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Griffin, Holmes, Igwenagu Named Preseason All-CAA

Emil Igwenagu is one of three Minutemen on the All-CAA team.

Emil Igwenagu is one of three Minutemen on the All-CAA team.

July 28, 2010

BALTIMORE, Md. - Three UMass football players were named to the Preseason All-CAA squad as chosen by the league coaches and media. Senior tailback John Griffin, junior linebacker Tyler Holmes and junior tight end Emil Igwenagu were all selected to the team. UMass was picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll. Defending national champion Villanova is the preseason pick to win the league. UMass opens the year vs. William & Mary on Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m.

Villanova, which returns 17 starters from its 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship squad, is the overwhelming pick to win the CAA Football Championship in 2010 according to a vote of the league's 10 head coaches and media relations personnel.  The results of the poll, along with the Preseason All-Conference squads, were officially announced during Wednesday's CAA Football Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Villanova senior wide receiver/returnman Matt Szczur and senior linebacker Terence Thomas headlined the 2010 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference squad as each were named Preseason Players of the Year.  Thomas, who is one of the league's eight returning All-America honorees, led the Wildcats with 116 stops in 2009 and has yet to miss a start in his three-year career.  Szczur, who recently signed a Major League Baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs, is slated to return to campus in early August to take part in preseason camp with the Wildcats.  Szczur led the league in all-purpose yardage last season by averaging nearly 150 yards a game which helped him become CAA Football's first-ever Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year in the same season.

Villanova, which had to defeat two CAA Football squads as well as Holy Cross and Big Sky Champion Montana to earn its first-ever National Championship in football, placed a total of seven on the Preseason All-Conference squad.  Szczur was joined by quarterback Chris Whitney, placekicker Nick Yako and offensive linemen Brant Clouser and Ben Ijalana on the offense.  Safety John Dempsey joined Thomas on the defensive side.

William and Mary, picked to finish second in the league race, placed four on the preseason list with running back Jonathan Grimes, offensive lineman Keith Hill, Jr., linebacker Jake Trantin and punter David Miller.  New Hampshire, which earned two first-place votes and finished third in the overall voting, placed both defensive lineman Brian McNally and cornerback Dino Vasso on the preseason defensive squad.  James Madison, the preseason No. 4 pick, was represented by offensive lineman Theo Sherman and defensive lineman Ronnell Brown on the preseason list.

Delaware picked up one first-place vote and finished fifth in the poll while placing safety Anthony Bratton on the preseason squad.  Richmond, a defending CAA Football Champion from 2009, had seven on the preseason list and came in sixth in the preseason poll.  The Spiders are represented by fullback Kendall Gaskins, wide receivers Tre Gray and Kevin Grayson, offensive lineman Drew Lachenmayer, defensive lineman Martin Parker, linebacker Eric McBride and cornerback Justin Rogers.  Maine logged the seventh-place spot in the preseason poll, while Massachusetts and its three preseason honorees came in eighth.  Northeastern transfer running back John Griffin, tight end Emil Igwenagu and linebacker Tyler Holmes make up the Minutemen contingent on the preseason roster.

Rhode Island finished at No. 9 in the preseason poll, while preseason honoree defensive lineman Yaky Ibia and Towson rounded out the league's preseason poll at No. 10.

CAA Football's 2010 regular season is set to kick off Sept. 2 with four non-conference contests as Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island and Towson will all be in action.  The first CAA Football league contest is later that same weekend when Massachusetts hosts William and Mary at 3:30 p.m., Sept. 4 on The Comcast Network and Comcast SportsNet New England.

CAA Football is blogging at caafootballblog.com...be sure to checkout the official blog of CAA Football to find all sorts of information that might not be at CAASports.com.  CAA Football is also on Twitter...Fans from all 10 schools can get up-to-date information by following the league at twitter.com/The_CAAFootball.  CAA Football will tweet throughout this offseason and continue into the 2010 fall season.  The league is also active in the new media area and encourages fans to visit us on YouTube:  youtube.com/CAAFootball.  Logon now and subscribe to see the latest video productions from CAA Football.


 

 

2010 CAA FOOTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH (first-place votes)
1.  Villanova (17)        
2.  William and Mary      
3.  New Hampshire (2)      
4.  James Madison        
5.  Delaware (1)        
6.  Richmond        
7.  Maine          
8.  Massachusetts        
9.  Rhode Island        
10.  Towson        
           
2010 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Wide Receiver Matt Szczur Senior 5-11 195 Villanova
           
2010 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Linebacker Terence Thomas Senior 6-0 230 Villanova
           
2010 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
OFFENSE          
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Quarterback Chris Whitney Senior 6-2 230 Villanova
Running Back John Griffin Senior 6-0 208 Massachusetts
Running Back Jonathan Grimes Junior 5-10 201 William and Mary
Fullback Kendall Gaskins Sophomore 6-1 210 Richmond
Wide Receiver Tre Gray Junior 5-11 168 Richmond
Wide Receiver Kevin Grayson Senior 6-3 205 Richmond
Wide Receiver Matt Szczur Senior 5-11 195 Villanova
Tight End Emil Igwenagu Junior 6-1 240 Massachusetts
Offensive Line Brant Clouser Senior 6-2 290 Villanova
Offensive Line Keith Hill, Jr. Senior 6-4 312 William and Mary
Offensive Line Ben Ijalana Senior 6-4 320 Villanova
Offensive Line Drew Lachenmayer Senior 6-2 286 Richmond
Offensive Line Theo Sherman Senior 6-4 305 James Madison
           
DEFENSE          
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Defensive Line Ronnell Brown Senior 6-2 265 James Madison
Defensive Line Yaky Ibia Senior 6-2 285 Towson
Defensive Line Brian McNally Junior 6-4 240 New Hampshire
Defensive Line Martin Parker Senior 6-3 283 Richmond
Linebacker Tyler Holmes Junior 6-0 215 Massachusetts
Linebacker Eric McBride Senior 6-2 231 Richmond
Linebacker Terence Thomas Senior 6-0 230 Villanova
Linebacker Jake Trantin Junior 6-1 235 William and Mary
Safety Anthony Bratton Senior 6-2 196 Delaware
Safety John Dempsey Senior 6-0 215 Villanova
Cornerback Justin Rogers Senior 5-10 181 Richmond
Cornerback Dino Vasso Senior 5-8 175 New Hampshire
           
SPECIAL TEAMS        
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Return Specialist Matt Szczur Senior 5-11 195 Villanova
Placekicker Nick Yako Sophomore 6-0 215 Villanova
Punter David Miller Senior 6-0 183 William and Mary

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