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Here is a video montage from last night's Senior Awards Banquet at the Campus Center. Sean Busch and Jackie Lyons took home their respective Athlete of the Year honors, while Chris Piekos was named the Inspirational Award recipient and Samantha Schnoerr and Anthony Nelson were named the Scholar Athletes of the Year.

Boston Herald On UMass' Draft Prospects

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The Boston Herald has a story on local college product that are hopeful of hearing their names called as the NFL Draft starts on Thursday night. Read about it in : Local prospects hoping to catch on.

Offensive lineman Greg Niland of East Bridgewater, who began his career at Northeastern University before it dropped its football program, and went on to play his final season of eligibility at the University of Massachusetts, has piqued the interest of several NFL teams and could be a late-round pick.

Other UMass players to watch are wide receiver Anthony Nelson, who caught 61 passes last season, running back John Griffin of Westminster, another NU transfer, and quarterback Kyle Havens.

"Nelson did real well at the BC pro day and turned some heads," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "Griffin, as well, with his physical skills. Nelson has some people wanting to take a second and third look at how good he is with the ball and how fast he is. Havens, too, has a couple of teams interested. We just need to get this (NFL) lockout to get unlocked, to get these guys into camps to show what they can do."


Gazette Feature On UMass Football Pro Day

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Check out this story from Matt Vautour on the Daily Hampshire Gazette about Friday's Football Pro Day: NFL lockout creates uncertain future for former college players at UMass pro day.


ESPNBoston On UMass Players At BC's Pro Day

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ESPNBoston.com has a story on Boston College's Pro Day which includes five UMass players: tailback John Griffin, quarterback Kyle Havens, linebacker Mike Mele, wide receiver Anthony Nelson and lineman Greg Niland. UMass alum Mike Reiss writes about the event including many comments from Niland.

Having starred at Coyle-Cassidy High School in Taunton, Mass., he earned a scholarship to Northeastern University. But after the 2009 season, the program was cut, putting him in a tough spot.

Would he transfer to finish his football career and keep his NFL dreams alive? Or stay at Northeastern to get his degree?

As it turned out, Niland took advantage of a plan that allowed him to transfer to UMass so he could play the 2010 season, before transferring back to Northeastern so he could finish his business administration degree this spring.

Niland measured 6-foot-4 and weighed 304 pounds at pro day, which is a solid physical makeup for an NFL hopeful on the line. He felt he ran well, and to the casual observer, he looked competitive in drills led by Scarnecchia and Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty that tested hip flexibility, hip explosion, change of direction and run- and pass-blocking skills.

"Hopefully maybe today will get the attention of some of the scouts, and they can go back to the filmwork and tape, and maybe I can sneak into the later rounds," said Niland, who plans to attend UMass' pro day on Friday. "That would be the best-case scenario. If not, we'll see what happens with the NFL lockout. One way or another, I just want to make a camp."

A player like Niland, who faces longer odds to be drafted, would be hurt by a lockout because NFL teams won't be allowed to sign undrafted players.

Gazette: Pleasure To Teach Student-Athlete Nelson

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In the Daily Hampshire Gazette writer and professor John Stifler has a great first-person story on UMass senior wide receiver Anthony Nelson. Stifler writes about teaching Nelson, an Academic All-American, in his economics class.

I've been teaching at UMass since 1984 and just about every semester I get at least three or four varsity athletes in my classes.

This year, I got to teach a very good wide receiver who is also such a good student that ESPN last month named him to its Academic All-American first team. I refer to Anthony Nelson, a senior from Wellington, Fla., who transferred to UMass last year from Hofstra after Hofstra dropped its football program, and who promptly made an enormous impact with the Minutemen.

Football Radio Show Guests: Holmes, Nelson

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Join us at the final regular-season Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show at the Hangar Pub & Grill at 7 p.m. Tonight's special guests alongside Coach Kevin Morris are All-American candidates linebacker Tyler Holmes and wide receiver Anthony Nelson. If you have a question for Coach Morris, ask it below or listen on 100.9 FM and 1510 AM in Boston

• Ask Coach Morris A Question

Recaps From Football's 21-14 Win At JMU

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Take a look back at the UMass' 21-14 win at James Madison as the Minutemen moved to 5-3 overall, 3-2 in the uber-tough CAA.

• Boston Globe: Minutemen find time
• Worcester Telegram: Hernandez, Krevis power Minutemen
• Staunton News Leader: UMass sinks struggling JMU
• Rockton Weekly: UMass Rallies Past Dukes
• Washington Examiner: Seven weeks later, Dukes no longer up


College Football Performance Awards has announced its Watch Lists for Running Back and Wide Receiver of the Year Awards and UMass senior wideout Anthony Nelson has made the list.

The transfer from Hofstra leads not only the Minutemen, but the CAA in receptions and yardage this season. Nelson has caught 47 passes for 610 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

Collegian: Nelson Filling Cruz, Horne's Shoes

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The Daily Collegian has a feature on senior wide receiver Anthony Nelson and his emergence.

The loss of former wide receivers Jeremy Horne and Victor Cruz has not been felt by the Massachusetts football team this season, due in large part to transfer Anthony Nelson.

The senior, now is in his first and only season at UMass after departing from Hofstra, is providing quarterback Kyle Havens with a reliable receiving target down the field.

Nelson leads the Colonial Athletic Association in receptions per game (6.71) and receiving yards per game (87.1). Those statistics both rank 13th in the country, making Nelson not only one of the best receiver on the Minutemen and in the conference, but one of the best in the nation.

Herald: UMass Right For Nelson

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It was early December 2009 and the cold winds felt sharper to Anthony Nelson after learning Hofstra announced it was disbanding its football program.

Nelson, a junior receiver for The Pride, began sending out game tapes to other schools. In the meantime, Hofstra offensive line coach Bill Durkin, a former UMass star, was telling Nelson about the unique opportunity UMass could offer. Following a visit with his parents to the Amherst campus a few days later, Nelson had found a new home.

Check out the story in the Boston Herald.

Gazette: Nelson To Face Familiar Faces at Stony Brook

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When he got on the bus after the University of Massachusetts football team's game at Michigan, Minuteman senior wide receiver Anthony Nelson had a text message waiting for him.

"Hey did you hear that Steve Probst and Rhode Island upset UNH?" read the text from a former teammate.

Last year Nelson was on the receiving end of passes from Probst. The two were teammates at Hofstra, before the Long Island school discontinued its program. The players with eligibility remaining scattered to other schools, including many in the Colonial Athletic Association. Nelson and freshman offensive linemen Anthony Dima transferred to UMass.

Nelson keeps track of how his former teammates are faring online.

Read this great story from Matt Vautour in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Republican: Nelson Always Admired UMass

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Anthony Nelson always admired the winning football tradition at the University of Massachusetts. Now he's committed to maintaining it.

"They were successful, year in and year out,'' said Nelson, a senior wide receiver who came to UMass this year after his previous school, Hofstra, dropped football.

Read the full story in the Springfield Republican.

Herald: 5 Questions For UMass Football

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John Connolly of the Boston Herald has his preview of the UMass football season. He has his 5 Questions for 2010. Check it out.

UMass tailback John Griffin takes a...

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