So., DB
Cole Murphy – Syracuse, Sr., K
Ryan Anderson – Rutgers, R-Sr., P
Saquon Barkley – Penn State, Jr., RS

All-ECAC Second Team
Adonis Jennings – Temple, Sr., WR
Adam Breneman – Massachusetts, Gr., TE
Jack Driscoll – Massachusetts, So., OL
Matt Hennessy – Temple, Fr., OL
Brian Carter – Temple, Sr., OL
Cole Boozer – Temple, Sr., OL
Matt Peart – Connecticut, R-So., OL
Harold Landry – Boston College, Sr., DL
Cole Ormsby – Connecticut, Sr., DL
Foley Fatukasi – Connecticut, Sr., DL
Bryton Barr – Massachusetts, Gr., LB
Jermaine Carter, Jr. – Maryland, Sr., LB
Micah Thomas – Navy, Sr., LB
D.J. Palmore – Navy, Sr., LB
Shaun Bardley – Temple, So., LB
Alex Aukerman – Army, Sr., LB
Junior Joseph – Connecticut, Sr., LB
Isaiah Rodgers – Massachusetts, So., DB
Antoine Brooks – Maryland, So., DB
Will Harris – Boston College, Jr., DB
Marcus Allen – Penn State, Sr., DB
Sean Chandler – Temple, Sr., DB
Logan Laurent – Massachusetts, R-Sr., K
Ryan Winslow – Pittsburgh, Sr., P