Albany, N.Y. -- University at Albany's Mike Kelly and Buddy Leathley shared the 2010 most valuable player award at the football program's postseason awards banquet, held at the Italian American Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 22. Leathley also received the team's most improved award. UAlbany (6-5) tied for fourth in the Northeast Conference standings and posted a school-record fifth consecutive winning campaign.
Kelly, a senior from West Long Branch, N.J., was a second-team All-NEC defensive end. He totaled 49 tackles, 2.0 sacks and two interceptions, plus led the Great Danes with 8.0 tackles for a loss. He was a key figure in the final month of the season, as UAlbany finished with three consecutive wins. His 54-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:30 remaining at Sacred Heart sealed the outcome in a 35-23 victory, plus he was named NEC defensive player of the week for his performance in a season-ending victory against Monmouth. Kelly finished his career with 137 tackles, 8.0 sacks and 18.5 hits for a loss.
Leathley, a redshirt freshman from Manlius, N.Y., took over the starting quarterback duties at mid-season. He completed 67 of 125 pass attempts for 748 yards and four touchdowns and was third on the team in rushing with 178 yards and two scores. Leathley also shared top offensive back honors with Dillon Romain. The freshman tailback from Vernon, N.J., was the conference's top offensive rookie after rushing for 547 yards and six touchdowns and averaging 86.7 all-purpose yards per game. He was chosen NEC rookie of the week on four occasions, including three times in the month of November. His 954 all-purpose yards is the highest total by a freshman in the school's Division I FCS history
Trevor Anderson was named the squad's top defensive lineman. Anderson made his second straight appearance on the All-NEC first team as a defensive tackle. He was the fourth UAlbany defensive lineman to be named to the first team in consecutive seasons. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound senior totaled 45 tackles, 2.0 sacks, three pass break-ups, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. Anderson, who played in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl in December, piled up 146 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss as a collegian.
Andy Sparano received the team's top offensive lineman award for the second year in a row. Sparano, the son of Miami Dolphins' head coach Tony Sparano, made 40 career appearances as a center and guard on UAlbany's line. Dave Plungas picked up the top linebacker trophy, as the sophomore led the team in tackles with 71. Jake Ciccarello, a junior safety, received the best defensive back award after totaling 51 tackles, two interceptions and five pass break-ups.
Sophomore Ryan Kirchner was voted multiple awards as the special teams MVP and top receiver. He averaged 10.4 yards per punt return in 27 attempts and ranked 27th among the NCAA FCS national leaders. His 80-yard runback for a touchdown against Wagner was the second-longest return in program history. He was third on the team in all-purpose yards (784). A native of Rumson, N.J., Kirchner registered the fifth-best single-season total in school annals with 50 receptions for 504 yards and one TD.
Paw Prints: UAlbany (6-5, NEC 4-4) established a program record with its fifth consecutive winning season ... the previous mark of four straight winning campaigns was established from 1996-99 ... UAlbany's Bob Ford is the career active leader among Division I FCS coaches with 247 victories ... Herb Glass, a junior placekicker, is No. 6 on the all-time scoring list with 164 points ... TB Andrew Smith, the team's top rusher in the fall, heads into his junior season with 1,103 career yards on the ground and 1,824 all-purpose yards ... DE Eddie Delaney, who has 111 career tackles, was a second-team All-NEC selection for the second time as a collegian ... spring practice is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 19 ... UAlbany's non-conference opponents in 2011 are Colgate, Maine and Columbia.
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information
Monday, January 24, 2011
Posted by BRE at 2:07 PM